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OK, I admit it. The year end is drawing near and I officially feel I have become the almost NEVER organized mom.

They kids have gotten older and they are wanting to do more ‘their way’, instead of according to my checklists. They are involved in more outings, field trips, classes, homework and I am having a hard time keeping up.

I am learning to let go a bit as a single parent I can only do so much. My salary isn’t high enough to hire the extra help to keep up the yard, the laundry, and having to take time off to run kids to the doctor, dentist, ballet, or pick them up from school on sick days has proven a challenge.

free_reportWith the New Year approaching I am starting to think about goals, plans, and dreams for the upcoming year.
I know some of the things I did this last year didn’t work – so it’s time to start thinking about new strategies for managing my family, health, and spirit.

Setting goals for the new year makes more sense to me then setting New Years Resolutions. I think it’s time to start mulling over some 2010 New Year Goals.

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So here are a few crazy things from my life as a single mom of three this last week;

Organized Mom1) My children were reported to MY MOTHER by her friend (how old am I ?). Her friend felt the need to tell her that my two youngest children were late for school because they were outside splashing in puddles at a turtles pace walking to school. Yes, this is the same friend of my mother who caught me skipping out of school in 9th grade and felt the need to call her. OK that I understand but calling my mom about my own kids ?!  Her intentions a re good so I guess I should smile knowing she cares about me (my mom’s friend that is).

2) All in the same night -> my roof leaked, my dishwasher over flowed and the basement toilet began leaking.

3) My pay cheque was late and all my bills were overdue.

There are some weeks when someone is telling you to stop and laugh. If I didn’t I just might live in the bathroom with the door locked all week ! There is a silver lining, I received an email about a job interview with a large internet company that made me feel wonderful since I didn’t actually apply. Someone wants my skills – made my week!

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OrganizedmomJenfHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

It’s a constant juggling act! My main tool is a calendar. As soon as the kids bring home any kind of schedule (baseball, show choir, etc.), I transcribe the dates and times onto my family calendar. I also then tack the schedules on the bulletin board near the calendar, just in case I need to go back and double check the location of an event or need to call a coach.

Do you use a particular day planner ?

Nope. My “day planner” is my big Lang calendar, which hangs in the kitchen. Every family event — and my work deadlines — are transcribed on to the calendar. If I need a babysitter, I’ll list the name of the sitter once she’s lined up under the event; that way, I know I’ve got that handled. I also include such things as “return library books” and “schedule eye appts.”

When we’re headed to a 4-H meeting or some other meeting that will include discussion of future events, I’ll literally take the calendar off the wall and bring it along.

Do you own a blackberry?

Nope. I just got a cell phone again a few months ago!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
Prioritize. A lot of the things that we think “have” to be done really don’t need to be done at all — or if they do, they don’t need to be done nearly as often as we think. The more things you take off your to-do list, the more time you have for the things that remain.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
Frozen pizza. It might not be the most nutritious meal in the whole world, but it’s quick, easy and requires virtually no clean-up! Plus, the boys love it.

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?

The better question — what wouldn’t you find in my car right now? Off the top of my head, there are 3 jackets, numerous books, a random garbage bag (I have good intentions!), a travel mug that needs to come into the house, one Field and Stream magazine, an empty McDonal’ds fry container, a first aid kit and a handful of tiny plastic ninjas. Also pens, random change and lots and lots of dirt. Read More→

Categories : Featured Busy Mom
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Organized MomThis week’s featured almost always organized mom is Tara Reed. Mom, artist, and designer. She recently launched a new website as well !

Here are Tara’s interview answers and tips for moms to get organized:

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My household is a family of 2 – me and my son. I’ve been divorced for 5 1/2 years now, run my own business out of the house and my son just got his driver’s license… some days it’s a tad busy!

I have a combination of schedule managers but use a write-on-wipe off calendar on the side of the refrigerator for anything that is on my son’s schedule or that will affect my son.

For example, it doesn’t really matter to him if I have meetings, appointments or conference calls while he is at school – those don’t make the fridge. But if I’m speaking or have a teleseminar that is in the evening, it is there so he could see it.

Of course, he is a 16 year old boy so verbal repetition and texting seems work a little better than my calendar system. :) At the beginning of the week I’ll do a litte, “Here’s what I have going on, here’s what you have going on… anything you haven’t told me about?” (There often is.)

Then each morning while he’s getting ready for school I’ll remind him of anything that day. Then when he doesn’t remember after school, he texts, fesses up that he didn’t really listen, I tell him for the 5th or 6th time and it sinks in. (They say people need to hear things 7 times to really hear them, in my experiencethat is extra true for teenagers!)

Do you use a particular day planner or mom planner?
I have a Mac and recently discovered this wonderful system called “Daylite”. It may be more than an average mom needs but if you are a mom that is also working from home in any way – check it out!

It has a calendar, contact list management, connects emails to people automatically, politely reminds you of upcoming events… it does everything but clean the bathroom! I have it on both my iPhone and Mac and they sync very nicely – so if I make an appointment away from home I just hit “sync” and don’t have to retype everything.

Daylite has helped me save time, find communication threads and remember when to call people back, send in art for consideration and more. I truly can’t say enough good things about this software!

Do you own a blackberry?
No. As an artist and avid Mac lover, I went from a basic phone to an iPhone. Now I couldn’t live without it!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
Don’t obsess over dust. If you have a choice between dusting and relaxing with your kids, spouse, significant other or a good book – choose the latter. (Do dust sometimes of course!) I often feel like I’m ‘falling down on the job’ if my house wouldn’t be ready for a white glove test or photo shoot with a home interiors magazine but the truth of the matter is, we live here. I work here. Kids hang out and play guitar here. It can’t be 100% clean all the time. So save time by dusting 1/2 as much as you are compelled to and spend a little more time having fun! Read More→

Categories : Featured Busy Mom
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I am a single mother. The sole financial provider and caregiver for three children…

So this week was parent teacher interviews at my children’s elementary school. What does that mean? Well, for five days straight two of my children were dismissed from school at 1:10 pm.

This causes problems for most working moms and a few extra for single parents. First, we feel bad that we can’t attend and then we have to figure out who will care for our children.

I was thinking today about all the creative ways I try to balance it all and I thought this may be worth sharing.

First, I have learned to not just admit my limitations to myself but to be upfront with others as to what I can and can’t do. I have set parenting priorities and realize they will not be the same as all the stay at home moms nor even many of the working moms who have a double income family.

When my daughter came home with the slip for my scheduled parent teacher interview… I sent the slip back with a note to the principal stating that I would not be able to attend either of my children’s interviews because my scheduled hours are 11:30 -4 and at that time I have to be at my desk. (See how I did that ONE NOTE for two kids, time saving.) Then I went in to the school and spoke to my daughters new teacher the next morning.

I let her know that;
Read More→

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