Organize Me - Hard Working Single Mom/Student

by Michelle
(Oklahoma)

I am a 25 year old single mom of 2 children. My son is 6 and my daughter is 8 months. I'm also going to school and working too, and in need of some tips on how to create a routine in my schedule.

Here's my work schedule:

Tuesdays and Fridays 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I assist an elderly man with his shower before I go to class.

Saturday evenings I assist an elderly woman from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Here's my school schedule:

Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30-10:30 a.m.

My life has absolutely no routine. I'm tired all the time and am often late getting my son to school in the mornings. My daughter is still not sleeping through the night and I am still nursing her.

I desperately need some stability for me and my children. Work, school, and studying is a big jumbled up mess. Can you please give me some tips on how to create a routine for us? I'm so tired of "winging" it all the time.

Thank you, Michelle

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Apr 12, 2010
Comments to Help get a Student and Single- Mom Organized
by: Samantha

Hi Michelle, my heart goes out to you! You're in a tough spot, but know that it is temporary. First, you've got to take care of yourself!

Based on your question, your schedule is normal for a working student, but breastfeeding and raising kids, and not sleeping is exhausting! If you're not eating at least 5 - 6 healthy meals a day that support a breastfeeding mother, do so promptly and get some much needed sleep! These alone may be the answers to your question. Sleep is a miracle drug.

Your baby should begin to sleep through the night anytime now. Check with her doctor for some tips on how to help her sleep more.

Now, could you visit the campus employment office to find another job? Could you find an apprentice type job with a regular day shift schedule in the field you're obtaining a degree in? Could you take online courses? Could you move your work schedule around to be at home with your children more at night? For instance, instead of helping the man with his showers before class, how about doing that in the morning, before or after class? That way you could bathe your kids and read to them before leaving for class in the evening.

Kids thrive on a routine and a loving home environment. You can provide them with both in your situation with a little energy on your part. And, you will be amazed at how much energy you'll have once you start sleeping. When you have stretches of time like Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, put your baby in a stroller, your son on a bike, and go for a long walk. Fit study time in when you can - breaks and lunches at work - read your textbooks to your kids at night before bed (sounds weird, but your kids will love spending time with you regardless of what is read to them).

On Sundays write out things to do lists for the week ahead. You'll be more accountable to your time and able to see the time wasters and energy zappers in your schedule. Be sure to include your have to's in the list too such as upcoming tests, school activities for your son, etc. Hang out with positive people who build you up rather than tear you down as this further drains your energy.

Create regular meal times, bed times, and wake up times for you and your children. Get your son involved in some age appropriate chores too so he can help ease your burdens and the praise he receives will not only build him up, it will bond you two further. If kids know what's expected of them, and when to expect things, they develop a sense of security, which helps them develop self-esteem.

Before you know it, this time in your life will be a distant memory, so enjoy your kids. I was in your shoes about fifteen years ago, and believe me when I say that the time will fly. You'll look back on this time and be proud of yourself wondering how you did it all! Take care, Samantha

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