Ughh! There Isn’t Enough Time in the Day!

Ughh! There Isn’t Enough Time in the Day!

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[Melinda Finch is a 30 something mother of two from Dyersburg, TN. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree from Tennessee State University. Follow Melinda @sillymi09]

If only I had known the challenges of having a baby before pursuing my career, I would have developed a better game plan. Although I was 26 when I gave birth to my child, I had just reached the decision to think about my future. My experience as a full-time student and a mother has been replete with many adventures. Although things have not been easy, I would not change it for the world. My stress level is extremely high at times, but I have learned that better time management results in less stress.

Time management is important for everyone, but especially for a single mother. The single mom wears many hats. She is a full-time student, a full-time employee, and a mother. As a student, she is also a group member, scholar, researcher, and copywriter. As an employee, she may be a team leader, gopher, or even scapegoat. As a mother, she is nurse, educator, counselor, advocate, cook, maid and chauffeur.

I learned the importance of time management early. Without this habit of self-control and planning, I would quickly lose my mind. Overtime, I have developed an approach to each new school semester. The following are some considerations that may prove helpful to you.

  • 1. Organize a schedule for your child or children.

The first thing I determined is that it is necessary to put my child on a schedule. I sat down and determined how I would balance all the things that needed to be done while making sure that my child did not get the short end of the stick.

  • 2. Determine your schedule.

Second, I laid out my schedule. The certainty that my child was scheduled first allowed me to feel less guilt when I took time for studying or work. Seeing things on paper helped me visually organize and count the number of hours I provide influence and interaction for my child.

  • 3. Share the schedule.

Consistency is important. Having a hard copy of the schedule enabled me to share it with everyone that provided care for my son. I asked caretakers to follow it as well.

Below you will find an example of my schedule:

Child Schedule

My Schedule

7 a.m.

Wake up, change diaper, breakfast and story time.

Together Time

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.

bath  time and cuddle time

Together Time

9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Education time Hooked on Phonics DVD

Together Time

9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

snack and story

Together Time

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

morning nap

My Study Time

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

lunch and cuddle time

Together Time

1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Baby on his Belly time; self-comforting time

My Writing Time

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Story time; play time; 30 minutes of Barney

Together Time

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon nap

Household Business Time

3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Afternoon snack; cuddle time

Together Time

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Education time Hooked on Phonics DVD; self-comforting time

My Writing Time

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Dinner

Together Time

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Bath time

Together Time

7 p.m.

Bedtime

Together Time

7-9p.m.

My Study Time

9p.m.

My Bedtime

At first, it may seem like a losing battle to get your little one on the schedule, but with repetition I promise it will work. As your child grows, you can adjust your schedule to a more age appropriate schedule. Start your child off early, and it will become natural for your child to have structure. This will make your tenure as a mother a lot less stressful.

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