Just started babysitting - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-04-2013, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Watching a 16 month old along with my 2 year old and 4 year old. It's getting easier but I'm having a hard time adjusting to having 3 here 28 hours a week. Coming up with things to do all day is tough. Ideas? We stay home all day the days he is here so I need ideas. My son is very helpful for the most part and my 2 year old girl is getting over the jealousy and is in the middle of potty training, woo hoo! It's very hot here right now and the 16 month old gets overheated easily, so any outdoor play is centered around popcicles, water table and sprinkler under the trampoline smile.gif we really do have lots to do here, have a 1/3 acre and it can be fun, but trying to balance feeding kids, cleaning up and play has been an adjustment. Tips!?

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#2 of 12 Old 09-04-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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Do you have a typical "daily schedule"? When I watch my niece, it really helps me to follow a schedule without a lot of open ended play time. My DD(3.5) and niece have been at awkward ages so far (16 months apart), so I have to minimize their time just hanging out together.
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#3 of 12 Old 09-05-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not particular times but yes, we have a routine. Just having a hard time fitting him in since his sleep is all over the place and his mom feeds him junk so I have to put two meals on the table to make sure everyone eats or else I have to deal with having a hungry boy at odd times. Makes me feel like my day revolves around feeding kids

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#4 of 12 Old 09-05-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holy crap this is kicking my ass. The pay is crap and having a third, especially a young toddler is really hard. I need advice on how to put in my notice. Seriously. I am not as good of a mother to my kids and its making me sad having to split my attention with another child. I'd rather so something else to make money! She really has no other options right now for child care, which is what sucks. She's in accelerated nursing program and is a single mom, and I feel sorry for her and that's why I accepted the job. I have to take him when he's sick and when we are sick because if she misses more than one day of school each semester she could fail the class and have to take it over again which would cost thousands of dollars, but at what point do I think about my family and myself first!? Seriously. What a conundrum. Hate the position I've out myself in and wish I'd never taken the job!!

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#5 of 12 Old 09-06-2013, 07:06 PM
 
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Is there any way you can resolve some of the issues you're having? 

For example- have her prep the food she's sending. The people I babysit for have dietary restrictions that we don't follow (they're dairy and gluten free) and we keep kosher AND we have food allergies (banana, avocado all concubits) so, my little guy that I watch's mom packs a mini cooler. I just pull the food out periodically. Some of the foods are things we can't eat- EG, if she sends a banana i just have to watch the kids really carefully. 

Maybe clean up ONLy what's essential when the little guy is there. Ie- put the lunch/snack dishes in the sink but don't wash them. 

If you try to do TOO much and be too much, its going to be much more stressful on you. The ages of the kids you've got under your care is similar to the ages i'm dealing with. My son is 3 1/2, the kid I watch just turned 2 and my daughter is 13 months so I TOTALLY hear you with being overwhelmed. It can be done though, you just have to lower your expectations of keeping the house pristine. 

Could you wear the little guy? do you have a wrap or something? sometimes being worn can really help the nap situation. My 3 1/2 year old tends to zonk when worn, so he hates going "uppys" lol ! 

 

Barring that mama, could you maybe take on less hours? sometimes having less "work hours" can help tremendously. 

 


 
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#6 of 12 Old 09-08-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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I just this morning let someone know I can no longer keep their children. I was asked very last-minute to do the after-school care, and I agreed bc this is family and there is a history of cutting me out and after not hearing from them for two years I jumped at the chance to see the kids again. But it is causing me so much stress...I already take mine to school, take my daughter to her college classes which takes over an hour altogether, then pick up my kids, and picking up the other kids is giving me a whole extra hour in the car and causes a hectic rush to get my oldest to her classes on time. And one of my kids often has an appointment after school. It has only been three weeks but I just can't sanely do this anymore.I also feel alot of guilt about stopping, I refused to be paid for it bc it is family and this probably means I will be cut out yet again :( But I have to do what's best for my own family. It was also wasting so much gas, sitting in the car for 30 minutes at one school in this heat with the a/c on. ugh. I did say I would do it until they found someone they trusted. I haven't heard back from them yet.

 

Good luck, it's hard to take something like childcare on because you feel bad for their situation, that makes it harder to stop if you really need to stop.


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#7 of 12 Old 09-08-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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And reading your posts in this thread gave me the courage to go ahead and make my decision!


drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#8 of 12 Old 09-08-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Having done the childcare thing... it's very very very important that you look after yourself first. I've also found it super important to have a contract.

 

But in giving notice, could you phrase it  " I'm having a hard time doing this and I didn't expect it to be this hard on me. I realize you are in a tricky situation. I'm going to try my best to change some things on my end to make this easier but I would like it if you are able to start looking for a replacement. If I decide in the meantime that things are going better than they have been then I'll let you know and we can still continue. However at this moment I've realized that you looking for other care is probably the best idea. I'm not willing to leave you high and dry and I can definitely do this for the next _________ (insert deadline) unless you are able to find someone sooner, at which time I do not expect more than a quick phone call to let me know you have it covered."

 

 

And then stick to it. Whether you give her 2 weeks or an entire month, give a deadline. Put it all on YOU, do not complain about her child.

 

Use I statements:

 

- "I'm finding it hard feeding them all different stuff, so one of the things I'm going to change is simply to feed them all the same thing at the same time. Food will all be at the table and they are welcome to water between meals. Please pack milk if he needs it but I will take care of the rest."

- "I'm finding not being able to schedule things really hard, I'm going to work on putting him on a nap schedule. I won't let him cry however our nap times will now be ____ and _____."

 

 

Childcare is WORK. Hard work! It's not as simple as adding another person to your care. It takes work and dedication and lots of reminders to get them used to your rules. 

When I did care, I set a strict schedule. From drop off, to school drop off (for my oldest) to snack, nap, walk to park, play at park, walk home, make lunch, eat lunch, songs & books, before nap diaper change, nap/quiet time, outside play, snack, art, clean up, home time... You need a strict schedule when you are looking after other people's kids. It gives them some routine and an understanding of what is going to happen. The after lunch nap/quiet time has always been non negotiable for me. *I* need a small break, even if it's just to eat my own lunch and sit for five. And having friends that have done childcare as well they say the same. 

And why aren't you leaving the house on days you have him? Seriously that would make your day go much faster. But alas, you can't cater to him, he will learn that mom has rules and you have rules and you are allowed to expect him to follow your rules, your food and your schedule :) 

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#9 of 12 Old 09-08-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delightedbutterfly View Post
 

Having done the childcare thing... it's very very very important that you look after yourself first. I've also found it super important to have a contract.

 

But in giving notice, could you phrase it  " I'm having a hard time doing this and I didn't expect it to be this hard on me. I realize you are in a tricky situation. I'm going to try my best to change some things on my end to make this easier but I would like it if you are able to start looking for a replacement. If I decide in the meantime that things are going better than they have been then I'll let you know and we can still continue. However at this moment I've realized that you looking for other care is probably the best idea. I'm not willing to leave you high and dry and I can definitely do this for the next _________ (insert deadline) unless you are able to find someone sooner, at which time I do not expect more than a quick phone call to let me know you have it covered."

 

 

And then stick to it. Whether you give her 2 weeks or an entire month, give a deadline. Put it all on YOU, do not complain about her child.

 

Use I statements:

 

- "I'm finding it hard feeding them all different stuff, so one of the things I'm going to change is simply to feed them all the same thing at the same time. Food will all be at the table and they are welcome to water between meals. Please pack milk if he needs it but I will take care of the rest."

- "I'm finding not being able to schedule things really hard, I'm going to work on putting him on a nap schedule. I won't let him cry however our nap times will now be ____ and _____."

 

 

Childcare is WORK. Hard work! It's not as simple as adding another person to your care. It takes work and dedication and lots of reminders to get them used to your rules. 

When I did care, I set a strict schedule. From drop off, to school drop off (for my oldest) to snack, nap, walk to park, play at park, walk home, make lunch, eat lunch, songs & books, before nap diaper change, nap/quiet time, outside play, snack, art, clean up, home time... You need a strict schedule when you are looking after other people's kids. It gives them some routine and an understanding of what is going to happen. The after lunch nap/quiet time has always been non negotiable for me. *I* need a small break, even if it's just to eat my own lunch and sit for five. And having friends that have done childcare as well they say the same. 

And why aren't you leaving the house on days you have him? Seriously that would make your day go much faster. But alas, you can't cater to him, he will learn that mom has rules and you have rules and you are allowed to expect him to follow your rules, your food and your schedule :) 

 

This, all of this right here is fabulous advice!!!! 


 
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#10 of 12 Old 09-09-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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Ah jeez, I came to this forum to ask if anyone's had experience watching others' kids while SAHMing....this is not encouraging!

 

OP, I think you've gotten great advice here. Putting her on notice that you're thinking of bowing out is the kind thing to do, and setting a deadline is important for both of you. Remember: Her personal drama is her own, and it's not your problem to solve. If the arrangement were working for you both, great. If not, make that change.


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#11 of 12 Old 09-09-2013, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The mom wasn't opposed to me changing things to fit my day, I was simply having a hard time changing things! I worked for 2 weeks trying to get this kid to take a nap. I tried to crib train him and that didn't work so I tried to lay down with him to get him to sleep. It took a good 30 minutes and then he only slept an hour. It was hard to get my kids to have quiet time when I couldn't get the boy to nap or even just rest watching tv with all of us in the living room for 30 minutes. Also, my 4 1/2 year old is ADHD and we had just gotten to a good place with him and his behavior using behavior modification and essential oils and it all went to shit the 2 weeks we were babysitting because I wasn't focused on him like I should have been. I feel like I am starting all over with him and have been in tears all night. So yeah, I quit on Friday and she already found someone else! Thank god. Told DH I couldn't handle it and he said to go ahead and quit. Whew. Guess were holing up at home and not going anywhere to avoid spending money:)

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#12 of 12 Old 09-09-2013, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh and we couldn't drive anywhere because I drive a beetle and can't fit 3 kids in my car. We could have gone to the park but its been 105 here! I know as the weather got cooler it would have been easier but I couldn't hold out that long. My kids weren't getting what they needed from me :/

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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