Good Afternoon! This topic is very important in order to keep your sanity in this process of being a single parent. There is plenty of room for flexibility and if a task cannot get done that day, it can move to another day, very fluid. Just like dieting, if you eat the bag off cookies today, you have to work out harder tomorrow. Same concept, if you plan something for a certain day, and you cannot or choose not to do it, than you have to pick another day to do it.
Routines… I am a firm believer that routines kept Olivia and I safe when we lived 500 miles from our closest family, living on only my income, and dealing with all that the world threw at us. Saturdays and Sundays were key to keeping the week stress free with working, Olivia’s events, church and whatever else we wanted to do. We agreed (now mind you she was still very young, about 6-12 when we lived in Northern Virginia) that if we skipped a task that we needed to do around the house or whatever, that we would do it another day, we determined the other day and stuck to it.
How our routine worked:
Saturday was for cleaning, we cleaned the house in the morning she cleaned up her room mostly and helped me out dishes away and put her clothes away, small tasks she could do at whatever age she was, until she got a bit older and could do more. Once the cleaning was done, we did something fun—a movie, shopping, going into DC for the day on the train, or her having friends over, or we just snuggled and watched TV and ate something yummy. That was my personal favorite, and I think hers too.
Sunday: 9am Church, after church and bible study, we went somewhere and got a quick bite to eat, then to Aldi for what we needed there, Wegmans for what we needed there, and then to Sam’s for two Rotisserie chickens for the week. I will talk about that in our diet blog. While at Sam’s we got our gas for the week, and then home to meal prep for the entire week. Once all that was done, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching a movie, going for a picnic, walk, or just playing a game. The week was prepped we had gas, we had food, and we had a PLAN!!!! There was nothing that could sneak up on us, we had food, gas, shelter, and each other. Safety in an uncertain world. She knew we were safe, she knew we had what we needed. It was fun for us, we planned our meals while we had breakfast, looked for fun new recipes on Pinterest, and we determined what worked for us. We were and still are a TEAM!
Children will have school events, after school activities, chores, homework, and they require a good amount of down time as well. I found that the schedules that Olivia and I have had have been a life saver. The schedules are usually set for a while, but they can be fluid as well out of necessity because this month it may be dance that attracts them, next month it is karate. Keeping a schedule is as important as keeping your home organized, and this does not take a genius to do. You make time slots for the things that are important to you, your children, and your outside family and obligations.
I found a fantastic planner on Amazon that I stuck with for years. It is spiral bound, medium sized, not heavy and has many uses. The company that makes it is called “mom do-it-all plannerthe planner is by Orange Circle. One year they have a mom and her daughter and one year they have a mom and her son. It is very cute and practical, slots for bills, a note section, stickers for different events, grocery lists that you can tear out, and about 5 rows that you can name for whatever you need. How I used it was similar to the below: Each week was two pages in the spiral book so visualize it, as an open notebook.
You can choose what you use the rows for, we loved our church so I had a row for that, I also put the meals on here most of the time under my row. If not, it was on the refrigerator at home anyway, and since we had meal prepped on Sunday it was already done.
The structure allowed for us to not miss anything and to know if there is a conflict up front before it became an issue. I was going to school, being a single mom, and developing a young lady into someone who was active and social. Those things were important to me, that she was social and had friends that she could see, and they liked coming to our house was also important to me. I also had/ have a very demanding career so that is another area where schedules are important. Blocking time off to do homework during the week showed Olivia I had dedication to school and that I was not slacking on it, that it was important to me. Having time for her to go to Kumon (Japanese style learning center), or swimming was important for her development so it was important enough for the schedule.
Scheduling will lead to routines, which will eventually lead to just everything happening second nature. This is one of those things that you will thank yourself for later….. I promise.
Next blog will be about the beloved CHORE CHART!
How to keep your little one on track in the morning—to make sure they brush their teeth to getting dressed to even making their bed. Trust me… it is possible.
Dave Ramsey says “we do not pay our children or provide them allowances, we pay them commissions for work completed.” Stay tuned to learn more about the Chore chart!
Thank you for reading,
Much love Savvy Single Mom’s