As a single mother, I have to plan just about every aspect of my life; from weekly meals to designating time for me to do non-related mom activities. Dating and hanging out with friends require a babysitter. Planning is my key to survival. If you are not a planner, it’s time to stop making excuses and get it together. Here are four techniques that will help make your life a whole lot easier.
- Time Blocking- Designate a certain amount of time to complete as many tasks on your list as possible. This only works if you can stay focused without distractions. Turn off your TV and ignore your cell phone. Make it a priority to get things done.
- Be an Early Bird or Night Owl- During the week I am most certainly a Night Owl. Once my son is in bed, I try to force myself not to also pass out. The key is to keep moving!!!! A body in motion stays in motion. On the weekends my alarm goes off at 6:00am no matter what. Now I may not always get up at that time, but I have learned I must get up before the little one does to get started on my to do list. Once he is up, my attention is automatically diverted to him.
- Calendars and Lists- This should already be a no brainer for everyone. I have way too much going on to even try to remember everything so I must write it down.
- Getting things done ahead of time. If there are things you have to get accomplished that are deadline driven, try to get them done early. Getting things done early will relieve your stress of constantly thinking about it. This also gives you extra time to resolve any issues and come up with a plan B.
So there you have it. This is how this single mommy, full time employee, blogger, business owner and so many other things makes it work. I’m not a robot, I figured out planning is key.
It’s back to school time and for many parents we struggle with trying to get our children to tell us about their day. The dreaded after school questions with one word responses helps neither party. I have a 5 year old so it’s certainly not a walk in the park to get him to remember his day let alone give me details. This upcoming week starts kindergarten for my little one, but last year he was in full day K-4 (8:30am-3:00pm) so it won’t be too much of an adjustment. The biggest difference will be no naps, but I’m sure he will be totally ok with that. Naptime has been non-existent the past 2 years unless he falls asleep in the car.
Last year we transitioned out of the “How was your day?” and moved onto “What did you learn today?” This was much more conversational and encouraged him to think. You can actually get a lot out of a four year old if you ask the right questions.
Asking “What did you learn today?” is opened ended and depending on the answer can lead to other open ended questions. Letting him tell me what he learned is a great way for me to drive home certain topics with him. Education shouldn’t only be limited to the classroom. If your child doesn’t know something, it’s because you weren’t paying enough attention as the parent.
So challenge your child to give you a recap. It will give you more insight on what he or she does or doesn’t like about school. When he gets a little older, I will start asking “What questions did you ask today?”. If he isn’t asking questions than I know he isn’t being challenged.
A few other questions to ask your kindergartener are:
1) What was your favorite part of the day?
2) Was there anything that you didn’t like today? Follow up by asking why to identify any problems.
3) Did you lose any bees today? Or whatever behavior chart the classroom uses.
4) What games did you play at recess?
5) What did you eat for lunch? Schools normally provide a weekly/monthly menu if lunch is provided, but it is still fun to ask.
So what questions are you asking your kids after school?