I like to think of my life as organized chaos; for anyone looking at it from the outside, it probably looks a lot more chaotic than anything else. It’s tough, juggling all of the responsibilities that come with being a single mom, but I manage and it rarely ever stresses me out. If you’re thinking I’m either super mom or just plain crazy, I can assure you I’m neither. What I am is a good planner and, while my life may seem a little chaotic because it’s always go, go, go, there is a real plan in place. My daily routine makes it all possible and I rarely deviate too much from it. I’m not running a household of robots, of course, so it’s not perfect, but it works pretty well most of the time.
If there’s one thing that can help to remove stress and maintain your health and that of your family, it’s eating regularly-scheduled meals. Don’t skip meals and don’t vary too much from your routine. Your life will go easier if your kids know when mealtime is and you get them into a routine. There will always be some protests – that’s just life – but most of the time they’ll go along with the plan. If you don’t create a regular meal schedule, you’ll end up stressed out and so will your kids.
As we’ve already mentioned, children actually benefit from routine; a good way to help them and help yourself in the process is to set up regular chores for them. It’s tough doing everything on your own, and even if they’re only small chores it will free up some time for you or at least give you a few minutes of “me” time. A set routine involving daily chores will also help your kids to feel more secure, knowing you have things under control and that there’s a working plan in place.
You know the old saying – all work and no play? Well, those are actually important words to live by and part of your daily schedule should include setting aside an hour or more for family time. You may want to play a game, watch a movie, or perhaps simply read a book together. How you spend the time isn’t important – what is important is that, no matter how busy life gets, your kids know that you always make time for them. Every family has its ups and downs, and when times get tough, the good times will remind everyone what it’s all for.
It’s important to establish a set bedtime schedule and stick with it. It’s often tempting to let the kids stay up an extra half hour because you don’t want to listen to the pleading, but giving in won’t benefit any of you in the long run. As children grow they need a good night’s sleep, and mommy needs her “me” time as well.