When I became a single stay at home mom, I did not realize how hard it would be to stay with your child 24 hours of the day and 7 days a week. It can easily turn an otherwise wonderful motherhood into one that is stressful and riddled with conflict. After a year at this, I finally came up with 10 ways that helped me to do self care without sacrificing valuable connection time with my son. It also ultimately carved out time for me to start this blog. I hope you find some of this helpful in your life.
The 3:1 Rule
I came up with this rule after I realized how often I needed to recharge without burning out at the end of the day. Every 3 hours I spend dedicated to my child, I will take one hour to take care of myself. During that hour, my son is eating, doing a quiet activity or watching some tv. This also helps to chop up my day in four hour intervals. During this hour, I often have a cup of coffee, check email, work out and get housework done.
Two Hours of Quality Time
Everyday, I dedicate two hours playing and teaching my son without interruption. This is the exact amount of time of preschool for a child his age. We often play with blocks, play with legos, bake, do crafts and read. We also jump, dance and play ball together. Because I have carved out this time each day for him, I don’t feel guilty when I need him to play independently when I need to work. This time is also usually in the morning when I’m most rested. When my son has my undivided attention in the morning, he’s also usually less needy in the afternoon. It all works together.
Taking a Bath
As a single mom, I find it very hard to have total relaxation. I’m constantly thinking or doing. Bath time can range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes for me. I do it right when my son falls asleep at night. I know I won’t be interrupted. I take this time to just not think, to meditate and to just be. Clearing my head helps me transition from being a mom to being an entrepreneur.
Since my son was a baby, I made a point to do yoga with him. This helps us connect both in the morning and at night. It also allowed my body to bounce back from pregnancy. As he got older, we dance together often. It’s my way of doing cardio. Most of all, he also loves it.
Work Time is Precious
My time for work is limited to an average of 4 hours a night seven nights a week. That’s 28 hours a week to make enough to support us and also to save money. It also carves into valuable time for myself. So, it better kill two birds with one stone. I only work on projects that I love. If I didn’t love blogging, I just wouldn’t do it for work.
Minimum House Work
From the beginning, I realized one trick to thriving as a single mom is really to limit the amount of house work I needed to do. We chose to live in a small apartment instead of a house. Each room has a play area for my son as well as areas for the both of us. That means as we move from room to room during the day, he’s always occupied and I can always find a way to sneak in some work. I have a rotating schedule to clean all the rooms so that everything is done on a weekly basis. I also manage a load of laundry every day.
Cook Everything in Batches
Once a week, I will grocery shop with a list of items that we need. Then, on that day, I will make all of our breakfasts and lunches for that week in the oven. Then, they are frozen for the week ahead. Each day, I simply heat items up for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I usually prepare everything in an instant pot when I have a break usually during noon time. Around dinner time, I will put the pot in and turn on the pot. Dinner is usually done in less than 30 minutes or less.
Independent Time for Him Should be Restful For Me
Whenever my son does his independent play time, I usually have an iPad with me while I sit by him. I’m watching some tv shows or checking my own personal social media. This is my time to decompress. By keeping an eye on him as well, I can help him play if he needs me to.
Self care for single working mom from home does not have to be complicated. Click to read about the 10 ways to make it easier.
Stagger my rest and work time
Above, I told you that I work 4 hours a day on average. More accurately, it’s 6 hours one day and then 2 hours the next. I like to get my work done in chunks that are large when my motivation is high. I would sit down for 6 hours after my son’s asleep and get the work done. Then, of course the next day I’m sleep deprived. I drink some coffee, and carry on. But, most importantly, I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep on the second night. If I don’t make it until night time, I will take a nap with my son.
Low Key Day For Me
On those days when I’m sleep deprived, you will see us at playrooms, library play areas or playgrounds. My son gets his time to develop his social skills while I don’t worry about entertaining him and putting together activities. I take a mental break during my low key days.
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Check other single mom posts:
10 Reasons Why I’m My Son’s Daddy Too
How to Cook in Layers with Instant Pot and Save a Ton of Time
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