How to Balance Work and Parenting As a Single Parent

Are you a single parent who is tired of hiring babysitter after babysitter and never getting to spend time with your little angel? Always feeling burnt out? Never feel like you are going to catch up? Read on!

Steps

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    Write down a list of all of your commitments and responsibilities and analyse it. The big commitments are easy to identify: working, volunteering, appointments, and activities. Don't forget to put the day to day stuff like laundry, dishes, and shopping on your list as well.
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    Analyse your list of commitments. Is there anything on that list that you can resign from, delegate to someone else, or hire help with? Are there things you can rearrange or group together to save time doing or getting to? Make the necessary changes to your schedule.
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    Use a calendar with space. Any calendar with space to write down what needs to get done will work. Weekly calendars work best.
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    On your calendar, start with writing your work schedule on it and then filling in the commitments that you have decided to keep. Color coding helps to identify the different types of commitments you have.
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    Hire or set up someone to be the primary caregiver (daycare, grandmother, friend or relative) when you are away and set the pay rate in advance. Target obtaining services for the time that you need someone on a regular basis to watch your child, usually during your work hours. If money is tight and you have to pay for someone to watch your child, target using a regular service only for your work hours and then promptly pick up your child after work. Hire an occasional sitter for special occasions.
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    Try to line up about 3-5 people that you can call to watch the little one in different situations that may come up ... and they will.
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    Do something fun with your child every week. It does not have to be expensive, but try to vary the activities instead of doing the same thing every week. It will give you both something to look forward to and will relieve stress.
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    Try to plan a month or two ahead, if possible. If you don't have childcare planned well in advance it will be much more difficult to find someone to watch the baby.
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    Ask your boss for a schedule change, if that would help.
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    Spend undivided time with your child every day. If the child, especially younger children and babies become to used to another person, instead of their parent, they could become more attached to the other caretaker.
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    Try to keep work related emotions at work. Your children's smile is well worth what you are going through right now.

Tips

  • Being organized helps save time by knowing where thing are located.
  • Always make sure that baby gets your undivided attention and affection for at least 1 hour a day.
  • Choose your battles and don't waste time on the ones that you can't win or get you to where you want to be. Same goes for friends, family, and obligations.
  • Make and freeze meals in advance. Not only is this a great time and money saver, eating home cooked meals is usually healthier for you and your child too!
  • Keep items that you need to drop off in your car, a box in the trunk or passenger seat works great so they don't get lost. Combine trips to drop off items with your regular errands to save time and gas.
  • Always thank the people who do help you. Helping you is something they don't have to do. Be mindful that their help might not be the way you may do something, but help getting a job done is much better than having do everything yourself.
  • Hire or accept offers for help. It is amazing how much of a difference having an extra set of hands around for even an hour makes. Think about hiring a responsible neighborhood teenager to play or entertain your child while you get caught up on household chores.
  • Colour code your calendar with doctor's visits, work days, holidays, days off, etc.
  • No matter what,you should always keep in mind that you are not the only one facing the crisis here. Its difficult for the child as well, perhaps even more than you could possibly imagine. So try to keep calm and understand the child's behavior cause they tend to be out of control specially during the adolescence period.

Warnings

  • If things don't work out, do be afraid to go back to what you were doing before. However, try giving any new plan at least a month or so to work. Just because the first day didn't go as planned doesn't mean the next day won't be fantastic.
  • Don't stress out when you do this, just relax and plan your schedule. Things get easier when you write them down and you are actually honest with yourself that you may be over committed.

Things You'll Need

  • A calendar
  • Markers to work with the calendar colour code system
  • A babysitter, a daycare, or a nearby relative
  • Pen and paper

Article Info

Categories: Parenting