Being a single mother is not a position in which any woman desires to be placed, but nonetheless the situation is a familiar picture of the modern family. Many women become disenchanted in attaining their goals because of a lack of funds, no support system, or depression.
In all reality, it doesn’t take a cushy child support settlement, a live-in nanny, or an angel investor to make your dreams happen. All you really need is wise time management and sheer determination to start. Here are five tips for a better, bolder you. After all a better you, is a better parent for your children.
1. Write Everything Down. Yes, everything, from the reminder to pick up milk, to that ingenious idea of a proposal for your job, to those fabulous shoes you saw on a woman in the street. I make it a point to always have pens and paper or Post-its at arms-length, so that I can quickly jot down any ideas that come to mind.
2. Exercise. This is a tough one, even for me. But at least 30 minutes a day is all you need to lift your spirits and get your body into the shape you need to stay energized for your workday and your children. If possible, set your alarm a half hour earlier than usual, so that you can work out while the kiddies sleep.
3. Carve out time for yourself. Easier said than done, right? But every little thing you do ahead of time can create little pockets of time that add up, and allow you to do the things that you want to do. For instance, while I am preparing and having dinner with my child, I also pack lunch for the both of us for the following day. That way, when its baby’s bedtime, I have extra time to do my own thing. Every minute counts!
4. Read constantly. As mothers, its normal to get sucked into the doldrums of motherhood and baby books. But it is important to keep your mind on target, and your ideas fresh by constantly reading high quality, value-adding content. This does not mean pop novels, although they have value as a source of relief and entertainment. But a successful woman is always knowledgeable of current events, and often contributes rare and exceptional value to their childrens’ and associates lives.
5. Know that every minute counts. If you use a commuter rail, catch up on your reading, or thought processes for how you’d like to organize your day. Or use the time to write a few sentences of that novel you’ve been wanting to publish. (Five sentences = one paragraph!). Learn to quickly scan news articles, and use Google Reader to smartly organize all of your favorite news feeds. During your lunch break, don’t sit in the break room and idly chat, or linger on the computer browsing gossip sites. Use that free time to read up on a new trade, or discreetly work on that side hobby that fulfills you. Use each moment of your time to do something that adds value to your life.
Tatiana Smith is a writer, dancer, artist and mom of one living in Brooklyn. You can find her musing on fashion on her website, Lavish.