Mr D is away for 3 weeks. I’m a single parent. If you’ve got kids, or you’ve ever had to look after someone else’s on your own, it’s a tough gig.My biggest battle is disciplining my kids on my own 24/7. They wear me down, they know I’m solo & that I’m likely to crack at any minute! My nearly 4 year old is particularly good at pushing my buttons around bath time each night. Oaks (7 going on 17) pointedly asked last night “why isn’t the D-Man frightened of you like he is Daddy?” Good question my love, good question! So, I’ve been looking for help to make the next two weeks easier. What I’ve established is that I need to be super organised. So here’s some things I’ve come up with that might help you too!
Dinner Twist – wow how this helps me! Once a fortnight, four meals delivered to my door. A recipe book & a box full of goodness. Having these meals planned for me means less time staring at the freezer in the morning trying to figure out what to cook that night & one less trip to the supermarket to buy ingredients that I need. One less night of take away too!
Take Away – which brings me to this dinner option. Use it! If I’m run ragged after school pick ups, swimming lessons & tired kids, why not grab some sushi on the way home? It’s a treat & everyone eats their dinner which makes me a happy Mummy! Did I mention no dishes – bonus right?
Dishes – hmmm, these things seem to run quite nicely one into another. Leave them. I’ve realised that there are sometimes more important things to do than the dishes. They can wait. Cover them up with a tea towel so you don’t have to see them if necessary!!
Play Dates – at your place or theirs! Hit up your friends to have your kids one arvo after school so you can finish the shopping without running to that 3pm deadline! They will always understand your situation & I’m sure be happy for you to repay the favour for them some time! Or have a play date at your place – make a huge plate of afternoon tea, then send them outside to play – you can work on the computer or put your feet up without interruption! (maybe!)
Bonus Points – Oaks, my 7 year old daughter is all about cold hard cash at the moment & what she can buy with it. So I’ve made it clear that the more she helps me out, the more bonus points she gets on her chart – which equals in her eyes, more Shopkin cash!! She’s old enough to take on a few extra jobs, dusting the skirting boards & tidying up the bookshelves this week, than she normally does, which frees up more of my time too.
Schedule – you may already have one, but mine wasn’t as detailed as it needed to be. The outline of where people needed to be & at what time & date on the family calender wasn’t cutting it. I needed to break it down into half hour blocks each day. This now means while Mr D is away I know exactly what I need to do & when I have given myself time to do it. No more sneaking off to wander around Ikea instead of getting my exercise, or trawling through emails instead of writing blog posts!! I will TRY & keep this system happening even when he gets back.
Pick Your Battles – oh yeah. Screaming child throwing toys off the shelves in his bedroom refusing to have a bath, while the other is pleading from the bedroom door to help her with her school reading? I leave the screaming one to play in his bedroom while I get the reading done. Screamer ends up playing on his own quietly, the bath can wait. So can your sanity!
I’ve come across some great posts that have really helped/inspired me over the last week or so, thought you might enjoy them too!
When You are Tightly Wound – I love Kate, feel like I know her! She’s an awesome chick! Just read this & try not to nod in agreement!
Michelle Williams Talks About Raising Matilda Solo – and comes off oh so relatable! And that style, I die!
Menu Planning for a Month – I got to hear Nicole from Planning with Kids at a blogging do a few weeks back & she is an inspiring lady! Check out her page, she has ideas galore that she actually uses to manage her own 5 kids!!
30 Kid Friendly Dinners That Won’t End Up on the Floor – tell me more, tell me more!!
Tips for Managing While Your Partner is Away – S&S makes me feel calmer just reading this!
How do you cope with the day to day grind that life can become? Do you have some awesome scheduling tips to share? Or some fool proof on the go meals? I’d love to hear your suggestions!