When you’re a single parent it is doubly hard to get a balance between work and home. The two kinda blend into one. I can remember for many years life just mushed into one long day with no definition from work and home. When I was at home I was stressing about work and when at work I was stressing about how such an awful mess I was making of the parenting thing. I felt like I was failing at both.
So with that beautiful thing called hindsight, this is what I wish I had learned sooner.
First, stop beating yourself up. No one stopped to say this to me or to just say that I was doing fine. I so wish they had, it would have meant a lot to me and made a hell of a difference to my sanity. So stop making it harder for yourself by being negative about what how your managing.
Tip 1 – Have a routine. Yes, I know yet another flipping list thing for you to follow and somehow remember to tick off each day. I can’t remember what I did yesterday let alone what I am supposed to do every day. Get a routine figured out, get the kids on board and it will soon become second nature.
Maybe getting packed lunches ready in the evening with the kids in charge of will work for you? Or maybe you prefer to put your washing machine on at night if so get the kids loading it and unloading it in the morning.
Once you have been doing the routine for while it does become easier as chores become habits.
Tip 2 – Have a way of recording appointments. I use to constantly fret about missed appointments. Had I missed one, which child had to go where? I have checked with work its ok to leave 5 minutes early. A paper diary is what works for me. Soon as an appointment comes in I put it in the diary. You can then add notes as you organize things like work off.
Whichever system works for you and you go with treat it as if it is the holy grail and carry it with you at all times.
Tip 3 – Be wherever you are. So if you’re at home be all there and cherish your family time and leave work at work. Same too for when you are at work. Be all there and be at work. Only sort family stuff at home and only don’t take work home with you. Your bosses, fellow employees, and family will appreciate it too.
Tip 4 – Lastly doesn’t be afraid to change anything that isn’t working for you. My change was a tad drastic by leaving full-time employment and going self-employed because that was what I needed to do to make it work for me.