As a single mum daily life can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning of your journey. Getting everything done without the extra set of hands can be daunting at first - but if you set yourself up a system, a routine and some strong habits, you will have the foundation for success everyday.
I am sharing these points from my own experience and from tips & thoughts that other mums have shared with me. Not everything is going to work for everyone as we are all so different and our home space is different, but there will be some great food for thought for you.
Here are 8 tips for ultimate survival and managing day to day life as a single mum stress-free and a little bit organised...
- Look after yourself first. This has to be my number one tip! When you take care of yourself you are better placed to take care of others. When you are feeling good, this high vibe energy rubs off on those around you, especially your kids. Make time for yourself everyday. Even if it's just 5 minutes, take the time to stop and breathe, or do something that really lights you up. Here are some ideas for solo mama self-care. Plus, make sure you get some child/work free time to yourself. This could be when the kids are with their Dad or Grandparents or at a friends place.
- Prepare the night before. Check out my post on evening routines for some simple things you can do at the end of each day, to get yourself ready for the day ahead. Trust me, it makes a big difference.
- Meal-prep. When it comes to food, the best advice that other mums have given me is to prep meals in advance. Spend a couple of hours on a weekend or when you have some free time and pack your freezer full of nutritious meals. Each meal can be defrosted during the day before heating and eating; and then you can add a simple salad or vegetables for some freshness. My other tip for mealtimes is don't stress if you don't cook a gourmet nutritious meal every single night! If you have nights of scrambled eggs or a quick pasta or cereal, it's OKAY. Your kids are fed, they'll be happy and all will be well.
- Chores are not the number one priority. We all like to live in a clean and tidy house but sometimes the chores can be put aside until later (that doesn't mean never, just until a different pre-allocated time!). Take the time to look after yourself and don't always rush to complete every bit of laundry or cleaning every day. That being said, if you can do a little bit each day, it will make a big difference in keeping on top of it all. My tip is to have a few chores that you do every day - wash the dishes, laundry, tidy the lounge room or whatever is most important to you; keep these chores to 30 minutes or two fifteen minute blocks. Then allocate another day a week for the bigger jobs such as cleaning the bathroom and washing the floors. This may need 1 or 2 hours allocated to it depending on the size of your home. And, don't forget to share the load! You may not have a husband around but you have kids and they can do age-appropriate jobs to help out. Remembering, done is better than perfect!
- Make your bed every single morning. I know this is simple but it makes such a big difference to the mindset you approach the day with. Once you have made your bed, you have already accomplished something for the day so one job ticked. Plus it makes your room tidy and organised which is great when you get home at the end of the day. If you don't do this already, give it a shot, and see if it boosts your positivity going into your day.
- Accept help. This isn't always easy to do but will no doubt make your life easier. Please don't ever feel bad, guilty or weak for accepting help. Did you know that when someone offers you help, they get just as many warm fuzzies as the giver, as you do as the receiver? There is a lot to be said for giving and know that these people are offering their help and support to you because they WANT to, not because they feel they should. So take it, say thank you and enjoy the help.
- Build a routine into your days. This is especially helpful if you have young children because they thrive on routine. Schedule meal times, bath times, bed times, places for dirty clothes and clean clothes, where bags get put at the end of each day, where the shoes go etc...Having structure in place helps your kids know exactly what to expect, and also reduces that chance of things being lost and wasted time being spent searching for them!
- Take the time for love and cuddles. This can be hard when you have a lot to do and feel the to-do list is never completed. But take the time to love on your kids. Watch a tv programme together, read a book, eat meals together, sit in the bathroom while they take a bath...spending this quality time with your kids will not only fill their love bucket up, but also yours. This will be a time for you to stop and rest for a moment and a chance to be grateful for all that you have in your life.