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questioning my resolve to keep grooming... feeling burned-out...

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  • questioning my resolve to keep grooming... feeling burned-out...

    I've been a professional groomer (dogs and cats) for 15 years. I've had my own shop based out of my basement for 8 years. It's always been a low-volume salon, which has been fine, so far. When I'm not grooming, I'm looking after my toddler, and my 6 year old (who is high-functioning autistic), when he gets home from school. I get very little time to myself, and I feel like I'm burning out. I've always loved being a groomer, but it feels like it's losing its luster.

    I should take a vacation, but I feel tied down with the daily routine. Grooming's starting to pick up, and my son's not done with school yet. I can't take a vacay without the kids... my husband also runs a retail shop from home, too, and can't afford to take vacation time either. Finances are (always have been) tight.

    What's been the average number of years other people here have made grooming their career? How did you battle burn-out?

    At this point, I'm wondering if I should see about hiring an experienced groomer to take over for me during the week (I'd still take request grooms), and help bring in more business, so that I can devote myself to being a full-time mom...

    Insights? I took a vacation (with the kids, and my mom) for the first time in at least 4 years last summer. 2 weeks of mix between relaxation and stress... As much as I enjoyed the sun, sand and beach time, 2 weeks was too long to take a vacation with young kids. Even my mom was starting to look forward to heading home! lol

  • #2
    Don't you need the money from the grooming, since you say money is tight?
    Can you get a job outside the home at a salon for part of the day, just to get a break from being home, or is that not a possibility?
    Burnout is a real thing, but if grooming is starting to pick up, isn't this the time to be getting more into it, not less? Then you can make enough to afford a real vacation and maybe hire a child care helper for a couple of hours to allow you some time to pursue a hobby or do sports or something.

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    • #3
      If you hire another groomer there won't be much $ for you leftover and you said money is tight, so that doesn't sound right. If 2 weeks is too long to vacation why not take 3 or 4 day weekends 4 times a year?

      You probably don't get the correct light working in a basement. I would definitely have my Vitamin D levels checked, I AM SERIOUS. When low you are describing the same feelings symptoms. You should purchase one of these or similar... http://www.staples.com/Verilux-Happy...FQaUfgodd4wCOg If you are a Costco member they have models at great prices.

      Make sure your lunch includes 20 minutes of real natural light on your face which stimulates Vit D production. Basements can also collect radon, I would have that checked too. I wish you could have a light airy sunny room to groom in instead of basement. It makes a difference.

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      • #4
        I also have a 6 year old ASD kid. I've thought about grooming from home but I think I'd go out of my mind. I work at a salon (as an employee) among other groomers with kids and family. Work is separate from home life. I need that. When I leave work at the end of the day, I can focus on home and family.




        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          I can see Bluedog's point and if you cannot do that all the time, perhaps you can do your business at home 2 or 3 days a week, but get out and work part time outside.

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          • #6
            Since I am definitely NOT a "kid person", THAT would be the stress point for me! And from reading about the 2 week kiddie "vacation", that may be part of your stress problems as well. You mentioned you always loved grooming in the past (I am sure this is pre kid years), so the combination of trying to handle both all the time is the main problem. As Emma said, since grooming is picking up for the summer, maybe have a slight price increase and hire a child care helper or daycare for the toddler to relieve some of the pressures during the day, then spend the evening with the kiddos and hubby after grooming is finished. For me that would be better than a 24/7 "vacay" with kids that young.

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            • #7
              Brilliant reply! I couldn't agree more!
              thh20, YOU'VE got a lot on your shoulders. Duh, right? Well, sometimes hearing someone else say it to you makes it easier to realize why you feel like you want to pull the covers over your head and disappear for awhile.
              I have 3 kiddos myself, work alone in my own salon 4 days a week, 10-12 hour days, and am a single mom. Plus, my kids are now home schooled. I simply do NOT have time like I used to when they were younger. Mini vay-kays are SO much more doable for moms like us. A two-week getaway is not even in my radar anymore- even though I deserve it (and you likely do as well). In fact, when I was feeling really burnt out, I did take almost a month off. And after a few weeks of feeling refreshed, the old ho-hum vines started growing up around the skip in my step again. So a lengthy vacation isn't necessarily going to fix everything anyway.
              With my schedule, I do have a few times a year when business is slower and I can sneak away on my regular days off (and not lose wages!) while still getting away for a bit. Taking in the world around you outside of your small corner of it is NECESSARY to not going nutz. It is SO easy for us to not prioritize taking care of ourselves, and one of the first side effects of that is business burn out. The more you NEED the work, often the more it feels like drudgery. Taking a break, seeing new things and new faces, and also others doing what they do every day for their lives and their families is a gentle reminder of how fundamental our work is in life; in everybody's life.
              I've totally been burnt out. But I had to get through it and find the sweetness in some small way every day, and to keep at it anyway. Because my family needs me to do this. *I need to do this even if my brain sometimes tells me I'm spinning my wheels. Because I'm not. In fact, if I walked away from grooming for the unknown, it would be foolishly grinding those wheels to an abrupt halt for my family and my clients that need me.
              The only things that helped me was genuinely changing my perspective of things and finding inner gratitude. Some people do end up needing to step away from grooming and make a career change. That could be what you need, or it could be as simple as taking a tiny bit of time for yourself every day in some small way to take inventory of all you already have, all that your work affords you, and how much you are NEEDED in ways that ripple out into the world beyond your doorstep... to remind you of how wonderful you are and how awesome your hard work really is.
              I actually wrote a blog on this. Not sure if it'll help you, but take comfort in knowing you aren't alone.
              http://groomwise.typepad.com/society...ermanence.html
              Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
              www.ChrisSertzel.com

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              • #8
                I have been grooming for (oh my god... Im going to admit this and really show my age...LOL) now about 39 years. Began with a breeder and chose to go the 'pet' route much to my mentors dismay. I will admit I dont have any kids, couldnt have any so I cant relate to that aspect but I can say that I have always taken in the un-adoptable dogs, the special needs ones that require more than people would willingly accept... usually behavioral but many have had serious health issues too. I know it may not sound the same to many but my pets have been my 'kids' of sorts to me as they cannot be boarded or left with anyone else, I have brought many of them to work with me due to severe separation anxiety issues to prevent them causing additional medical issues from the stress if I leave them for even the day and they do NOT get crated - non of them have.
                In this current salon I own in our break room there is a picture on the bulletin board... a ballet dancers feet, one shoe on, the other shoe off and you can see how seriously messed up her feet are with bleeding and broken toes, bandaids and the such... under it it simply states "everyone wants to be successful until they see what it takes" and every day when I deal with employee issues, client issues, equipment issues, strip mall management issues, my own health issues etc... I look at that picture and go yea, I get it.
                Choice is this - work for yourself and accept the responsibilities but have choices or work for someone else for a percentage and they tell you what to do... Ive been on both sides, for now? Im choosing to be on this side, in the past... Ive chosen the other
                Id recommend taking a moment, sitting down with a piece of paper... put a line down the middle & on one side put positive for this choice, one the other - positive the for that choice and see what you come up with... like it or not you have the answers it is just hard to see things when your in the middle of it all... we are a strong bunch to do what we do !

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