My first day as a home daycare provider.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-10-2006, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and I am exhausted!!!! I am trying the 'family grouping' style of caregiving, where you have children of staggered ages in your care. So, I have my daughter who is 10 months, a 16 month old, my son who is 3 and a half, and two boys after school for three hours ages 9 and 11. I am hoping to add another three year old in November making a total of six children. I am coming off maternity leave from my job as a daycare teacher at an excellent centre in Halifax. I worked there for 9 years and have made some wonderful friends. I was able to do environmental design, and wonderful programming based on the Reggio-Emilia Approach. But nothing beats being able to stay at home with my children. I really enjoy other people's children too! I am just going to miss seeing my friends every day, and having philosophical discussions about stuff in the staffroom. It is scary doing childcare on my own too.But, I have always felt that young children would benefit from a homey environment, rather than an institutional one. It is time for me to put theory into practice!

Everything went well today but I worked my butt off all freakin" day! The naps would have gone better if Four people hadn't called while I was trying to get the little ones to sleep. So, I would get one to sleep, and the other would wake up, etc, etc. Now, I have to pre-prepare lunch for tomorrow, clean the house and continue to rearrange furniture so that choking hazard toys are out of reach of curious babes.

I have a renewed respect for moms and dads of large families! Someone tell me this gets easier!
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#2 of 17 Old 10-11-2006, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today was also hard. Too tired to type much as I just feel like lurking tonight.
The 9 and 10 year old brothers had some sibling rivalry issues they were working out, much to my delight. The two babies watched from the deck as I refereed various disputes, some of them physical: . I thought the babies were supposed to be high maintenance! They played together with me so nicely all day. Then, the two normally pleasant school-aged kids come home and I am breaking up more fights than a bouncer on a Friday night! Man!
I hope tomorrow is better, and I have more energy to write coherently.
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#3 of 17 Old 10-12-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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Way 2 go momma!!! Sounds like u r doing a great job...keep it up - those kids will benefit from being with u!
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#4 of 17 Old 10-12-2006, 04:35 AM
 
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Aw, I'm sorry you're so tired, but it does get easier! When I was a teacher, it took me 2 weeks to regulate my clock and by 7 or 8pm, I was out like a light! congratulations on this venture!
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#5 of 17 Old 10-12-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Congrats! It does get easier. I always found that a good plan worked wonders. Having planned activites for the older ones is great - not telling them what to do, but having specific fun activities available for them if they choose. I always found the babies the easiest - though not the same with my own :

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#6 of 17 Old 10-12-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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I can totally relate! My first day was Tuesday too! It was easy, and things went well but I was frequently having to vacuum, put away scattered toys, change diapers, feed them, etc. At the end of the day the first day I was exhausted, too, and I only keep my son + 1. The second day was a bit more hectic, but not totally unmanagable. I was pretty tired at the end of the day too. Today has been a lot easier. I'm still having to change diapers, put away toys, etc., but we're all a bit more 'in sync' and I'm getting used to it. I think it'll get better as you get to know the kids, learn tricks for handling them and avoiding obstacles, etc. I do agree taht babies are easier, because they tend to be more easy-going. At least in my experience. I may be keeping a pair of 20 month old twin girls starting two weeks from now so we'll have to settle into a totally new groove then, too!

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#7 of 17 Old 10-12-2006, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Today, was not easier . I am used to working in a daycare with three other adults to give me support. I am an expert planner and child wrangler, just not used to doing it by myself! So I stress myself out with all my crazy planning. I have a lot of age appropriate activities for the older boys, that I planned with their interests in mind. The younger boy is great at amusing himself. The older boy is very competitive and athletic, and lives to whup his brother's butt at everything. It's really hard to get him interested in anything other than this, highly satisfying, activity.So, his brother likes to play with Lego, draw, paint, sculpt....The older brother will harass and beg his brother to play sports with him. It is almost compulsive, his need to beat his younger brother at everything. He likes to play with me also, and is good at beating me as well, but I try to model that it's fun just to play, and it's no big deal if you lose. His younger brother gets frustrated, loses his temper, and flies into a rage. It's great: .

I don't know what their step-mom said to them, because they were perfect little gentlemens today . Today, it was my son and the babies turns to be high maintenance. They were cranky all day: . To top it all off, it rained all day, and my husband and one parent were delayed for two hours due to a massive car accident on the main highway. Oh man!

I still have hope that it WILL get easier!
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#8 of 17 Old 10-13-2006, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Questions to ponder.....

Why does the baby wake up crying, my son pees on the floor, and the toddler injure herself all at the same time? Should I go buy a lottery ticket ?
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#9 of 17 Old 10-13-2006, 07:47 PM
 
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hugs sounds like busy days!!
My two sons are 11 and almost 9, the 11 year old is athletic while the almost 9 year old is more into artys crafty stuff or playing with his bionicles. So i definately get what you are going through.
The begging the younger one to play and than not being so nice about winning (rubbing it in his face kind of thing) of course the younger one gets upset about it.

good luck!
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#10 of 17 Old 10-16-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipworth View Post
Today was also hard. Too tired to type much as I just feel like lurking tonight.
The 9 and 10 year old brothers had some sibling rivalry issues they were working out, much to my delight. The two babies watched from the deck as I refereed various disputes, some of them physical: . I thought the babies were supposed to be high maintenance! They played together with me so nicely all day. Then, the two normally pleasant school-aged kids come home and I am breaking up more fights than a bouncer on a Friday night! Man!
I hope tomorrow is better, and I have more energy to write coherently.
I watch several kiddos part-time. The most challenging are the 6 year old twins (boy/girl) that we feed breakfast and drive to school each morning. They are at my house for about 1 hour (sometimes only 30 minutes) and I think I go nuts. The energy inthe house just changes. They don' really get how to interact with my dd and ds. It's hard to feel okay about 2 six year olds constantly saying "No!", and "Stop it!" to my kids. I am seriously considering dropping them. They are also not ver polite, and kinda picky about food...:

HUGS to you! It's a very tiring, and usually thankless job. But, overall, the rewards are huge! I cannot imagine not being home with my kids. This makes it possible!

Darcy mama to Dillon, Marah and Leo, partner to Jeremy
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#11 of 17 Old 10-18-2006, 04:15 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Should I go buy a lottery ticket ?[/QUOTE]

I am so with you! Planning on it tomorrow right after the preggo checkup!:


Can childcare really be profitable? I wonder about having to run errands and stuff. I assume you would have to be at home the whole time (or the park?) and doing constructive things. How many kids would you need to watch for it to be worthwhile? Still trying to figure out how to make money and run the home biz...
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#12 of 17 Old 10-19-2006, 10:25 AM
 
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My first day as a home childcare provider (as opposed to a mere "babysitter" ) is this coming Monday! Wish me luck!

My first week or so I'll just have a 6-month-old plus my 1-year-old. I think. I also have a nearly 2-year-old signed up, but I'm not sure when she'll start. My own 4-year-old is at preschool most times, so she'll only be there for the tired end!

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#13 of 17 Old 10-19-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zipworth View Post
Questions to ponder.....

Why does the baby wake up crying, my son pees on the floor, and the toddler injure herself all at the same time? Should I go buy a lottery ticket ?
Welcome to the wonderful world of family child care! (BTDT going on 13 years now) Most of the time it's boring or crazy, no in-between. You were lucky the lunch wasn't burning and phone ringing at the same time! It will get easier, I promise... but it may take a while. I always thought center teachers had it easier tthan in-home providers, but it's worth it to me to be home with my kiddos and be my own boss. BTW, Check out Redleaf Press for great family child care resources. They have everything from busiess to curriculum to dealing with parents.
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#14 of 17 Old 10-19-2006, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone! Boy am I glad you guys came! It's nice not to be alone.

Today was my best day yet! I am realizing that there are benefits to my children when I bring other children into our home. I am much more concientious. Meaning (as sad as this may sound), my children recieve the benefits of my ECE training. The T.V. is off, I plan activities focused on the interests of the children, and decent meals are prepared and served. I am more organized and much less slack. Before, in the morning while I had my coffee, my son would watch CBC playground.Now the TV is off and he is playing with me instead. Lunches and breakfast were pretty casual. And sometimes my son played while I did housework. I feel guilty but I am a better mother when other people's children are in my home. I am more patient and playful. I have always considered myself a pretty good parent, it's just I had some room for improvement .

Besides my daughter swallowing the end of a pencil eraser, today went pretty well.

I have a question though, How does one go about going to the bathroom? Is it o.k to leave the door open? This doesn't feel appropriate to me, but when the door is shut one of the babies cries and cries and I don't like that either....What do you do?
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#15 of 17 Old 10-19-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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Did you mention the ages of the baby? Super young ones I brought with me. Then depending on the behavior of the children was whether the door was open or not. I had one girl who was reasonably well behaved when I was around but horrible behavior when I left. Like I had a 2 yo who was afraid of a puppet... everytime I went to the restroom she'd trap him in a corner with it. Or any other thing to make him cry... so eventually she had to sit outside the door while I went - just to insure everyone's safety. That is definitely an extreme case. In general I got them into an activity and then make a quick trip.. just like I do with my own munchkins.

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#16 of 17 Old 10-20-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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hang in there! It DOES get easier the longer you do it. Once you get your systems and rountines in place and you know each child better things go much more smoothly.

I have been doing home daycare for about 2.5 yrs now and I will admit that I only started out with one child and it was busy then! Hehehe! Now I have 5 kids plus my own two every day and it is not so bad. I wouldn't say it is a breeze but much, much better.

Good for you! It is so nice to earn a living and stay home with your own kids too.

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#17 of 17 Old 10-23-2006, 09:31 AM
 
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Well, today was my first day. It went well. Of course, I only had the two babies (my 1 yo and a 6 mo). I am really exhausted, but that's mostly because I got very little sleep last night. Whew. I'll have the same two tomorrow. Then Wed. "off" (only my own), which is good, because I need to plan. On Thursday, I have the two babies and a 2 yo. Fun. Hopefully the 2 yo will distract my 1 yo from "loving" the 6 mo too much. She was so jealous today, but very sweet with the baby making "nice" with him, patting him, and giving smothering hugs (I had to stay right with them at all times!). The 2 yo and my 1 yo are acquainted already, and the 2 yo will probably "make nice" with my 1 yo the way she made nice with the 6 mo. Should be interesting. I definitely need to get systems in place, so hopefully things will be smoother later.
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