Single mom - 15 ways to avoid burnout

  • Use a small, inexpensive tape recorder to plan events, schedule appointments, or list important to-dos. When you're driving to the day care and work in the morning, attach it to your visor, and you and your child can record whatever comes to mind during busy traffic. Drive and at the same time "read" that novel you've been craving, or let your child listen to her favorite adventures.
  • Delegate everything you possibly can to others. Ask for help. And get the kids to pitch in (yes, a five year old can help set the table and fold laundry) whenever possible.
  • Buy a kitchen or egg timer and use for the following:

    Concentrate on only one thing for a set period of time. When the timer rings or buzzes, go on to the next task.

    - Every evening try to give your child undivided attention, say for about 20 to 25 minutes. Set the timer and let him know that this is his time and that when the buzzer goes off, you are going to do something else. Turn on the phone answering machine and allow no distractions.

    - Every evening, give yourself some private time. Set the timer for approximately 20 minutes and relax, scream, exercise, cry, laugh, or write in a journal. Let your child know this is your time and you are not to be interrupted. Make sure young children are in a safe place with safe activities.

    - Use the timer when putting your child in "time out."

  • Don't give in to your child's every whim. Single parents guilty of giving that extra toy or candy bar to replace the missing parent tend to spoil their kids in the process. This leads to nore and more time consuming battles over control. You are the parent, and your word is the final one.

  • Save up the many short errands end jobs for a once a month marathon. Devote a half day to accomplishing as much as you can. Ask a friend to come along.
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