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Please tell me how to be an organised single/student nurse/mum?..

(21 Posts)
sparkle00 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:13:23

I'm exhausted all of the time.
Please tell me how you stay focused and organised and happy.
This is my life if you could help me organise it? I would be most grateful. I can't seem to do it. I keep slipping and then becoming low in mood and drinking way too much wine which then I beat myself up.
I study and work. I have weight to lose. My dc's have clubs to go to. Uni work to complete. My daughter has weight to lose. I have appointmens to go to. My mum is poorly. My ex doesn't co parent. I have no friends.
I have joined the gym and weight watchers.
I don't know how to fit everything in?
I'm exhausted.
Every day seems too much.
How much do you drink? Exercise? Cook from scratch? Socialise? Clean your bathroom?

Rainybo Tue 28-Mar-17 20:20:26

I've been a student nurse and a single parent, although at different times. Both are tough, both together would be such hard going.

I think you need to firstly stop being so hard on yourself. Right now I tick the single parent and working full time boxes. How much do I drink? Too much. Exercise - never, running around all the time is enough to wear me out. Socialise - rarely and usually a date with my partner. Cook from scratch - at the weekend, more than I need and then freeze some portions. Clean the bathroom- well....when I can't stand it anymore.

You can't do everything. Give yourself a break. You're doing a great job and there are tons of us muddling through too. flowers

sailinggirl1780 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:27:48

I muddle through too!! Just about. Full time job and very sporty teen who has constantly got school commitments or club commitments. No lie in as sport every sat and sun. The housework is last on the list. I make lists, cook healthy sometimes and don't beat myself up if I have to delve into the freezer a few days a week.
Plan your time and don't forget to get decent sleep. I drink rarely as that means I write off anything the next day as I just don't sleep with alcohol in me.
I'm a single mum and DC doesn't go to dads so everything is down to me. I class getting by as doing fantastically (on a good day) and beat myself up for failure on others!!! Sounds like your doing an amazing job, so give yourself a break.
Sorry I don't have much practical advice, lists are great!!

Sunny20 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:30:38

Fellow student nurse here too, although I'm not a single parent my other half works away. Don't have many tips as I too just kind of muddle through and hope for the best! Lunch is usually last nights Dinner and I try to cook quick meals such as jacket potatoes, stir fry or freeze meals that have previously been cooked. Yes I probably drink too much too! Zero exercise, although I am on my feet 12.5 hours on my feet all day. Don't be too hard on yourself, it won't be like this forever! Or atleast that's what I keep telling myself flowers

Teabay Tue 28-Mar-17 20:33:22

How old are your DC? I made some school run plans - mine are 6 & 10.
1. Before they go to bed they MUST lay out the uniform for the morning, socks and all. Then I know what's not clean, needs ironing or needs finding hmm. If they don't tell me the night before they don't have it. 10p pocket money awarded.
2. One night a week my 10yo makes tea. We LIKE ham cobs and Hula hoops.
3. I lay breakfast pots and cereal boxes out b4 bed - THEY clear the morning table and rinse dishes or no-one leaves the house. 10p each if all is done and we leave on time. Someone moaning and lost a shoe? 10p not paid!!
4. Frozen veg / bread / milk is the future. I add frozen peas & sweetcorn to EVERYTHING!!
5. I started a WhatsApp group with a couple of parents from each DC class. Now I can send a late night "Red nose day wtf?!? Uniform or red clothes??" type texts which someone will answer. Yesterday I got a photo of a letter youngest kid had lost - priceless x

You can do it - good luck flowers

marmitegirl01 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:42:56

Keep going. It's all you can do. Some days are better than others. It gets easier too. Mine are 10& 13 and it's SO much easier. I get them to help out now as well, one job each evening. Plus we have a study club thing going on too. We all sit at the table together and do a bit of study or homework ( if they don't have any then they do colouring or reading) it's not every night but it works quite well. Best wishes x

sparkle00 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:01:27

Thankyou everyone smile
My dc's are 9 and 11 so easier than it has ever been but I struggle.
It helps to chat on here. I have done a few times. Feels like company sometimes.
I put pressure on myself to lose weight. To eat healthy. To stop drinking so much wine. To spending enough time with dc's. I know I shouldn't beat myself up. I just struggle to find a balance.
Thankyou all smile

jeaux90 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:19:21

Single mum and work full time

Exercise wise, do you like swimming ? You could all go together and you can do some laps whilst they swim about.

Booze, yep, I hear you but I try to cut back a lot because of weight and it disturbs my sleep so my rule is never drink alone. Or just at the weekends.

Dont sweat the small stuff like the house being tidy. Batch cook and get them involved in organising their own stuff and breakfast etc

Lone parents thread is also pretty good x

scoobydoo1971 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:19:50

Give your children age-appropriate jobs to do around the house. It instills personal responsibility, even my 5 year old puts the rubbish out and tidies up her bedroom. We have a daily timetable of little jobs for the kids.
By all means have a drink, but give your liver a rest for at least 3 or 4 days a week. You will have more energy and will sleep better. The weight will drop off and you will save money. Wine can be replaced with non-alcoholic diet drinks.
Give yourself a day off studying every week. Nursing is a demanding degree academically and practically. You will burn out if you don't have some time-off from the books.
Go for a long walk with your kids at least 2 or 3 times per week. This will help you to sleep, and give you some quality time with your family.

pudding21 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:19:57

Hello Sparklesmile

Quite newly a single mum here, although ex has the boys a few times a week. I work from home so I have more time, but these are the things that help.

I keep a spray of watered down bleach (in a spray bottle., cheap, don't need to buy expensive cleaners, also add lemon) in my bathrooms so when the boys are getting ready I have a quick wipe round a couple of times a week. Then I give a good clean about once a month. Quick bit of bleach down the toilet and a wipe and its done.

I have a slow cooker, it cooks enough for about 2 meals for all of us plus a lunch for me. Dead easy, and I can leave it on all day or overnight. Freeze them for quick meals later on.

Kids always put their plates away, and near the sink. They lay the table and tidy up too (5 and 7).

I have a diary, and a calender that organizes me otherwise I would be terrible.

I studied when the oldest was very small my MSc in nursing and worked full time, its really hard but you need to try and do say 1 hour a night study and not watch tv or surf the net, try being uber focused just for 1 hour after the kids are in bed. Don't try and cram loads into a short space of time, you get stressed and then start to lose focus.

About the gym: is there a kids club there? Could you take the kids once or twice a week after school? I pick my eldest up from school twice a week and take them to the gym with a pack up (they have hot school dinners), they have a small room where they can play or they can go outside and play football (its quite relaxed where I live overseas so it might not help you at all).

If you plan and cook your meals in advance or spend a couple of hours meal prepping a week, the weight will take care of itself. In the gym don't spend hours doing cardio. 45 minutes resistance training is enough. Use the weights, trust me on this you wont get bulky. The more muscle you gain, the more you burn calories and your body fat will drop. Don't restricy yourself too much, and make sure you have a good amount of protein in your diet. Fitness pal is good, but might take up too much time to monitor your macros and calories. But don't put too much pressure on yourself. Drink lots of water too smile

I admire you like I said before, its not easy studying as a nurse with no other things on, you are doing a great job!

Ihateandysdinosauradventures Tue 28-Mar-17 21:26:00

Fellow student nurse here. I'm married with 2. I never feel as though I have enough time. I was a single mum for 16 years so I feel that pain but I'd struggle to do what you are doing.

What year are you in. I'm 1st. Maybe join student nurse journey on Fb. A friendly page and helpful for offloading. There is also a page for student parents too. Can find the link if you want.

sparkle00 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:47:17

Thanks again everyone smile
All so helpful. Thankyou.
I do need to try and get dc's involved in helping. Sometimes easier to do it myself than nag them to do it.
It's all the running around but I can see I'm not alone. I suppose life is supposed to be bonkers. I can't change that. It's so exhausting sometimes that I can't think straight. I do try to be organised. It's like I am ok for a week or so then crumble. Don't want to exercise. Drink too much. Eat rubbish. Feel flat in mood. It's like a roller coaster.
I am a 2nd year. Thankyou I will take a look.
Thankyou everyone smile

forumdonkey Wed 29-Mar-17 00:08:21

Single full time working mum, with my kids in their early 20's now but have been where you are. When my youngest moved out for uni he said his fellow housemates didn't have a clue about washing, cooking etc. I remember a work colleague implying I was a bad mum because my kids were responsible for washing and ironing their own clothes and school uniform. It's a button to press FFS. Sit them down and explain how hard it is for you and ask them for help, they might be more likely to want to do it if they think they're being grown up and responsible. Ask them what they can do to help you rather than you ask them.

I've always planned meals for the week because it saved me money to cook from scratch and do the majority of the weeks shopping.

Don't give yourself a hard time, you're doing a great job and good for you for doing your training. Stop beating yourself up and start being proud of what you're achieving

hunibuni Wed 29-Mar-17 00:30:53

Oh I remember the relentlessnesss when doing my nursing course. Things that kept me sane and the house ticking over
1) meal plan for week ahead and tried to batch cook things like bolognaise so that half could be made into lasagne. I used to store the extra meals in glass pyrex dishes with lids and freeze so that they could be taken out the night before and then put in the oven.
2) did laundry on day off and made sure it was washed and dried within the same day (DC were in charge of making sure washing was in the basket)
3) any cleaning that could be done while doing another task was done e.g. quick clean of bathroom after everyone had washed, kitchen floor brushed and mopped while dishwasher etc were running
4) all school stuff sorted and laid out night before (esp when DC were being kept by PIL because if early start/late day)

These were a few of the practical things that got me through the course. DH was also working 12hr shifts , so being organised helped.

sparkle00 Wed 29-Mar-17 08:33:14

Thankyou everyone smile
My dd is home sick today so having to take the day off. That's another thing. Not having anyone to watch my dc's. Obviously I want to be home with her but I miss so much work if I do.
I am going to try to plan meals a little more.
I think I put too much pressure on to go to the gym.
What's a reasonable amount of exercise to do? I actually wish I could just be happy as I am at a size 14 but I wobble, ALOT. I know exercise is good for your mood too.
My one dd is fussy with her eating. I wish I could get her to eat what me and my other dd eat. That's a battle in itself.
I think I drink far too much red wine and then beat myself up for that.
I feel like I need a good kick up the bum. It's like I have lost my mojo. It's been like this for about 3 months.
I want it back now please!
Thankyou all so so much. Your tips and kind words have helped already x

Ihateandysdinosauradventures Wed 29-Mar-17 20:05:49

For the next three years I have resigned myself to no social life. I have soooo much reading to do that I could cry. I have a toddler. I'm fat but will not force another thing on myself as I'm wary of overwhelming myself with goals. Day to day is good for me

RandomMess Wed 29-Mar-17 20:15:31

You go girl well done on doing this, no mean feat to manage all of that flowers

Honestly I just cut out the wine, don't buy it. Just have a glass if you go out! It will save you money, you'll sleep better, you'll lose wait. I can't have a bottle I the house otherwise I drink every night until it's gone so I just don't buy it in the first place!

Blushingm Wed 29-Mar-17 21:39:27

Fellow single parent student nurse here too!

Blushingm Wed 29-Mar-17 21:40:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cakeisnotaproperbreakfast Wed 29-Mar-17 22:18:18

I was a single parent student nurse (qualified last summer) and now I'm studying for my PGDip and working full time. Have 3 children at home & 1 who also started uni when I did but 200 miles away (youngest DC was 4 when I started studying, oldest was 19)
Ex is useless, non communicative & only sees the youngest DC. Refuses to pay maintenance.
Kids have school dinners so I don't cook except at weekends, they have soup, sandwiches, beans on toast, fruit, cheese stick, yoghurt etc in the evenings.
I make lists of things to do, prioritise them & tick them off to show that I'm actually getting somewhere (rather like prioritising care of your allocated patients!)
I am lucky as my mum will clean my bathrooms & dust/Hoover once a week. I clean properly when I can but as long as sinks and toilets are clean I don't stress.
Kids have been trained to tidy up too. I try to eat less carbs & exercise a bit but nightshifts make this tricky (look up Betty 15min HIIT per day 30 day challenge)
I did gain some weight during my final year...biscuits helped the dissertation get written! Now I've finished I'm trying to lose this.
Dig deep...studying as a single parent (oh, and I got divorced during year 1 & 2) is the hardest thing I've ever done but I did it & so will you smile

sparkle00 Thu 30-Mar-17 09:18:59

Thankyou all so much smile
My dd has been home with tonsillitis and to top it off I had 2 big fat nails in my tyre yesterday. So spent most of the day pumping tyres at the road side to get to the doctor and chemist and tyre place.
I have an older dd too who doesn't live at home, who came for tea last night. I feel guilty that I don't spend enough time with her. We speak every day and get together for lunch dates too. So yesterday I had no guilt until my dad turned up with his problems. That's another story.
The university has been very kind and set me 3 mini assignments to do for the day I missed yesterday. I explained my dd was ill but apparently this is the protocol for missed theory.
Today my youngest dd's school rang asking if I can make her iep as she gets extra help in school. Meaning more time off uni. I explained and was told 'this is very important'. Of course my dd's education is important, I know this. So now I'm feeling guilty. I can't miss more uni as they will set more work (what I have is overwhelming already) and I don't know when I will fit it in as I have to work alongside uni to pay my bills. I have asked to reschedule so hoping they come back with a day I am off.
I am so so sorry to go on as if I am a moaner. I really am not. I'm just struggling and chatting on here, reading others have or are going through the same helps me.
Cake - wow that must of been stressful for you. Well done to you.
I think I am putting too much pressureon my weight. It's just my middle dd is overweight so I joined the gym with her to help. She is doing really well but obviously relies on me to take her.
I am going to start setting chores I think. Come to think of it mine have school meals. Why didn't I think of this before. That will be easier.
Is it normal to feel guilty. Trying to share your time with each. I wish their dad would just help, just a little. Even if it was picking up from clubs or going to one parents evening.

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