[N]ewly-single parents face new, many times unexpected challenges. Maybe the most overlooked is that of the daily routines that you likely never considered, but now requires more effort and time. What follows is four tips that can help the suddenly single parent save time and money.

1. Tips that Help Single Parents – Prepare Your Own Meals

With so much to do, many single parents struggle with finding the time for everyday tasks like making dinner. And no wonder—by the time you pick up the kids and get home, everyone’s exhausted. The quick fix for most is ordering take-out, but that gets expensive very quickly, and you miss out on some potentially good family time.

Here are some simple tips for finding the time to make dinner. For more cooking ideas read guest post, Chris Coleman’s One Simple Trick to Learn How to Cook for My Kids!

  • Use a crock pot once or twice a week.
  • When you make a meal that freezes easily (such as a casserole, ground beef or chicken), double it and place half in the freezer.
  • Cut all your vegetables for the week ahead of time (for example, on Sunday nights).
  • Designate one night of the week as “sandwich night,” “soup and salad night,” or “make your own pizza” night.

2. Tips that Help Single Parents – Clean Your House

Finding the time to clean your house can be nearly impossible for single parents who work full time or beyond. Apply these tips to simplify the task of cleaning your house so that you can get it done in less time:

  • Make a list of the chores that need to be completed on a weekly basis, and tackle just one or two tasks each day.
  • Get you kids to help.
  • Swap child care duties for a night and take turns cleaning each other’s houses.
  • Designate one night a week as your chore night. Do what you can, and then let the rest go. That might be a big adjustment for some.
  • Modify your expectations. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect to be tidy.

3. Tips that Help Single Parents – Making Time to Attend your Kids’ Activities

Attending sports and your kids functions can feel overwhelming. Apply these tips to help you support your kids’ active involvement in sports and other fun activities while also keeping up with work and other commitments:

  • Save time by carpooling.
  • Try to make one activity per week.
  • For additional support, ask other family members, friends, and neighbors to attend your child’s activities.
  • Help the group by providing snacks or offering to collect money for the coach’s end-of-the-season gift.

[tweet “With small children, sometimes it’s hard just to get a moment to yourself—even to take a shower or brush your teeth.”]

4. Tips that Help Single Parents – Take a Shower.

With small children, sometimes it’s hard just to get a moment to yourself—even to take a shower or brush your teeth. Follow these tips to get more than three minutes in the shower at a time:

With Infants:

  • Train your child play in his crib for a few minutes each night.
  • Once your child becomes accustomed to this time, use it to take a shower.
  • Keep a baby monitor within earshot.
  • Alternatively, place a baby swing, exerciser, or—for babies who aren’t crawling yet—even just a baby blanket and toys on the floor within sight of the shower.

As your child grows, look for solutions that work for you. Your child will go through several developmental stages, be prepared to make appropriate changes.

For Preschoolers:

  • Set your child up with coloring books, Play-doh, or another simple craft while you take a shower.
  • Allow your child to watch an age appropriate TV show.

Being a single parent is tough. A good organized game plan can help you save time and make your parenting day smooth.

What other tips would you give single parents?

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