I have a full time job, I’m a full time single Mom and I blog. I try to work out 3 times a week, eat healthy, raise good humans, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work, keep my house clean, laundry, kids activities, play dates, homework, time for myself and some fun, etc. I’ve never really stopped to think about how that is a lot to juggle. I mean, it didn’t all happen at once or overnight. I’ve always been a woman that does what needs to get done; as things come at me I figure it out and keep moving forward.
Recently I was asked the question by a friend who babysat for me: “How do I do it all? Without any help?” Then she added in how well mannered, sweet and not spoiled my kids are :) I cried happy tears after she left. Side note, as a Mom I feel like I’m failing all the time. It’s the only thing in life where there isn’t a report or score or any way to know if you are doing it right. There is no rule book, you just go with your gut and pray.
Back on topic, my Mom does help me when she is able to. But I don’t have a nanny or assistant that helps me regularly. I am solely responsible for my job and all things to do with my kids Monday-Friday, and most weekends. I had never really stopped to think about how I do it all until I was asked this question.
It is a massive juggling act! I know there are a lot of working single Mom’s out there doing the same juggling act every single day. I thought about what I do that helps me stay on top of everything and not lose my sanity.
- MULTI TASK: I rarely get to do just one task at a time. I am usually doing 3-4 things at once. I work from home, so I will do a load of laundry and the dishes in between emails and conference calls. Or I will answer an email at a red light while driving my kids to school. I can grocery shop or be on the stair master during a conference call. And I have never answered a phone call while on the toilet or in the shower (okay I have!) I have become a master at wearing multiple hats all day long. Funny story about working from home and multitasking: Caleb was home sick with the flu. I was working all day. I had run upstairs to make my bed and put normal clothes on (I was still in my sleep shirt and socks). Caleb comes upstairs a minute later with two fingers covering his mouth. I rush him into the bathroom to the toilet… he doesn’t make it! He throws up all over my bare legs and socks (and of course the floor). Before I have a chance to clean myself up I get a very important phone call I had been waiting for all morning. I answer the call and have a professional conversation for 10 minutes while standing in my bedroom covered in vomit. Not the glamorous moment that goes on Instagram! And yes I immediately showered as soon as I was off the call.
- SCHEDULING & TIME MANAGEMENT: This is the #1 thing that makes me able to do what I do!! My kids schedule, my work schedule and my personal scheduled is so precise and works together in a way that my day is able to move smoothly. I put so much thought into all the schedules and how they can work cohesively together. Before committing to anything or scheduling an appointment, I look at the overall schedule and think about how it’s going to flow. Then each day I think about what is on my to do list and how I will get it done. For example: if I know I will be sitting at Caleb’s baseball practice for 90 minutes that evening I will save emails for that time. Or I will do a work project that takes me several hours and make that my at home laundry day.
- EVERY MOMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH MY KIDS SOMETHING: There are things to be learned (and taught) all day long. I am always looking for moments to teach my kids life lessons about kindness, love, forgiveness, friendship, hard work, math, grammar, doing the right thing and being a good person. Rarely is there a big moment like an after school special movie where we all sit down and talk about the lessons of life at the most opportune moment. They usually present themselves in the car on the way to school when I am really tired, when I’m in the shower, trying to work, at bedtime, or having an adult conversation. Never waste these moments! Being a parent is your #1 job!!! Always make the time to teach your kids the right thing and raise great people.
- LIST OF GREAT BABYSITTERS: With all of this work and being “on” all the time, I need a night out. I need time to get out and do the things I like to do, not as a Mom or employee; just me! It’s so important to take a mental break from it all and do something you enjoy for yourself. Find babysitters you love and trust, and that your kids love and look forward to seeing. While you are out, knowing that your kids are well taken care of gives you the mental freedom to enjoy yourself. These moments are sooo important! It’s all about balance. When you take care of yourself and do what you like to do, you can return back to work and being a Mom with a more positive attitude.
- GO WITH THE FLOW: Shit will hit the fan and things will break bad! Life happens! This is a guarantee, there will be a point where things are not going your way and you will have a bad day! And when you don’t have a partner to lean on, you have to just go with the flow and do what you can. You have to prioritize what’s important and let the small things roll off your back. Because I have so many things on my plate all at one time, I have to decide what I will give my time and attention to. Don’t spend time, energy or loose sleep over something that really isn’t important to your life or your kids lives.
- GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK: I am the first one to be very hard on myself. I constantly think I can do better, be more patient, work harder, cook a better dinner (or cook at all and stop ordering uber eats), work out more, wear makeup more often, dress cuter, clean out that closet and the list goes on. But then I stop and think about all the great things I’m doing right. And how I’m only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. I like to believe I’m Superwoman, but I’m actually not… I’m only human. And being human I’m going to have bad days, get overwhelmed, cry in my closet and not always get everything right. The important thing is that I keep trying and never give up! All I have to do is look at my kids faces and those smiles, and I know I am doing something right :)