Okay, I am going to try to reply to as many as I can. I actually have two windows open so I can keep track!!!
I have been doing day care for 14 1/2 years. There are good things and bad things. It is not easy, but it has been the best choice for us. In order to support our family, I have to bring in an income. This allows me to do that, and of course, be home with my kids. I have had issues with my own values, and not agreeing with my day care parents philosophies, and sometimes I have felt that I was compromising. But this isn't a perfect world, and we are doing the best we can. Now, I will say, that it can be tough to find the right balance. I have had times where I have really loved the kids I watched, but had problems with the parents, and times when the parents were great, but the kids and I didn't mesh. Right now, for the most part, I have a great mix. A couple of the parents are late more often than not (even thought it is usually less than 5 minutes, it bugs me), but they are wonderful people, we get along well, and all the kids are awesome. They do appreciate me, and the children fit so well with each other. It hasn't always been this way for me, and I have had some tough kids and parents. As far as cost, it is probably one of the least expensive businesses to start up. Out here, we have to be licensed through the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing. We get inspected, have to take CPR/First Aid, Health and Nutrition class, get finger printed, have a criminal background check and a child abuse index check (the last three apply to ANY person over the age of 18 years living in your house). Some people go further and take college classes. I have a pre-school teacher permit. (We have a great incentive program here in San Diego, paid for by the tobaccoa tax, which pays stipends for completing college units. I have received $2500 over two years for taking classes and getting my permit). I would recommend anyone who is interested in getting licensed check with your local YMCA Childcare Resource Service, if you have one. If you do not have one, ask a licensed provider where to start. Most providers love helping others to get started. I have a great network of fellow day care providers, and they are an awesome support system for me. The biggest drawbacks for me, is that it is a longer day than most other jobs, I typically work 10 hours a day. Also, I can't really just take a day off if I am sick. 3 or more families are depending on me so that they can go to work. Sometimes, parents aren't as accomodating as I would like, when I really DO need to take a day off. I try to give as much notice as possible, and I send out my yearly holiday schedule in January with my paid days off and my yearly vacation. But sometimes, things come up. I tell parents to make sure they have reliable back-up, but sometimes, they give me crap about it. Overall, I have enjoyed my job, but it is tough. Make sure you have the support of your family, and support from colleagues, and it can be great.
Julie, your carrier is awesome!! I received an ABC as ababy gift, but I have been afraid to try it out. I am so used to my sling, the ties intimidate me.
I would love to add your link to my site when you get yours up and running.
And I agree with you on the cohesiveness of our group. I often feel bad for not posting. Then, I feel bad if I do post and can't respond to everyone. Then I feel bad that so much time has gone by and I haven't posted. Vicious cycle, I tell ya! So, I figured I would just post as much as I could, and hope to keep up as much as possible.
I also can not wear Instead cups. I have a whole box sitting here, doing nothing. I thought there was something wrong with me.
I bought a Diva cup, but never got to use it....I got a BFP instead! As far as being a WAHM and talking about your stuff, yeah, it is discussed somewhere, although I don't remember exactly where. There is a charge for biz sig line advertising, but you still can't really say "Buy from me" even if you pay for it. Btw, I love the pics in your sig line.
I know just how you feel! That is part of why I keep popping in and out. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with life, and I want to post, but I feel horrible coming in just to dump.
I am honestly going to try to post at least once a day. Subscribing to the threads helps a lot.
Landen started pulling himself up the other day. Now he won't stop! It is so cute, because he is still so little, at least for one of my babies!!!
He can still wear size medium diapers and many of his clothes are around 12 months. Unheard of for us usually!!! He is now crawling properly, instead of only doing his commando crawl. Gosh, they grow so fast!!!
I started knitting a few months ago, and I love it. It is the hobby I can take with me.
I am taking my second class at Wooly Wonders Forums.
Sandi, How cool to find a playgroup of MDC mamas! I used to go to or LLL meetings, and made lots of friends, but we seem to have drifted. They have moved on to having older children, and I still have younger children, and I am kind of in the middle. The things that are so new with young children, well, I am not as stressed over most of it anymore. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the people I know with older kids, well, they aren't dealing with getting up 3 or 4 times a night to nurse, or worrying about changing a diaper while out in public. Yeah, it is interesting around here.
Not to be a downer, but my own mother died almost 8 years ago (on March 28th), and I miss her. I was only 29yo, and I only had 5 kids. Yes, she used to drive me crazy, but she was not judgemental at all. I did things VERY differently than she did, but she was usually more curious than defensive or mean. I try to remember that, and appreciate it, for the time I had it. My MIL is also not a judgemental kind of person. She asks questions, but doesn't say anything mean. Once or twice she has said something like "That is just so strange to me." And I tell her "You know, I know I am probably doing things now, that my kids will think were outrageous and wonder what we were thinking!" It has been interesting for me, to be a woman having babies over the course of 20 years. I have seen trends come and go, and have seen practices change. I hope, when my own kids atart having kids, that I can be supporting without being defensive. To accept that they are doing what they feel is best, even if I don't agree.
(Although I think it would KILL me if my grandbabies were not breastfed!!!)
I LOVE FLUBBER!!!! I used to make it for the kids all the time! We usually used watercolor paint to color it, but I would make 5 or 6 colors for them. Beware, it does NOT come out of clothes!!!
Landen's thighs are not that big, at least I don't think so. Maybe I will to the thumb/finger test later!
Okay, it has taken 5 hours back and forth to write this. I hope to chat more with everyone soon!