Childcare Chronicles

Ruby and I are trying to make the adjustments with childcare.  It’s been harder than I imagined.  If you’ve been reading the blog you know that I’ve sent the three year olds off to preschool and the school agers off  to school.  I am left with little kids-all from two to 6 months.


Four of the six have some type of part time schedule-only two are full time.  Well I didn’t think I would have all six at once very often….maybe once a week…well that’s not how it turned out.  I had six kids here more times than not.  It was not fun.  One day the kids took turns crying and honestly at least one and occasionally two kids were crying all day.  YUCK!  That’s not fun for them and it’s not fun for me either.  In no way is that the quality childcare I strive to provide.

I debated and debated.  I blamed it on sick kids….I blamed it on new kids….I blamed it on me needing to know the kids all better..I blamed it on the kids’ ages but the bottom line is this.  It’s too many kids for me to take care of on my own.  I can’t do it.

I am just sick about it but I had to tell one family that I can’t provide care for them and they would need to find alternate care.  It’s not what I wanted to do but I wasn’t happy at my job anymore.  It was so bad that one day the mail lady dropped off a package in the garage along with the mail and I grabbed the newspaper to look for a different job….anything to not be a house with screaming kiddos.  I was feeling so inadequate.  I was feeling like I was betraying the reason I wanted to care….I wanted to provide QUALITY care.

Childcare in our area is VERY hard to find.  As far as I know, I am the only provider in our town of 250 people.  In the surrounding towns there is typically only one provider too.  I hated to have any of my parents having to go out and look for care but that is what kept me trying…but I’m not trying anymore.  It’s too much!

Friday of last week I finally got the kids out in the stroller.  I had a more manageable bunch.  It was SO refreshing!  I missed this so much.


Over the summer I had lots of extra school kids so we didn’t get out with the stroller much then either.

The kids had a nice time out and about.  One of their favorite things to do is to run their hand along the cement rail of the bridge as we walk across.  Here they are doing just that.  See?

I love catching firsts with them.  The little girl in the front stuck her hand out to touch the cement and then Carver who is sitting in the back did too.  Even simple firsts like this, I love to see.  It’s what feeds my love of childcare.  I can’t see these things if I have too many kids.

I DO love being a childcare provider but only when I can I do a combination of grandma care and educational care.  What I was doing when the house had six little childcare kids in it was neither of those things.  It was an attempt at meeting basic needs and not much more…

I’ll admit from time to time I’ve thought and considered getting a different job….but there just isn’t a better fit for me that I can imagine.  But even more than that, I want this guy, my grandson Carver, to have quality childcare.  He can’t have that if I overload my house with too many kiddos.  Sometimes even choices that are right are painful.  Letting this family go was exactly that….painful.

I’m so thankful I had a day with only a few kids to remind me why I do childcare.  It’s to see the smiles.  It’s to encourage them to meet their next milestones.  It’s to provide a safe and happy place for them to be when mom and dad are working.

I can’t put into words both the anguish and joy I’ve been through these past two weeks….Anguish to see a family go and joy to be renewed in my career again.

13 thoughts on “Childcare Chronicles”

  1. Jo- you are so honest!
    Remember to take care of yourself first.
    I am getting better at taking time off for
    Myself – we all need this.
    There is a limit and I have set time also to
    Have time for our grands- which is why
    We are in this profession.
    You are great in early childhood

  2. Good decision. Any of us would be overwhelmed with 6 children, 2-6 month old. Best for you and them to make other arrangements. No body likes change, even when it is the best for them. Take care.

  3. Jo, thank you for taking care of yourself. You do so much for so many and it’s easy to see how you could get caught up in doing too much. I can understand what you’re going through. As a stay-at-home mom, I was the first person anyone called when they needed something, anything. I was volunteering in the school several days a week and people wanted me to join committees, provide before and after school care, and so many other things. It gets to be too much and takes away from family. I had to learn that it’s okay to say no. Reading your post about the shirts blew my mind! I can’t believe anyone would ever ask you to buy their shirts, and then to be so picky about it!

    Keep taking care of yourself, so you can be there for Carver and any other little ones who come along!

  4. You did a difficult thing but a wise decision be proud of your self. You could not continue on as you were no one would win that way. Take care of your self. Best regards from the West coast of Canada.

  5. Sounds like you made a sensible decision to look after one less small child and to free yourself to be able to focus on the rest, including your grandson. Hopefully the children will settle into a routine and the crying will stop. Happy all round.

  6. Jo, think of this time as helping other families to have new experiences in their lives too.

    Yes, at first glance those new opportunities might look like problems, but that’s when we find out that we can do more than we ever thought we could–even if it’s just for a short time.
    You’ve done that, and now it’s time for a break from the challenges so that you get to find the enjoyment in childcare that had gone missing. Well done!

  7. Bravo for your decision! I’m sure it has helped to blog about it as well. We have to take care of ourselves because at the end of the day it’s all we got…ourselves! And then we can be extra good at taking care of others!! Take care!

  8. Please look at to learn what has happened to a quilt guild in Katy, Texas. Maybe you could post this. It would be so helpful.
    Thank you.
    I read you daily and love keeping up with your family, day care and quilting.

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