AS any Mom of young children will tell you, it’s a tough job but when you’re single you take on the “jobs’ of both the Mom and the Dad.
Need a picture hung? Mom does it.
Grocery shopping? Dinner cooked? Baths?
Homework? Lawn mowed? Garbage out? Kids to soccer? Bike chain fixed? Walls repainted?
It’s all Mom’s work. And I didn’t even mention cleaning.Yikes! Who has time for that??!?
SO, how can a single Mom actually keep her house (semi) organized, running smoothy and have a few minutes to herself?
Here’s some tips:
You need to remember to take time for you. After a hectic day, a 15 minute meditation or a mini power yoga session, a brief bit on the stepper or the treadmill, a bubble bath or anything you can “sneak ” in for YOU to relax and recharge is not just a luxury, but a necessity. This time is the most important in the day to keep you centered and make you a better, calmer Mom when the chaos starts up again.
Got school aged kids? Have them do their homework at the same time, even if it’s in different rooms and you have to run back and forth . I think it teaches them a little independent work and you can get it done and out of the way for the night, rather than spreading them out over an hour or two.
Baths and showers? Put the kids in together if they are still open to it and young enough. You can wash all heads and bodies quicker that way and they have someone to play with. If they’re old enough, you can actually have a few minutes to wash your face, do your nails or any sort of pampering you can get in.
Paper or plastic? While I do use cloth reusable grocery bags, there is something very freeing about using paper plates for dinner occassionally and nor having a big clean up. Do it on the night you don’t feel well or have extra activites so dish washing is one less thing. Older kids? Let them cook some mac and cheese and frozen chicken strips or order a pizza, even if you know it’s not the most nutritious food.
Have the young kids get their own coats, hats, etc. I put hooks in my front closet that are kid friendly and a drawer near the door keeps mittens and hats. When I say READY, even my 2 year old gets his own coat and hat.
Designate chores to the older ones. I think kids of single Moms need to pitch in more than others . It encourages responsibilty and cements their postion in the family. For example, my 8 year old is the official door unlocker when we get home so I can carry my bags or the little guy. The older 2 alternate nights on table setting and drink pouring. They also have to put their laundry away, bring garbage out, close blinds,and keep rooms clean. They bag groceries at the store for me and my daughter puts the food away. Older kids, tweens and teens should be pulling their weight with a complete bevy of things they do to help the house run smoothly.
Designate one night, at least, for pure family fun. We do “popcorm , game and movie night ” on Fridays and it has become a joke since I inevitably am always out of popcorn, we change the name to ” Cookie, game and movie night” Or “soup, game and movie night”, whatever is on hand. We all camp out in the den, play games with a family movie on and I forget about the mess that may lurking out in the kitchen. At least until they are in bed.
We also try to have one weekend day dedicated to a day event: museum, beach, etc. and one for home just vegging out inside or in the pool in the summer.
Yes, a single Mom also has to maintain the pool, map out and drive on all vacations, maintain the car, lug the Christmas tree home, carry the sleeping kids in from the car at midnight and more.
But we do it. With pride and sometimes utter exhaustion.
And always, with much love.