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Old 09-02-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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humm How do you stay organized??

I would love to hear how you all stay organized during the school year as a single parent. I find myself stressing out alot trying to figure out how we're going to get homework, dinner, baths, housework, etc all done and get the kids to bed early enough so they won't be tired the next day. So far it's not really working out well at our house. If you guys have any tips please share! Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

1st off, don't worry.... if the dishes don't get washed after each meal, or the floors aren't swept every day.
I have the school calender that is the base for our schedules. I write Dr Appointments, Visits weekends, my days off, everything on it.
I break the chores down into sets. like front room/TV room, Kitchen/dinning room, and main bathroom/laundry room. When all 4 boys were home I used to rotating weekly schedule like I made in the Navy for assignments. But with just 2 boys and myself I am thinking of setting a $ amount for each room. Then a chore calender where we can write down who did what chore (I have the overall inspection rights).
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

What is your schedule for the week? I have struggled as well, but I find. I have one child, but I have an 87 year old grandma that I have to take care of as well. I have decided to clean one or two rooms in the house well. The grass is on a certain day. I have two different days where I do a few loads of laundry. The one or two days a week that I schedule myself to do the most work are either the days my ex has my child. I also either have McDonalds(on 2.19 Happy Meal day) or a Pizza Night(cheaper during the week) during school a night vs weekends. There is less time during weeknights. Plan what you are having for dinner for the week on Sat or Sun- You know sort of how busy your week is a head of time.
The homework-gets done as soon as they get home-, bath schedule- have 2 separate times and have your kids switch every week. One goes first this week- one goes second the next week. Hope this helps a little.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Always always. Get home, ha e a snack and HW happened befor anything else. As yrs went on we added thirty mins or so of activity before HW depending upon how much they had. I used HW time to make dinner though interrupted often.

It sort of depends. If kids are at daycare until five or later the routine changes and dinner comes first, but HW shoud really be taken care of there in that 3-5 area. What is you day like?

I spent the last hr tonight going through photo stuff x 3 and annoyed but we went away and school gave us only this weekend. Normally, that would be unacceptable and punishable for kids. But they gave it to me in as timely a manner as they could have and I opted to wait for three at once rather than try to remember what I did for the other(s)

---------- Post added at 09:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:33 PM ----------

Are your twins in the same class? Just curious. I separated mine after Kindy... but made sure once in upper elementary they were with teachers that worked together e.g. same curriculum, fieldtrips, special days, etc. Tried to keep HW as close as possible so they were not learning different things. In middle school I kept them in the same group but completely different schedules. They only saw eachother during lunch, but had the same teachers and the same HW... really takes a big load off and schools should work with you on that especially if you are not telling them to keep them together... course, if you want them together it is your choice in most states.

I simply could not take it during middle school, with the child a year older having 12 teachers, 3 advisors, etc. Really not enough time to get to know 15 plus new personalities.... wasn't happening!
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Some days are easier than others.......but home from school.....empty back packs, check on homework assignments......and plan according to that. Dinner started while they do homework, so I am there anyway to answer questions.
After dinner if weather is good we can play ball, less strenuous chores etc. It varies, but always try to get some "fun" time together even if it is playing cards at the table. In the midst of this boys are helping with setting table, dishes etc.
Bedtime is fun though, house gets quiet........but also tucking in is a great time for one to one talks.
One thing I have learned is that they need to have specific tasks they are responsible for each day. The routine makes things flow a lot smoother.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Another thing I do as much as possible is cook ahead. Make something in the crock pot that I can split leftovers into containers and freeze for future use. If I cook ground beef I cook a bunch and split and freeze....makes taco or sloppy joe night much quicker and easier and you don't need to remember to defrost ahead of time!
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Staying organized can be a pain in the behind!
Fortunately I do have help in my case.

My Significant Other is also a single parent so we can coordinate things fairly well.
She also keeps me on target with things too!

But basically after school, they hopefully get their homework done at Aftercare, but if not, then that's usually the first thing done when they get home.

Due to work schedules, i get home earlier so I get the kids and get their homework done and get dinner going. after dinner, kids get showers unless they're totally funky when getting home from school

Our little ones are 8 and 10 and as of late, they have been getting along quite nicely so the blending and teamwork my SO and I have seems to be trickling down to the kids too!

Always good to have the kids actually getting along and wanting to help!
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

My boys are older and have more responsibilities. I work from 3pm til 1 or 2 AM. I come home for dinner about 7PM, and again for a break around 10. My biggest worry is DS4's Diabetes Management. With his Football he's having lows during the night. I think I need to change the pump settings for night time to less Basile rate of insulin. There are always things that happen and schedules are good, but to be flexible is very important.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

cooking ahead is big for me, too. i cook big on the week ends, then freeze for later, so i can alternate the leftovers.

same thing with after school care, hopefully homework is done then, if not as soon as we get home, she's on it. (baby sister is in preschool, so gets to play or whatever, unfair i know! ). im cooking dinner during this time, and if they are fussy, they get a shot of protein called a peanut-butter popsicle (a.k.a. dipping a spoon in peanut butter, ).

and my house is messy and is cleaned when i can get to it. it's not dirty, just cluttered, and i do make it a point of cleaning up the dishes as best as i can. big sister helps me wipe the table and clean up a bit, too. as they get older, i'm looking forward to assigning chores!

good luck and take it easy on yourself! so what if your house is a bit messy! you can only do what you can do!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:02 AM   #10
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Hi Re: How do you stay organized??

Thank you to everybody for sharing your ideas with me! Our daily schedule starts with me getting up at 5:30am so I can get my son on the bus at 6:30, my daughter to school by 7:40 and me to work by 8:30. I work til 5 Mon-Fri. Its usually 6pm or pretty close to it before I get to after school care to pick the kids up. On a day when we don't have soccer practice or games, we are trying to finish homework, get dinner going, baths done, and into bed at a decent time which really should be around 8pm. But it just doesn't seem possible to cram all the aforementioned stuff into a 2 hour period!! So it's more like 9 or 9:30. Soccer nights are crazy. They go straight from aftercare to practice or a game and those don't end til at least 8pm, after which dinner has to be provided, baths taken etc. Ugh! I want them to be able to be in these activities but sometimes I wonder if it's really just taking on too much!

Re-Mom you asked about my twins being in the same class. They were up until 5K. Then C, my son, was held back in first grade. Because he has alot of learning difficulties he ended up having to change schools last year to go into a full-time special education class. He also has mild cerebral palsy which most likely has a lot to do with his learning problems.

Thanks again guys for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me! I will definitely try them out!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

When I read the first line I was going to ask if you were dealing with special needs... or why they were in different schools. Curious, were they preemies?

Honestly, it sounds like you have this together, especially with special needs in the mix. The key is to have a plan, but also have 10 backup plans for when things do not go as planned... I think that is about as organized as any of us can get when single parenting, especially with multiple kids, different schools, activities, appts, etc. involved. Nevermind being responsible financially and for home upkeep other than what the kids can do (thankfully that builds as they age, but so does their busy schedule so their time is lessening as they age).

---------- Post added at 11:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:06 PM ----------

and food, lots of gloriously frozen and ready to warm up foods!
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Sorry it takes me so long to reply a lot of times. Quite often I don't get many opportunities to do this. My twins were born 3 weeks early so they weren't overly premature. So I don't really know what caused my son's CP. I have sometimes wondered if it was because he was born 2nd and they pulled him out feet first. Re-Mom were your twins preemies?

Back to talking about being organized, I feel like everything from the time we get home is a colossal rush to fit it all in so the kids can get to bed on time. With them going to bed at 9 or 9:30 I feel like they aren't really getting enough sleep, especially my bus rider. My other problem, of course, is getting them to do the things that need to be done in a timely manner. They tend to dawdle at dinner and try to wait as long as possible to get their baths. In short order, they don't listen real well--another frustrating issue I'm working on! I tried to tell myself to not stress out about things this year. I've been single parenting for the past 4 1/2 years now. Just can't seem to figure out how to get so many things done in a way that doesn't leave me feeling stressed!!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Get the kids on the timing. Do up a chart...faster they get showers the more tv or whatever time they get?
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

schedule and routine.... as much as possible.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Yep! Keep it on a schedule. Line out the expectations and give them two or three days to get used to the routine. The next step would be a reward/consequence system. Dinner- give them a time frame to eat if they are not done then take the food away. No snack or dessert if certain amount is not eaten. Homework- you must know what is expected from them at this point. I am going through a little homework situation with my 2nd grader. The teacher expects a letter every week about a book he is reading. Well it took us about 2 hrs to write the letter this weekend(first time). I know this is going to be his toughest thing. So I have decided we will read a book the first two nights(easy part and the part his dad will have when he has him)! Rough draft on 2nd two nights. Then copy his full letter on the final night. Hopefully it will not take as long once he learns the parts of a letter, but I know for the first month this is going to be a struggle.Well, if he does not get these things done we will be doing it on the weekend! No fun!
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

Showers are faster, if possible....send them up and they can alternate who is helping clean up with who is showering first....two things at once! I know many parents do dessert, you could do that after showers and dinner cleanup. Try changing one or two things at a time, include them in the planning. Then sit them down, this is working great, but lets try doing this and we may have more time together at night (or weekends)....you get the idea.

Definitely involve them in planning...sometimes they come up with great ideas and are much more likely to follow through with their parts if they were part of the decision making. Weekly family meetings are nice! Reality we did them closer to once a month at that age. Could be during dinner time, but I preferred having a calendar and notebook out and making it separate from nightly dinners. Now THIs is nice over some cookies out of the oven!
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

So it seems like u guys spread the chores out through out the week. With work my schooling my oldest schooling and the baby I find myself wondering how things will get done as well. Setting a day for this and that seems to be the over all Idea I will try that next week.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: How do you stay organized??

We let a lot of things slide in busy periods, and use weekends to catch up. I haven't had that much luck freezing things and then heating them back up. They seem to "taste like freezer" then, and my kids are kind of picky. I find that big, fresh raw veggie plates with crackers and cheese and pita bread, chopped fruit, pick-up food, they seem to enjoy. Homemade pepperoni rolls are always popular. Chili. Chicken casseroles. Burritos. Burgers and pizza of course. Some Chinese and Indian. I sneak veggies into whatever I can get away with sneaking them in to. They have to do their homework before they do anything else on weeknights. If I see they are kind of vegging too much, then I say "mom needs help with x y z" and am specific about what they have to do. Not "clean your room" but "make the bed, put your clean clothes away and dirty ones in the hamper, then sweep the floor". Some chores they do just because they have to do them (I am flexible and we are not rigid in our routines due to our income sources being wax and wane). Some big more unusual chores they are paid for in cash or kind. Staying organized is never easy. It's always a struggle, something we have to stay on top of and keep foremost in our minds, lest we slip and start losing things.
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