Monday, June 11, 2007

9 Tips to Easier Single Parenting

The reality is being a single mom or dad is a tough job. Trying to juggle the roles of two parents each day can be exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming.

Getting organized is one way to minimize the amount of work and run a more streamlined, calmer household. Try some of the tips listed below and before you know it you will be less stressed, more focused and able to spend more quality time with your kids!

• Time your phone calls. How many times have you spent hours chatting on the phone, only to hang up and realize that you don’t have time to do what you wanted to do? Set a timer by the phone. When it rings, politely tell the caller that you must hang up. You feel more in control and have more time to accomplish your goals.

• Clean out your kids’ book bags once a week. Take school notices and put them in a folder. At that moment go through the folder and throw out anything that does not need to be answered. Take action on all the other letters and write those checks to the PTA and book club now before you forget!

• Set your kids' clothes out every night for school the next day.If you have very young children you can save time by dressing them in their school clothes after the evening bath and letting them sleep in them. The clothes will be clean, although maybe a little wrinkled, and you can head out the door that much faster.

• Review your schedule every morning and evening. Make modifications for things that may come up unexpectedly.

• Schedule a specific time to answer your email.

• Clean your house and do laundry every day, instead of once a week. It is much easier to throw a load of laundry in while watching TV in the evening than to be overwhelmed with tons of it on the weekend. Assign a cleaning task each day, such as: Monday, bathrooms, Tuesday, vacuum, Thursday, kitchen, etc. By breaking down the big tasks you will be less overwhelmed and your house will be a lot cleaner!

Give those kids some chores! Even a young child can help fold laundry and clear the dinner dishes from the table. Have your family help out; after all they live there too!

•Be ruthless with your time! Try scheduling one hour a day for focus time: your time to decide on what is important to you.

•And remember to reward yourself. It can be anything, big or small, that refreshes you and that you enjoy.

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