How can I as a sngle mom create the perft. balance

Tanya - posted on 05/30/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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How can I as a working single mother create the perfect balance between working 40 hrs. & being able to spend more time with my precious son? How can I create the perfect balance with out pulling myself too thin?

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Stacee - posted on 06/02/2009

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I found that my perfect balance was spending time with my kids before they went off to school and I went off to work, and doing the same thing when we got home. I spend an hour with them in the morning snacking, cuddling, talking in bed, playing downstairs while cartoons are on. They don't mind going off to daycare and pre-school so much then because they have had mommy-time and I don't miss them so much.

At first when I divorced my hubby, I had daycare make them dinner. Then when we got home we had time to hang out, play, watch a movie and do baths.

Then my hours changed at work and I had to make dinner. I found quick and easy meals to fix or prepare ahead of time, so all I had to do was nuke it and put it on the table. This allowed more time for us at night. We would cuddle on the couch and snack while watching TV, play games on the floor, make up dancing-singing-learning games. Although we didn't have tons of time at night, I made sure that the time we had was all about them. I did my shopping and errands on the weekend. We did errands for a couple hours on Saturday, then I would clean for a couple hours. Sometimes I would let them go to a friends house or I would get a sitter so they could stay at home, and I could finish errands much quicker without them and all the hassle. We were all less stressed that way. Otherwise, sometimes I asked daycare to watch them an extra hour so I could run to the store on the way home from work. I tried to run some errands on my lunch or write bills during lunch. I put them to bed at a consistent time, so that I still had personal time of an hour or so after they were alseep.

You also need to work in personal time for you. At least once a month you need a day to go out with your friends, shop, talk, read, whatever. You need to have your own life outside of kids. It's nice to have playdate with friends and their kids, but you also need to have just adult time. Otherwise, you will burn out and feel rather lonely... at least that's how I have felt. Make sure that you use your time to keep your social network going. Maybe find some of your child's friends and help them have playdates throughout the summer. Sometime your child might spend the night over there or go over the friend's house for a few hours. This gives you downtime to do adult things or just be by yourself.

I think when kids are young, they really need all of our extra time. When they get a bit older, they just want to have fun with their friends. My 4 year old went to a birthday party and spent the night at a friend's house. He didn't even miss me. He said goodnight to me before going to bed, and he was good to go. The next day he just wanted to go back and play with friends. I think that if you give them the security and love, they will be more willing to be independent and know you are there.

When I am with my boys, I try to make it all about them. I try not to have long drawn out phone calls in their presence. I try not to study or do things that I cannot be distracted for. When I need to clean for a few hours, they know the routine. I take time out between tasks to play with them. I fold laundry while we watch Saturday morning cartoons. Whenever I have to go upstairs, I take a load of laundry with me to put away. If I go out to the back patio, then I take out the trash. My kids love to try to help, so I let them. My 5 year old is pretty good at folding laundry. Both of my kids like to help load the dishwasher. They love to help put clothes in the washer and dryer. We get to do things together and have fun even during chores. I found environmentally friendly cleansers for the bathroom called Green Works. I let my children help clean off the counters, table, bathroom sink and spray the bathroom for cleaning. I still make them wear the cleaning gloves, but at least this cleanser doesn't have harsh chemicals in it. This is the only one I've found like that.

When I was working, I would take a day off and spend time with one of them like it was their day. You could also do this on the weekend. Since I am in school, I do the same thing. Once a week I take a day off from studying and take one of my boys out to do fun things. Sometimes it's a school function, going shopping with mom, going to the park or play with a friend. Anything out of the ordinary makes them feel special. I think it helps to break up the monotony of school and daycare. It gives me something to look forward too.

Debbie - posted on 06/02/2009

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I only work part time, but what i think is aslong as the time i spend with my 4 year old is quality time, as i will face this prob when she starts school in sept. it not the amount of time but what you do with it. i just make sure it is fun.

Megan - posted on 05/30/2009

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My mother worked 40 hours a week when my younger sister and I were younger. She sometimes had to work three jobs to get us by, as she had NO support whatsoever from our father.. When she wasnt working she was playing ball with us, or taking us to a special movie or to dinner and she spent every minute she could either with us or working... It wasnt until much later in life that we realized we grew up without a father because we never missed out on anything ... If youre spending as much of your time with him as possible when you arent working, he wont even notice how much you actually are working.. Every small minute to you is a really big one to him...

Pam - posted on 05/30/2009

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I know how hard it is to be a single parent i try to make the time i do have with my son extra special and do fun things

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