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Working lone parents....ideas?

18 replies

ScruffyTeddy · 08/01/2008 18:10

Any hints and tips? Since I went full time I am SO tired. I had all these great ideas for the new all promptly went down the drain!

How do you organise your day? Doesn't seem to be enough hours in mine (or enough energy ).

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4sonsmum · 08/01/2008 19:12

Well I found that stressing less about what you can't see helps a lot - so in effect under the beds and behind the setees would not stand scrutinity - however I can relax if it is tidy enough not to die if the door knocks!

PurpleOne · 10/01/2008 00:44

Scruffy, I went part time almost 4 years ago LMAO. I am shattered most nights.

Don't organise much, if visitors come, they have to take me as they see me. Under beds is good, behind sofas is better or just lump it all into drawers, hide the dishes in the dishwasher.

I don't organise anything. I do make a 'to do' list and tick it off as I go, the stuff that don't get done just has to wait until another day...that's the bonus of being a single mum and I love it!

Don't stress! Things will fall into their own places and you'll develop your own routine.


brightwell · 10/01/2008 08:45

Over the years I've got into the habit of always cooking at least double the amount when we're having something "freezable" like curry, chilli, pasta sauce.Great for the evenings when I can't face cooking, just defrost, reheat and cook rice or pasta. I do a load of washing every 2-3 days so it doesn't pile up, and as I'm up most week days an hour before dc, I try to do a bit of ironing most mornings. I always make packed lunches the night before, sometimes if I know I'm going to be busy I make 2days worth of packed lunches. I get dc to help with dusting & hoovering, meal prep.
I try to get things done & out of the way so that the evenings/nights I'm not working I can relax once dc are in bed.

IdreamofClooney · 10/01/2008 14:26

I started the new year with great ideas like writing as schedule for housework so I didn;t end up doing it all on sat morning

ie - Mon eve hoovering
Tue eve washing
Wed eve polish shoes etc etc

But have so not stuck at it.

I too am totally exhausted and feel I have no time to do anything and I only have one child (but no help from anyone either mind you)

I do batch cook and keep meals in the freezer. I do washing most days (esp since DS is potty training), do lunches the night before and lay out clothes the night before). Try and get DS to help but as he is 2 that is not really ideal.

I really think it would make a lot of differnence if I only had to go to work four days a week as it is that horrible morning ruch that gets me down - not to mention the 45 minute walk in crap weather to get DS to nursery and me to work! I am going to see if my employer would consider any element of flexible working as I cannot cope with this much longer.

If anyone does have any more tips I would be v interested.

IdreamofClooney · 10/01/2008 14:28

My main tip would be


brightwell · 10/01/2008 17:44

It took me awhile to realise that my own health & sanity are far more important to my dc than a clean & tidy house.

MyChemicalToilet · 10/01/2008 18:15

I do stuff as it occurs, immediately. Washing up, mopping spills, paying cheques to school, getting dd's down to homework, whatever it is, so it doesn't get forgotten and chores don't eat into the evenings.

All bills are paid by DD.

I second the motion of getting everything ready the night before. And cooking meals, and freezing enough for another meal.

I invested in a cycle, so I could walk kids to school and then pedal like fury to work, which saves precious time.

I shop for food in my lunch hour.

I have no other routines - hoovering, cleaning and dusting is done when the house looks like it needs it. Apart from mucking out the hamsters every weekend.

Clothes are washed, dried, sorted and put away immediately - but in small, digestible chunks, every few days - I use a laundry basket of the same capacity as washing machine - when full, it needs to be washed. So then you don't get huge demoralising piles of laundry and ironing.

When exh moved out, I threw out and decluttered everything else that made my life uncomfortable and inefficient . Everything has it's own place/storage and STAYS there.

ScruffyTeddy · 10/01/2008 18:17

Well here's what I do most days:

Get up, big rush always. DD refuses to get out of bed. Worry im going to be late so get myself ready, go back up to try dd again, rush rush rush.


Come home, collect ds, quick tidy normally consisting of wash up, clear up mess from morning, put some washing in, drying, go upstairs to scout for said washing. Kids bath (not every night) Put dd to bed, more washing, ds to bed, bath for myself, make my tea, find clothes for work tomorrow, make sure we have uniform, make sandwiches for ds and myself. I do the freezing thing too when Im cooking a big meal.

I never iron!

Some nights though I feel really drained from work (mentally more than anything, most days are excruciatingly busy as we're understaffed and will be for the foreseeable future). I have to drag myself around the house...I can say "sod it" but then I know there will be more to do tomorrow.

Its a bit of a vicious circle. I wanted to be more organised for the new year, to stop stressing about things that dont get done. I wanted to diet, be more healthy (seem constantly run down, always ill in one way or another), do some exercise. I know if I ate better and exercised I would start to feel a lot better and maybe have more energy, not feel so tired...but I dont have the energy to do that .

I'd love to go out some weekends with my friends and get some me time but im too tired! I wouldn't last the night. Last year I went out 3 times (if you dont count our works party). Need some good kind of pick me up I think!

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ScruffyTeddy · 10/01/2008 18:21

Bills are all paid by direct debit too, am hugely forgetful and would be in deep trouble otherwise.

De-cluttering. Now there's something I know I need to do. Downstairs is great, everything does have its place, but we have filled up this house! Upstairs is clean but there's not much space left.

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MyChemicalToilet · 10/01/2008 18:40

Scruffy - is your dc's dad on the scene at all? Is there no respite or me time whatsoever? Grandparents? Or is it, that when you have the time, you're too tired to make use of it?

I've got to log off now, but will catch up at some stage.

ScruffyTeddy · 10/01/2008 19:27

There's never a time when I dont have one of them. Ds goes to his dads one night on a weekend. In the week, dd comes home from private nursery later than I collect ds as her grandparents pick her up on the way back from work. Dont get me wrong, i'm not complaining as it does me a favour, but it also means I cant settle down at night to do anything. There's this whole staggered times thing going on.

My mum offered to have them both (or just dd) if I wanted to go out occasionally but only on the condition that I am going out. Not for a break, and she will check if im actually going out too!

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mistressmiggins · 10/01/2008 19:32

your mum is trying to be kind to you & make sure you have "me" time
could you explain that sometimes it would help your sanity if she had DCs for a couple of hours so you could clean & tidy up?

its hard isnt it

how old is DS?
if hes at school, can you get him to be a big boy & get ready himself?
when I get in from school & nursery, my DCs take their shoes off & coats & hang them up.
I ask them to help lay & clear the table.

I dont worry so much about food when Im at work (3 days a week) as DD is fed at nursery and DS gets a good after school meal so will make do with fruit and sandwiches when we get in

Its me that needs looking after !!

ScruffyTeddy · 10/01/2008 19:57

I have to explain, my mum does love me, but doesnt understand "me time", or why I would want it.

She thinks that it would be nice for me to go out and find a suitable guy to marry..which I guess is why she will help out with childcare so long as im going out.

She doesnt understand time to do housework, or clear out, do DIY...she never did it. She had a cleaner and decorator for that. She cant even change a light bulb by herself. The cleaner was crap and didn't clean much tbh but mum never seemed to care. Our house was pretty dirty but then she worked full time so fair enough. She was never a lone parent either so I dont suppose she understands.

She will do anything if she thinks its for my kids, but not for me...does that make sense?

I guess she's old fashioned!

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ScruffyTeddy · 10/01/2008 20:12

Ds is 10 so more than old enough to get himself ready. School think he's dyspraxic, we've had various discussions over the last 6 years about this. He's a lovely helpful boy but finds it very hard to understand basic instructions and will do things like putting two pairs of trousers on, or forgetting where his uniform is, despite things always being kept in the same place.

I forget to check him, and whether he has food dripping down his face etc, tbh I just find myself assuming he wont. I seem to spend most of my time constantly looking out for danger also, because dd is 4 and because ds has no real concept of acceptable behaviour...yet he's so placid and intelligent that I forget there's anything wrong. My nerves are really on edge most of the time. Im never sure what either of them are going to do next?

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MyChemicalToilet · 11/01/2008 11:25

I am sorry about your ds - is it something a GP or HV could help with strategy-wise? And perhaps you should go for you, anyway.

I also think you must insist on an evening in the week to yourself, dad (is he dad to dd too - I'm not clear why ds dad not taking dd overnight at weekend?) or grandparents having both dc's, even if they come back for bedtime. Just a few hours powernap catch up for you may help.

I read somewhere, that fatigue at work etc. can be helped by drinking lots and lots of water in the afternoon. Worth a try, even if it's not much help with the fundamental issues?

I'm not much help - you've probably worked through my pathetic suggestions already, but I wanted to let you know I symapthise.

lostdad · 11/01/2008 13:43

See, I actually like ironing. Very theraputic. I quite like housework in general too. Oh - and I'm a good cook, too!

Willing to be a househusband if there any attractive ladies want to support me!

glitterfairy · 12/01/2008 16:21

LOl lostdad!

I am knackered but as the kids grow older it helps. I love work and enjoy most of my life and see being knackered as having a full and wonderful life.

I do the night before thing and the kids know if anything needs signing or money for it or stuff for school it has to be addressed the night before as I leave early.

I have also found getting a routine going but like everyone else break it given half a chance and wont make it into a tyrant.

ScruffyTeddy · 13/01/2008 01:37

You like housework lostdad? are you crazy?

I love a clean house, and when I clean its a proper eat-your-dinner-of-any-surface job (including the walls)...but I hate doing it! I may hire you as my personal chef though.

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