As a provider, you might not be surprised of what people think of your job. It may or may not surprise you to know that most people think it’s sitting around playing with kids all day. Now that impression can be from a parent’s point of view or even your own spouse. Most people don’t think your job is really a job. Or at the very least it is not a hard job. So today I want to encourage you by explaining why you should take that ME time you truly need and deserve.
Why You Need ME Time
Last updated: February 28, 2017
Know You Work Hard
I have to admit when I started the childcare I was probably one of those people. I had no real anticipation of how much work being a child care provider really was. I’m even embarrassed to mention that I just recently put myself on my weekly work schedule. I did this to see just how many hours I actually work in a week.
Well, you might be surprised (as I was) to know that I’m actually clocking over 50 hours each week working in my childcare. Mind you, that is just with the kids. That doesn’t include shopping for groceries and supplies. Nor does it include cleaning or paperwork or marketing. It doesn’t include writing ads or calling interested parents. It doesn’t include doing laundry. Get the picture?
So if I had to guess I would guess I’m really getting close to about 60-70 hours in a week that I devote to some activity related to my child care business. Oh, and did I forget to mention having to deal with the often combative parents, the more than occasional ill-mannered kid, the consistently crying babies and the less than accessible and (even less helpful) licensing analyst? Yeah, that’s worth a mention.
We providers do a lot!
Appreciate Your Time
I put myself on schedule to not only recognize the hours that I worked at my child care but in fact to appreciate how many hours I really put in. It really was an exercise in time management. Not so much of working hours but in off work hours. Let me explain.
(Que The Twilight Zone theme – That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Burnout Zone!)
A caretaker had better take care of themselves.
Providers Wear Many Hats
The fact of the matter is we wear several hats as a child care provider/owner. We are the director of our program, employer of our assistant, marketing director, cook, janitor, nurse, receptionist, customer service, counselor, and therapist. Now no one would put on TEN hats at once.
That would look funny right?
The reality is, for a provider, the quickest way to burn out is wearing all your hats at the same time. Let’s try and side-step the burnout, by taking time out for ourselves. It may be hard at first but you simply must find time to destress and relax every week.
Providers should give themselves a timeout!
Try to schedule time away from the childcare. I want to encourage you to take some time off. Since we work where we live, for most of us that means leaving our own homes. Even if it’s just once a week, get out of the house. It will do wonders to clear your mind.
Because you give so much to others, you need ME time!
Ok, now that you’re out of the house to do something you want to do. Go get a coffee, walk around the park or around your neighborhood. Do something that lets you escape the rigors of your job. If you can, splurge on a spa massage. If that’s not in the budget maybe start with a manicure and a pedicure.
The goal is to do something that pampers you so that you can refuel, relax and be able to cater to others next week. Ok, now rinse and repeat!
Try to get into the habit of a de-stress routine every week!
SupermanWonderwoman gets to take her cape off sometimes!