Raising a 5 year old pre-school and taking care of the entire household chores single-handedly while working at home can be quite a challenge. You’ll need a lot of energy and most of all perfect timing and schedule.
Old schedule doesn’t work. Whenever my child is at home, the entire place is like a warzone of her toys, books and snacks. I let her play all she wants when she’s at home and then when she goes to school, that’s when I clean up, wash clothes and cook our meal. This might seem like it works unless you’re a work at home mom. First of all, working with all those chores does not even seem to fit a minute for me to do my job. By the time I’m finally done with the house work and ready to do my job, she’s also ready to be fetched from school. We arrive at home to clean and organized house that seems to have magically changed from mess to perfect. The plan was to work while she’s playing. However, I couldn’t concentrate working because my little girl is either watching TV, singing aloud that requires me to give a loud round of applause each time she finishes a song, asking endless questions or asking for food. In short, it’s hard to focus on my work while she’s around.
New strategy for the schedule. After a few weeks of low productivity, I’ve decided to reverse my schedule. I send her to school and then I go straight back at home and work on my job. I just had to sacrifice a little change. Before, I couldn’t work with clutter around me and that’s just one thing I had to sacrifice for this schedule. I’d rather work in clutter than not to be able to work at all! After a few hours of messy but peaceful hours, I fetch her from school, we go to lunch together and head back home.
How the new schedule help both myself and my daughter. When we arrive from school, we go home to a house of clutter. Most of those clutters though are her toys and she sees how I clean them up. Watching me do all these household work helps her learn in the most effective manner of teaching; teaching by example. When she sees how I clean our house, she learns that it isn’t easy but it must be done. She learns the difference of a clean house from a messy one. After just a few days of following this new routine, it already shows how she emulates Mama cleaning up. Before she sleeps, she tidy up and organise all her toys and place them in her toy box. Aside from its teaching benefits, this new routine allows me to communicate with her more. I can talk to her while cleaning the house. We even review her lessons while I’m doing our laundry. It’s easier for me to look at her notes, see if she’s reading the words correctly and talk to her without confusing myself between the job in my head and her questions.
It’s very hard being a single mom. It needs your commitment emotionally and physically every single day of your life. Transforming this lifelong responsibility to a one-of-a-kind and most treasured experience is possible. All you need is faith, determination, hard-work along with love and support from family, friends and fellow single moms. Cheers!