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As a Single Parent, what are the best techniques and strategies for successful daily functioning?
What have you found to be necessary in juggling multiple children, several different schools, your own education or career and doing it on your own as a single parent? I have a child on the Autism Spectrum as well as another child that has ADHD and anger management therapy. I have to juggle appointments in handling an ex-spouse who I might have to take to court and have support enforcement appointments. I live with my father and brother who are full time at their job or education and I do all the housework and make dinner. I don't have a social life. I have no friends in the area. ADVICE?
When I read the notification for this question on my phone I started to get a trite little answer ready in my head, something about being organised, and making time for yourself and all of that usual stuff. But your question is rather more serious than that.
Without knowing where you live, it's impossible for me to help with advice on where to go and who to ask for help. But speaking very generally, be kind to yourself as often as you can be. If you can find little pockets of time, make them your own - a half hour here and there, just to recharge your batteries a little and clear your head, can really help. Just read a book for half an hour and stop thinking about schools and children and education for a little while. Give yourself permission to do that. It's essential. I've found that, and it's worked miracles in my life.
I don't know the particulars, but do your dad and your brother work 16 hour days or something? You said they work full time (is your brother at school, how old is he?), but are they home in the evenings and at weekends? What I'm getting at is, do they make family and the house their priority when they're not at work, or are you the only one doing that? Because women have a tendency to do everything themselves because they think it's their responsibility, and men tend not to offer help if it's not asked for (or demanded - women should have a right to expect help around the house, it's so often too much for one person to handle alone). Surely your dad and your brother (if he's old enough) can make dinner too, take it in turns with you, or just make dinner at the weekend? Surely they can help you to tidy up the house and do some laundry on their days off?
You have to find a social life - I think this is absolutely critical for your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Everyone needs friends. A book club? A writing class? A coffee morning for mums like you? I don't know what's available in your area, but hopefully a little research would turn up something that you could do for yourself once a week?
For me, the key to being happy has been to become selfish, especially with free time. If your dad is the other responsible adult in the house then he needs to look after you, by taking care of the kids while you have some time for yourself. But like I said, people don't offer this help if you don't ask for it. You have to take it. With both hands.
Lots of luck to you.
I had to laugh at the beginning of this. I am actually OCD and have a son with Autism. So I am having such an issue because I CAN'T be organized the way I want to. I live in Fon du lac county Wisconsin. I do get a little hlep if I say something
I live in the UK, so I'll not be able to babysit for you, sadly
I don't know who can be organised with so many children - I have three boys myself, and I have now given up on my dream of a tidy house. I do not have those answers at all!
I don't ask for help though often because when I moved in with family I did so under the knowledge that I was the mom, they were my kids and I was to raise them and he wasn't a babysitter. He not only works about 60 hours a week but he works at the college I go to so my tuition is free to me. Plus he travels on business so often around the country so he doesn't get much downtime either. My oldest is 13 but he babysits when our schedules conflict and I have classes and they are off. Or if its for shopping or an appointment. Which is often.
I don't have any friends because I have no way to really meet any. I go to a college that has traditional students that live in dorms on campus and are generally under the age of 22. I do have classmates I socialize with on campus now and that is nice but its hard because we have nothing in common in the way of life. I have professors that are younger than myself. I have two really close friends that are out of state and I will be seeing one next month because he is flying out to visit for a few days. I haven't seen him in 15 years and I think that will help a lot because we have known each other since I was 13 years old. Other than that I don't have any opportunity for a socail life.
I literally get up in the morning and don't stop moving until after the kids are in bed and that is when I am doing homework and studying until all hours of the night and a lot of the time I have to pull almost all nighters just to get everything done for school. I have had to miss a lot of classes for the kids stuff going on and I am lucky the professors are so understanding because otherwise I should be kicked out of those classes.
We have a chore list for the adults that have to be done once a week and that did help until they got so busy that they stopped. I do our laundry...myself and the kids and they do their own but mine doesn't stop...I have three boys living with me and my daughter comes back next summer when my Autistic son goes to his dad. I have the chores like dishes and dinner and the kitchen because I use it the most and I make dinner for my kids only lately but my dad tries to cook once every couple of weeks but as I said he is busy too.
I have a deadbeat for my youngest's father so I get no help ever from him. He doesn't visit even so I could get a weekend. My other ex is great but lives in CA.
You are a Superwoman, I think. Will things improve when you finish college perhaps? Is it a case of toughing this out, putting up with the exhaustion until you have your qualification and hence a little more freedom in the evenings?
I need a cape then:) Oh it will improve I think a lot of it is the semester and the classes too I am taking. Plus next summer my autistic son moves with his dad and I get my daughter. After college I will be going for my Master's and working:)
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