Momlife is crazy. There are some days I just want to throw my hands up and say "whatever." I mean, I don't, because there is a long list of crap that needs done and I am not about to sacrifice my alone time to do it all. I have definitely been told I have OCD and that I put too much emphasis on making sure I live an orderly life, but I don't (and my child doesn't) thrive in chaos. As a single mom, sometimes I get mired down in the minutiae and I find myself overwhelmed. I don't have a partner to turn to and say," you do X Y Z and I'll take a shower." That's not my reality. It may not be your reality either. I just thought that I would share some ways I try to manage all of the little things in an enormous effort to keep my own sanity on the daily.
1. Keep a tight schedule. Plan, plan and replan the week. Keep a routine during the day (which you're probably doing anyways, but trust...routine with kids is KEY to survival.) Also, I keep an updated calendar, not only for myself but I make everyone who is involved in our life contribute their stuff to the calendar too...including but not limited to Grandma, babysitters, B's Dad, even B's Dad's girlfriend! This makes it easier for me to be able to reach out for help when I need some. Every detail is in there. Soccer, school, curriculum nights, reading days for kiddos class, birthday parties, possible evening events you'll need a sitter for and more can be divided up (if possible) but also remember this: YOU CAN'T DO IT ALL. Sometimes you're going to have to say NO. It's ok. If it works for your schedule, go for it. If not, send a polite text declining the invite to the said event and move on with your life. It's busy enough.
2. Keep the house straightened up. I try to get my son to help out where he can. Night time is the best time to get this done. You'll see that starting the day with the house in order will keep things organized. I put my dishwasher on the delay setting so that it washed the load of dishes overnight. Pack lunches for the next day, lay out school clothes and check backpacks during bath-time if at all possible. Pick up toys and put them away and HAVE YOUR CHILD HELP! We have started a three toy rule at my house and it's working out pretty good. I told him he can have 3 toys out at a time, but after that we have to put some away. After bath-time wipe down the bathroom. Gather all laundry every night and sort. I do a load a day and I know that sounds insane but it helps me from keeping the mountains from forming and small loads are easier to fold and put away than larger ones. I do my BIG clean every Friday. Weekends should be spent having fun! The key here is to stay on top of things and don't let the house get crazy...ever! If you're a slob and you know it...it's time to change your ways, like NOW. Trust.
3. Have a support system. I have a babysitter, baby daddy and my mom to help when I need it. It's totally worth it. If you don't have those people, I get it, I really do. BUT it's paramount that you find people in your life to become your "village." Seek out and find other moms, aunties, best friends...shit...hire help if you need to, but get some help for yourself and your child.
4. Declutter, and I ain't talkin' about the cupboards. It's time to re-evaluate your life, sister. Are you spreading yourself too thin? Maybe! Big stuff, little stuff...it all makes a difference. Personally, I decided to give up dating. It takes up more time than I want to be away from my own life and my child. I totally understand that this isn't for everyone, but for me it was cluttering up my life. I also decline most events these days unless it's an opportunity for growth and connections with people who make my life more rewarding! Think quality...not quantity. You may find yourself spending too much time on friend/family drama, social media bullshit, work squabbles, and the like as yourself "Why?" For what reason? Stand back from it for a week and really ask yourself if the people in your life are adding to your crazy or if they're truly around to support you as a parent and a person. I have had to get rid of a lot of relationships in my life, and it's very sad and can be lonely at times, but I know that piling on the baggage will get me nowhere.
5. You do you. Lately I have seen so many ways that social media is allowing moms (particularly single mothers) to be pitted against each other in some war for perfection. No! Stop! Be open to positive changes to allow some light into your very stressful life, but don't think we all have to be Super Mom! It's setting yourself up on for failure. Don't waste your time thinking that you can be soccer mom/room mom/ working mom/ crafty mom...or whatever. Real talk: I don't do ANY of that shit!! I only do what I know I can commit to and execute wholeheartedly. Seriously, I hate to admit how uninvolved I am sometimes, because I know it sounds a bit lazy, but I can only do so much and a lot of my time is focused elsewhere. Being selfish sometimes isn't a bad thing...it means you're HUMAN!
You got this, Momma...