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Help me! CM What did you do today?

(19 Posts)
SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 17:49:21

I feel like I am failing. My kids and parents seem happy, however, I have a full timetable of activities but never seem to 'do' anything at home with the mindees. I feel like my house is constantly a mess with no 'good' child areas, all mediocre. I always feel like i need more storage space, although I have a playroom with plenty of boxes etc. I never have enough time for dh or dd, only ever get time to properly clean the downstairs of the house as that is where the mindees are allowed, never ever get 'me' time. I start at 7.30 in the morning, and after I sit doing paperwork etc, usually dont finish until 9 ish, its getting me down sad. I pick up a copy of who minds, and there are perfect cm with perfect houses who get grants to lay a patio wth a cover so they can use it all year hmm PLEASE tell me I am not the only one who feels down sometimes? And please can the cm tell me what activities they did today to give me some more ideas (my head hurts) i have dd who is 4, and 2 other mindees under 2, will be having 3 mindees under 2.2 come september and need to get home activities sorted for then, help greatly appreciated. SOrry for the extra long post.

No such thing as the perfect cm - and if their house is tidy then they aren't doing their job properly wink. I thought that when Who Minds landed on the doorstep today........

Haven't had mindees today, but in the summer we do 'variations on a theme' - instead of just paddling pool [ after risk assessment lol] - I put bubbles in it and we explore what you can do with them, including what happens when you put soap on the bubbles.

Gloop - all kids love the fascination of that, and I still can't figure out how it works myself.

Know how you feel - that's what made me get a job, though am keeping youngest mindee on 2 afternoons a week to pay for my own ds cm. I look around my house - can't call it a home at the moment - and can't wait to get rid of the posters, and other stuff. Have even persuaded playgroup leader where I will be working that she really, really wants all of my 'stuff' that I won't need any more grin.

Sorry never got the chance to meet up yet- will be going to Sealife Centre next week sometime if you fancy it. Just let me know....

Keep yr chin up........... smile

southernbelle77 Mon 03-Aug-09 18:08:09

Yes, I know how you feel. Although our house is a decent size, it's not massive and I feel like it's taken over my cm'ing. I am looking forward to maternity leave just so I can put some of the toys and equipment away for a while.

As for activities - today, when we have been in we haven't actually done too much. We did some colouring (dd, 5 and mindee, 2) while baby mindee was asleep. We then had some water play in the garden as well as general playing in the garden. Other than that they have just played together!

mumsanutter Mon 03-Aug-09 18:14:46


No such thing as a perfect childminder - you look around my house and there are toys everywhere - even where they shouldn't be!!! I try to tidy as the children leave ie baby goes - the bouncy chair, play arch etc get put away, older children, well just before they go we all tidy up. This sounds ideal but as I have 4 of my own, as soon as the house is tidy after minding then mine get something (the lot grin) back out and so I start again. As for my diaries, they are all open in front of the tv in my lounge and I have been updating as the day goes! (First time for everything smile, its usually a scramble to get them filled in before the mindees leave and then more time spent in the evening doing mine! sad)

What I did today was - I had a craft and outdoor play day! I brought a load of different crafts from Baker Ross and had all the doors open, so the children basically decided how today went.

moshie Mon 03-Aug-09 18:15:09

The fact that the children and parents are happy with you says that you are doing a good job. It's easy to get downhearted when you think somebody's got more resources than you, but at the end of the day it's your home.
Would it be possible to do small amounts of paperwork throughout the day while the children are playing?
As for housework, does DH help at all, otherwise I would think about getting a cleaner.

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 18:21:27

hey Underpaid, yes I saw you took that job, good for you hun smile I feel myself edging that way too when dd gets settled in school. Have sealife trip planned Wed 26th. Bear me in mind if you are selling stuff though hun. I think my issue MAY be 1 of my mindees who is getting me down tbh, I so desperately dont want to give up on the behaviour issues we have with him, but its affecting everything. Think I need to get outside more, dont have a garden, but do have a decked area with sand and water, gloop sounds good too smile keep ideas coming.

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 18:24:17

I find it difficult to do crafts because of the ages, but i suppose thats really what i want to do, dd loves junk modeling, but i tell her she cant do it when mindees are here blush. WHat are ideal crafts to do with a 1yo and a 2yo? or 2 2yo?

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 18:28:34

moshie, I have started to get my shopping delivered during the day (had it at 12pm today) and i feel like i should be telling the parents blush but i just dont have time to do shopping too (was ordered at 10pm last night) I do think i need to get a grip and try and get bits of paperwork done during the day, i hae my laptop and printer upstairs at the mo and think i need to try and sort out bringing it and storing in the toyroom, to use when mindees are sleeping. No DH doesnt do anything, but then he leaves the house at 8am and doesnt get back till 8pm, so he doesnt exactly get time either sad and you're right, we have already discussed a cleaner, but by the time I have paid a cleaner for a few hours a week, I may as well not be doing the extra hours really, hmmm i dont know...

coral Mon 03-Aug-09 18:54:01

Usually lurk and don't post much here but have been a cm for over 10 years - my house is completely overrun with toys and I am never ever on top of paperwork! I think the trick is to try and find an activity which can be adapted for lots of different ages - I find that under 2's don't lend well to formal "crafts" so to speak as you just end doing it for them - they need to have materials to explore which don't have a specific end purpose.

Let your dd do junk modelling - whilst she is doing that give the little ones a pile of "junk" to explore, add some dried pasta and some spoons so they can practice putting it in and out of pots and boxes or, if they are good about not putting things in their mouths - pom poms are great. Small balls are fun to add too if you have some cardboard tubes amongst your junk. Just let them get on with it and they will be happy exploring.

Another cheap fun activity if you don't mind a mess to sweep up is to put lots of dried rice, pasta, lentils etc in a big bowl with lots of pots and spoon and let them happily scoop away. Dry empty water bottles are fun to include as it is very tricky to spoon stuff into a small neck but the little ones I have will try very hard to do this! Add tweezers for older children or chop sticks.

Try cooking some spaghetti and let it cool - add a little bit of oil and just let the little ones play with it. Your dd could try adding some paint instead of the oil, mixing it around and dropping it onto paper to make some fantastic pictures - if your brave get them all to use paint and put a big piece of paper down outside.

Get a big box, add lots of shredded paper (I am very tempted to shred the EYFS guidance for this!) and hide things in it - did this the other day and one of my mindees just loved piling the shredded paper on his head and looking at his reflection in the mirror and shaking it all off - kept him amused for ages!

Get some sticky back plastic and spread it out on a low table, sticky side up - get lots of different bits and pieces for the little ones to "stick" on - feathers, wool, tissue paper etc and let them loose - cover the finished article with another piece of sticky back plastic and you have a fantastic piece of art to put up on your window.

Hope this helps! Coral

stomp Mon 03-Aug-09 19:10:46

sillymillysmummy today my planning consisted of bubbles in the garden. I have 2 under two (11mths, 20mths)so its really following their lead; lots of stories, bursts of playing with one thing before moving onto the next, sleeps, meals and bottle feeds, that’s all we’ve had time for today and dashing round the garden. I think you are being too hard on yourself, my playroom looks like a bomb has gone off but the lo are happy. oh and I spend far too much time on paperwork too, quiet moments in the day, evenings and weekends….but its part of the job but a pain . try foam, painting in the garden, trays of water (in the garden) playdough, gloop....umm thats all my frazzled brain can come up with at the mo

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 19:11:24

Coral, I love the sticky back plastic idea, I wanted something like that to put at my windows anyway smile

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 19:14:55

Thanks stomp, its nice to hear people saying that crafts are difficult with littlies, I feel like all other childminders are doing crafts, but then they probably have older dc. I have 1 activity per day planned throughout the holidays, all out of house activities, maybe I am pushing it a bit hmm I feel like if I dont 'do' something then i havent 'done' anything iykwim

Coral - hahaha at shredding the EYFS Guidance grin. Sticky back plastic idea fab - might do that tomorrow.

Silly, have pencilled in 26th for Sealife - only have ds and 2yr old mindee that day, will join you for support if you

You are welcome to ANYTHING I have at the moment [lol]. DS can't wait to get his playroom back for his toys....... and then it'll be xmas sad. When nvq assessor last came out, she was convinced I was trying to get out of decorating by covering the walls with posters and reward charts grin

Silly, remember that EYFS is supposed to be 'child-led' - my inspector wasn't bothered I didn't have plans in place for each day, as long as I was showing how I help each child meet their learning and development goals. I really, really think we are all trying too hard since bloody eyfs came in. I have a 'theme' for each month then I 'wing it' each day. If children don't want to do what I 'have in mind' then I let them have free play - which is equally important, as it allows them 'choice' and promotes independence - omg, have officially become an eyfs freak blush

stomp Mon 03-Aug-09 19:31:08

sticky backed plastic- fantastic idea.....but i have visions of lo's getting stuck too and ending up As the display grin

atworknotworking Mon 03-Aug-09 20:17:52

sillymilly its hard to get some little ones interested in craft stuff, some of ours like to play with the junk boxes I just tip them out onto the floor and they dive in them and make towers, try to fit them together etc, I've found with the LO's that cat litter trays filled with runny jelly, gloop, beans, spaghetti, soil etc with toys hidden in keeps them entertained for a good while, some of ours at about 13 - 16mth ish like a pot of pva glue and a spreader, and they spread lots of glue onto paper and i give them glitter sprinklers, tissue paper to stick on they seem to handle this very well. Also they like a little bucket of water and some paint brushes to paint on walls / floor outside, or big chunky chalks outside, I tend to concentrate on getting the smaller ones used to textures and getting their hands messy rather than producing an end result, that comes naturally it's all about exploring i think at this age.

coral love the sticky plastic idea, will definately do that one.

HSMM Mon 03-Aug-09 20:41:34

Running around the garden screaming to wake the neighbours
Chucking paint around
Building dens and then not letting anyone else in
Ejecting grumpy DD from the house to a friend
Getting each other soaked with the water play

Oh ... and we ate

And other stuff which made the house a mess, but we had fun.

SillyMillysMummy Mon 03-Aug-09 21:09:35

you see, you lot are all doing 'nothing' but doing loads smile I need to rethink i reckon hmm

thebody Mon 03-Aug-09 21:52:17

To hard on yourself i think SILLYMILLY.

If the kids are happy whats the big deal.. fun and play werent invented by EYFS professionals..

Today we played with the toy garage and cars and made tunnels with the big books,went to the park to feed the ducks and played sleepy lions, had story time and song time.

fitted in some painting,napping and eating... just what I did with my own older kids 20 years ago.. and I didnt have a manuel then or link every action with a learning journey..

'who minds' gets on my tits anyway as much as Granny Murrey..

be good to yourself,.. you are working a long day.have a large glass and bubbly bath.. hugs

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