Originally Posted by NoliMum
Do you have a separate room in your home devoted to childcare?
Do you spend most of your time interacting with and teaching the children, or do you just have them play while you go about your daily business- laundry, cleaning, emails, reading, etc? Or do you have a combination of both?
Do any of you use the time to write/sew/craft for yourself, without the kids' involvement?
The reason I ask is that I am trying to start an Etsy business but I need income in the meantime. If I had another child or two in my home, would it be appropriate to use that time when they are all occupied to work on my craft items that I want to sell?
I care for 3-6 children, depending on the day of the week, including my own two boys.
I have most areas of my home organized in a child-centered way, with toys and activity areas for my own children and daycare children. I could run the daycare entirely out of my kitchen, backyard, and downstairs play area, but sometimes use bedrooms and living rooma as well.
There is another alternative to playing with the children and doing my own thing. I would say I spend most of my time supervising their play while making sure that housekeeping and cooking and personal care and food-growing routines get done for the benefit of all. The younger children, esp, often want to "help" with prepping lunch and snacks, baking bread, washing dishes, etc, and we all set up and clean up play activities together. This does take a lot of time, following through with helping them learn the routines, but it pays off when they are a little older. Laundry, for example ....the kids help me load the washer and I sit on the floor of the playroom to fold while they play around me. In good weather, I take the wet clothes outside and they help me hang to dry. SOmetimes they help with sorting and folding (good motor activities and cognitive), and I get my own children to put their clothes away...it ideally becomes an activity that we do together, not "my own thing".
It is my understanding that free play in a healthy environment, enriched and occasionally supported by adults, in blocks of time an hour long or longer, if possible, is developmentally the best thing that small children could be doing. I do a more structured and "educational" activity time first thing in the morning for the older children, but I don't "teach" the children. The rest of the time, i am there to supervise and support their play, read stories they bring me, do child guidance if they have trouble getting along. I do feel it is my responsibility to be in the same room with them and to be available for what they might need. My insurance wouldn't cover me if a little one in my care got hurt out of my sight, too.
I usually take an hour or so to do my own thing during naptime (like right now, usually browsing online). Sometimes I crochet or knit.
What kind of crafting would you be doing? I would be very concerned about having anything with sharp or dangerous tools --sewing, woodworking -- out around the children. All you need is a moment of distraction to help one child use the potty or something and another enterprising toddler gets into the sewing machine and then you might have an ER visit on your plate....
Or perhaps the child destroys what you are working on out of curiosity....
How does your own child do when mommy is crafting?
In your shoes, I would probably look at taking part timers and focusing fully on childcare on some days and as fully as possible on Etsy on other days.