In single parenting, organization is key


I have taken a hiatus from this and my other blog because, quite simply, there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. I used to be highly organized, and in some parts of our lives, I still am; but that organization fell apart a bit last March and I’ve only just recovered.

In the last month, I renegotiated our tenancy, worked on a few translations and one narration, helped out a friend in her business (although that was unremunerated, for love of friendship), tried to give Darling Daughter a last hurrah for summer vacation (which she has patiently spent tagging along with me as I ran around, looking for support to help us pay some bills, rent, etc. – this has been one heck of a difficult year!), and planned lessons for the two community college courses I was going to be teaching (and which were to be our salvation, at least for the Fall semester) which I only days ago found out were cancelled because of low enrollment. I had been feeling completely unproductive, as though I’d been running around without truly accomplishing anything or even living, but writing down this list of recent accomplishments has helped me to see that I’ve been truly busy…no wonder I feel so tired!

It’s the single parent’s lot, to feel like we are constantly running out of gas, out of energy. However, it wasn’t always like this for me. With a bit of creative organization – and very few deviations from The Master Plan – all of us Maddies can not only feel that we accomplish what we need to do, but also have a little bit of free time, to blog, or take a nice, long bath!

Two parent families do not have it easy nowadays, but, with two adults there is a division of labor that is simply not available to single parent households. Where two parent families can schedule and do things in parallel, a single parent is almost always forced to do the same things sequentially. This implies more time spent driving to and from appointments, more time spent at appointments (even if you have the luxury of scheduling appointments for ALL of your kids on the same day, at the same place), more time spent documenting, planning and scheduling…well, if you’re a Maddie (a Mommy and Daddy in one), you know what I’m talking about; if you’re not a Maddie, well, you get the picture. Essentially, being a single parent means most things take longer than for most two parent families. This is why success in single parenting boils down to one key element: organization.

The next few posts in this blog will be about organizing your life and planning in advance for unpredictable, improbable – but not impossible – situations.

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Parenting and the Maddie


What Kind of Parent Are You?!

Compared to some parents, I am ultra-strict, ultra-conservative; a friend and colleague even called me a “Nap Nazi” when my DD (Darling Daughter) was a toddler. Compared to other parents, I am an ultra-permissive parent, allowing my DD to rule our roost. I don’t really see myself at either of these extremes, though I am the first to point out that we all parent our children along a fluctuating continuum of (parental) behaviours…I’ve even horrified myself when I heard words I had detested hearing in my childhood coming stridently – and perhaps not a little hysterically – out of my very own mouth: “Because I said so!”

But the parenting style issue is more complex for single parents, especially for those of us whose children do not know or visit their other parent. When do you discipline your child? For which behaviours? As Maddies, we have to be both the disciplinarian and the more lenient parent, the tough cop and the good cop in one; it’s a tough line to straddle but trying to fill two roles means we must.

Just for fun, here is a poll. Please vote for an answer and share, share, share! Results will be posted on July 2, along with an exploration of the three main styles of parenting: authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative.

Wishing you all Peaceful Parenting,

The Original Maddie 🙂

 

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