By Jenny Jiménez on October 22, 2018
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a good weekend. I know how fast it can go when you’re busy. Crazy how quickly it got cold right? I remember complaining about the heat and 24 hours later complaining how cold it was and upset that I had to turn my heat on, LOL… never satisfied I guess.
I wanted to take some time to discuss how I plan. If you are anything like me then you are always pressed for time. Seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day and I have found that if I do not plan right then I don’t feel very productive. It just doesn’t feel like I got anything done. Do you ever feel like that?
I’m sure you’ve seen posts before on planning but usually those people have two parent households or have help from family members or friends. I’m giving you my perspective on planning. It may not work for everyone but remember as a single mom to two kids, I did it all alone. It was rare that I got help from anyone but after some time I did find a rhythm of doing things that worked for me and so will you. We’re moms right, hey it’s what we do – we figure things out!
So back to planning, I use a total of three planners and calendars to plan on a regular basis. I have a planner for my everyday things that I keep with me always (except when I’m out and about on weekends), a large calendar for the family that I keep in my kitchen and another planner that I use for house hold items like bills and such, and that one I keep at home with my office things.
For my daily planner, I am usually carrying an A5 or a personal size planner. This past year I used the personal size but with the year ending and I just know I have a ton of projects and things to work on next year so I just ordered my 2019 refills in the A5 size. I absolutely love the Filofax planner. It has a band to keep close and for years I had ones with buttons but after using this one with the band, I find that it saves space and it serves as a little holder for me to keep my To Do Lists or anything that I need to mail out – like my water bill 🙂 .
For our family calendar we like to keep events we do together, doctor’s appointments, etc. This calendar is also used by the kids to write down their work schedule for the week and any sports practices and games. They also jot down when something is due like clothing money or fundraising due dates. I get them involved in this one so there’s accountability and in hopes that one day they’ll be more organized. One can hope, right! I purchased this calendar at target last year and I’m definitely on the look out for the 2019 to come out, however as you can see by the smudge above, you want to write on it with a permanent marker. Since the paper is a smooth shiny cardstock, things rub off. We have tons of colored sharpies so it’s not a big deal, plus I like to write in colors that are used in the flowers that month. LOL… I know cheesy 🙂 .
A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING…
Make every minute count. I’m not saying you have to plan out your entire life but do your best to track and jot down what your day and week will look like. This will help you stay on top of things especially when the unexpected pops up, like a sick kid.
Don’t be afraid to move things around. While it’s good to plan, you cannot plan everything. As hard as you may try, something will always come up that you did not plan for. Don’t be discouraged and let this unexpected event throw you off track. Just move things around.
Multi-task when appropriate. Make the most of your time. While cooking or cleaning up your kitchen and home go ahead and make some phone calls. Reach out to your friend or relative and just use your earbuds while you are tackling your other errands. I do this all the time BUT do not recommend this when spending quality time with someone. In that case, that person should have your undivided attention so they feel valued.
Stick to your schedule. As tired as you may be, having and sticking to your schedule is the best way to ensure that you are accomplishing what you need so you make time for more important things. Did you catch that? Yes, I said make time. The time won’t just happened. You have to make it.
Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it but remember as the head of your home, you need to find a way to make things work. Ask for help when necessary but I’m a big believer or planning for the What Ifs. Don’t just assume that everyone you ask for help will be able to. Just stay calm and always have a Plan B.
Avoid over-committing. Parenting alone can sometimes feel, well lonely. Yup I said it (but you were thinking it 🙂 ). No one says you have to be alone all the time but watch out for over committing yourself. This will quickly lead to burn out. We want to do it all and help where and when we can but we can’t always do that. Be selective about how you choose to spend your time.
Write everything down. You have enough to remember. The stress of everyday life will take hold of you if you don’t write it down. Get into a daily habit of writing it down. A daily brain dump. You’ll be surprised how great it feels to empty your brain down on paper. Besides, that’s one less thing on your mind.
Be realistic. When jotting down your To Do List be realistic about it. Do not try to tackle a list of 20 items in one day. That’s too much for anyone to do.
Don’t feel defeated. It’s okay if you didn’t get to every item on your To Do List. While you may be Super Mom, you are still human. Give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up over it. Try and tackle it tomorrow.
Prioritize and Set Goals. This one is very important. Since you are parenting alone, you want to take some time regularly, whether it’s weekly or monthly and think about what’s important to you. Get these things on your schedule. Make time for them and set deadlines to keep you on track. While doing this remember to keep positive! And finally…
Make time for YOU. Do not forget to make time for yourself. This could be time to pray, meditate, exercise, self care or anything you like but you NEED TO make time for you. Often as single mothers we put everyone else’s needs above our own and that’s okay to an extent but we have to make ourselves a priority also. When we make time for self love, we are building the necessary foundation so we can be the proper leaders that our children need us to be.
If you have any specific questions or some topics you would like to see on the blog, feel free to leave me a comment.
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Now get planning!
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