Timers are not your enemies…sometimes they feel like work but I’ve discovered (with time) that it’s a good idea to make them my allies and use them to my advantage. I tend to be forgetful, and I guess it’s normal for us single mothers having to take care of so many things!
A couple of weeks ago I ended up at the Supermarket at 6:00 am, that’s right, 6:00 am! My son had told me about an upcoming school trip to remind me of his lunch (on field trips I allow them to take snacks that I don’t have in my pantry, chips, cookies etc) and I thought “hey! It’s next week, there’s time to get ready” and dismissed it!
Situations like these happen to single moms ALL THE TIME, we want to prioritize (not blaming us from doing so) but we tend to dismiss the details that drive us crazy later! What could’ve saved me from ending at the supermarket at 6 am? Run the night before after work? Use my workout time? NO, that would’ve sent me straight to the “sacrifice” mindset again, instead I could’ve set a reminder on my cell phone and a deadline to have his snacks at least 2 days before the school trip.
I realized that not taking advantage of alarms, timers and gadgets available to me added a lot of unnecessary stress, single mothers have to do a lot and the amount of womanpower available is 1 so the more prepared, the better. I’m sharing a few ideas and items that have worked for me and hopefully will work for you as well:
Set up Reminders, as many as you can!
Yes, this might sound like too much but think of this: how many times have you said to yourself “I wish I had an assistant to remind me of things” well this is your chance, you have more than one right on your phone.
Google calendar is one of my favorites. It’s easy to use and you can set up many reminders as text, email and alarm anytime from days in advance to a few minutes. This is specially helpful if you need more than one alert. I set things to do as events regardless of how small they seem, (remember is the little details we tend to forget and to later see them coming at us like a Bulldozer) set an email reminder 3 days before, and 2 texts, one 24 hours before and one in the morning the same day. This takes off the stress and fear of forgetting things, you’ll be reminded 3 times!
Phone Reminders, these are also easy to use and are very convenient for things that require your immediate attention but the display doesn’t always show days or weeks in advance which I prefer. Still is another option.
Invest in Kitchen Gadgets with Timers, they work.
I love cooking meals for my children but when I get home I feel too tired to start cooking a fancy meal from scratch, stews, BBQ ribs, baked mac and cheese, and roasted chicken seem like a whole lot of work to start at 6 or 7 pm besides taking all my time to do other important things like my workout, spending quality time with my children or preparing things for the next morning.
A World Wonder for single moms. It only requires a few minutes (15 max) before you go to work in the morning. I put my meals together while I drink my morning coffee! Prices range from $23.99 -$300.00, depending on your budget and how much you have to cook there are a lot of options out there for you to choose.
I use The Crockpot brand, got it for $39.99 and does a great job! its big enough for 2-3 meals for the three of us (I rather cook more so I can serve that some other day of the week combined with a different side dish). Love making Beef stew, Chicken Cacciatore and BBQ Ribs. There are plenty of easy recipes that come with the item, also if you want to have your recipes handy the Crockpot Recipe book is only $11.68 on amazon (Love it). There is no mistake on this one, nothing like finding your dinner ready when you get home and you get a lot for your buck!
After giving it some thought for a while I purchased a NuWave ($99.00), to my surprise it was amazing! and the best thing about it is the speed. I can have a complete meal in 10-25 min or less. Chicken, Steak, Pork Chops, grilled veggies, sweet potatoes, baked “fries” for my boys can be perfectly cooked in a matter of minutes. It also has layers so you can cook different things at the same time! Seriously, you can cook anything on this thing. Totally worth the investment!
Your Old Stove Oven range
Let’s say you have planned to spend the day at home but need to run some errands that might take a long time. Later you’ll come home tired and go straight to the kitchen to cook in the worst possible mood humanly possible…So here’s an idea: your range oven might have a delay feature, YES! Even the very old ones allow you to set your cooking for a later time and also shut off by itself so you wont have to worry if errands take more than you expected. If you have one of these take advantage of it!
Although all brands are different, I wanted to offer an example of how you can set up your oven timer I found in allmygoodthings.com, it is detailed and it has pictures!
These are just some ideas that might be available to you. At home you might have a lot of other things that you are not taking advantage of as well. As single mothers we have a lot of things to take care of besides our children so why not help us a little with whats already there? Lets start paying more attention to all the ignored timers we have at home and use them, they are helpful!
Sending Love to all single moms out there!