I Need to Get My Life in Order!

Updated on February 29, 2012
K.B. asks from Saint Louis, MO
12 answers

I am a single mom and my son just turned one. I had a great routine, was able to keep the house clean, take care of him, and rest and relax for the first year or so of his life. However, I had to take on a second job (which isn't many more hours a week, about 12 additional hours of work a week, so I work 52 hours total a week). Because of this it is next to impossible for me to accomplish everything that I need to do. I could, but it would require me to leave my son in a playpen for most of the night and then I couldn't play and interact with him, which is the one thing that makes me smile each night. So I need help figuring out how to balance my time better so I can work, see my son, make dinner, keep my house clean, and get laundry done. I find my mind running in ten different directions so much lately that I'm also becoming super forgetful, which isn't good when your trying to pay bills. Even writing this my mind is all over the place! I just need some help getting re-organized and my life in order with a one year old. I used to be so good at it and now have become so chaotic with things that I don't know how to get back on track. Any suggestions???

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Cheryl - your not the first one to suggest ADD! lol My mind does race when I start to get overwhelmed, which causese more of a shut down. I did got to a psychiatrist, but they don't think that I have ADD, but possibly a very mild case of anxiety disorder as I'm easily overwhelmed and anxious, but I don't have extreme symptoms outside of that.

Julie - he is a good independent player, he just gets into EVERYTHING! The other day I went to wash his cup and get him some milk and by the time I got back he pulled out ALL of the tissues from the tissue box. He found this hilarious. Your suggestions are good too. Thank you!

Featured Answers


answers from Kansas City on

List things by the most important first and keep it handy to look at. Do laundry once a week or throw it in while you play and get it out when you put the baby down for bed. If you have a dishwasher put dishes in it as you use them until you have a full load and if not wash them as you finish with them. That shouldn't take long at all. Make a certain day/time to pay bills and then do it either after the baby is down or whenever is good timing. Just make lists. If I don't do that now I don't get the most important things done first. As for cleaning house do it once a week and just pick up daily so it's not so overwhelming. He can play in the play pen some while you are near him doing some things and can talk with him while you do them. Won't it be nice when he can help out some?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

I am a stay at home homeschooling mom of 6 and I have a lot of the same problems. :)
Freezer meals. Either do this once a week or once a month. Just make about five meals x2 and freeze them in the portion size you and your son will eat. I suggest easy stuff. B. ground beef with taco seasoning and you have tacos ready to go. Spaghetti sauce freezes great. A few chicken pot pies. Just easy go to stuff.
I also use my crockpot ALL. THE. TIME. Breakfast and dinner.
Meals should really be the last thing you have to worry about because they are the easiest thing to do ahead of time.
Make a list of daily chores. Dishes. Empty garbage can. Wipe off counters. Sweep. Spot clean. Pick up floors. Wipe down toilets and sinks. Time yourself. I can do all of the above in about 30m. I love the Clorox wipes to wipe down my bathroom quickly. Not really green, but sometimes you have to take the easy way out.
Now make a list of weekly chores. Find one hour a week and I bet you can get them all done. Put on some fun music and put your son somewhere safe and then you can both jam out while you do it.
Also keep a running list of projects and try to tackle one or two a month.
As for laundry can you pare down any? We don't keep an excessive amount of clothing. My kids have 7 outfits, 10 pairs of underwear (probably to much, but I'm funny about underwear!), two sets of pajamas, and 2 nice dress outfits. DH and I don't have much more. Two sheet sets (maybe 3 for your little guy) and 3 towels a piece. Laundry can be done in about 2 days for my family.
For bills either set it up for automatic bil pay or pick two days a month to sit down and pay bills. We like payday or the day after. We have a monthly budget posted by the computer and we keep our bills in a folder right there. When they are paid we either toss them or if we have to keep them they go in a plastic drawer right by the desk.
Don't be afriad to let the little guy play independently for a little while every day.Yes, you need to spend as much time as you can with him, but it's ok if you can't spend all of your time with him.
I can't imagine being a single parent and if none of my ideas are doable in your situation I understand! Just do the very best you can. If it's not perfect, thats ok. Your little boy will see your best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Check out flylady.net
It can really help you kind of keep on top of things--they become part of your natural routine. Some examples:
"Reboot" the laundry every morning. O. load per day--never let it really pile up.
Swish & shine the toilet after you get your shower every morning.
Wipe off the bathroom counters quickly every day when you're done putting make up on, etc.
Make sure there's nothing in the sink before you go to bed.

Here's something I do...while my son is in the bath or shower (he's older than your son, though...) I vacuum up the tile bathroom floor, do the toilet & clean the counter top.

Oh--use a laundry basket to gather what needs to go upstairs or downstairs & take it all in O. trip & put away.
Fold laundry right away & pout away.

I think the poster who suggested you'll get back to a natural rhythm is right...it's an adjustment for you, I'm sure.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Welcome to the "Who am I World" LOL!!! You will be fine! I have twins and I made it! ( I Think!) smile! I agree with everyone on this one, just take a little of all the coments you received, i know I did a few of these to get myself together. I gets better!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Have you been tested for ADD? It's totally possible that you are ADD and need some meds to help slow your brain down!! :)

First things first - take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Write down your list of priorities....what is most important to you, then break it down.

Can you hire a company to come in and clean the house every two weeks?
Are there things that can wait until the weekend?

If you had to take a second job for more money - look at your bills and see what you can lower or get rid of. Get rid of credit cards. Don't let your finances control you - YOU control your finances!!

Make a menu for the week - shop with him for the menu - or even shop on-line and have it delivered. Use coupons (you can with home delivery too!) and buy the items that are on sale so you can save more money.

You don't have to be SuperMOM - make a list of things that MUST be done (dishes, laundry, dinner/lunch/breakfast) - then schedule when you need to get it done. Get the Mom's Plan-It organizer or some other calendar so that you can get it together!!

You aren't alone!! you can do it mama!! Just don't feel the need to be perfect or get it all done!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

LISTS!!!! and a calender, make a list of what needs done on what night, and just do those things on that night, make a schedule of when things need paid on the calender,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

That's a lot of hours! Is there anyway to re-evaluate your bills so maybe you could work less?
Cheaper place? Roommate?

As for remembering bills, get a calendar and write down when each is due, this works great for my husband and I. Then once it is paid then put a check mark next to it so you know you paid it.

As for housework, on the days that you are off then do your laundry. That way you arent doing it everyday and you can get it done in a few hours.

Dinners, you can make quick and easy meals, get a notebook and make a list of easy meals you can have and pre-make them so there isnt any prep work later.
Like casseroles are easy to premake and freeze, lasagnas, veggies for quick stir frys etc.

Do ONE chore each night after you get home and clean up as you go whenever you cook or do anything so there is less real clean time.

There are ways to manage your time you just have to be creative!

Good luck and good for you for trying to make it work for you and your baby :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Start with the dishes, make sure those are done and that your kitchen is clean.
Use what ever calendar you like best but use it every morning and night,--write it down write it down. having a menu for dinners helps alot.

are there any older kids that you know that would vaccumm for you or do laundry just to help you out??

Make sure you get as much sleep as you can and breath!!

It won't be perfect but it will be ok :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You were able to keep the house clean, take care of him, AND rest and relax before he was 1!! You are a Super Mom!

You son needs to be fed, reasonably clean, and loved, everything else is optional.

Simple, simple dinners, or cook on weekends. One load of laundry at a time. Flylady helped me (the book "Sink Reflections, not the website) - I learned to wipe down the kitchen and bathroom counters each morning and I left for work feeling on top of things, among other tips.

BTW - I doubt you are ADD, just suffering from a mild case of overwhelm!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

LOL... Well... I AM adhd. Cleaning absolutely, positively, would NOT happen... unless I made it fun. And because I make it fun, my son has been helping me clean since before he could walk.

Sorting laundry is a GREAT game, and good for color recognition, counting, following direction, gross motor development (throwing pieces into the hole).

Cooking... DITCH the idea of a play kitchen (if you ever had the idea). You know all the things a play kitchen teaches? A real one does it tons better. AND you get a helper out of it. It's slower in the toddler years (while they stir, pour, tear), but by the time they're 5, you've got a rockin' prep cook and blow through cooking.

When you have to clean the counters? Give him a bartowel and let him wash the cabinets.

Taking out the garbage? Let him carry the waste basket bag while you carry the kitchen bag.

Turn on music and DANCE through your chores.

Make cleaning fun, train yourself up a little helper... and you've got playtime, quality time, AND you're getting your stuff done.

If by any chance you've got a "water baby" (loves bathtime, splashing, etc.) invest $4 in a giant plastic bucket with rope handles. Fill it 1/3 full of warm water and bubbles and drag it room by room with him in it. HE gets splashy water play time... you're always within a few feet of him... and can clean your heart out.

Kids are wired to copy us. It's a survival thing. They aren't climbing all over us because they want us to STOP doing what we're doing, they're climbing all over us because they want to be doing it, too. This wears off at around age 4 or so... so USE it to your advantage.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

forget the mess, you will never get play time back. who cares if there are dirty dishes, clothes, etc.



answers from Pittsburgh on


First of all, it sounds like you were doing an incredible job! Any transition is rough, but you'll find a rhythm again soon.

I agree with the mamas about lists...or make yourself a job chart. Is your little one walking around? This is a great time to learn about "cleaning up" and "helping" in little, fun ways so he is accustomed to helping out more when he's older.

I HATE doing dishes,but can't deny that it's nice when the kitchen is clean. When it isn't, I feel like I'm behind before I even start the day. Not good, so this is one I really try to do (although if there are some dishes in the sink and my body is telling me i need to SLEEP, well then, zzzzzzzzz!)

If your son naps on the weekends, I would take that opportunity to blitz the house: dust / vacuum / straighten.

Try to keep clutter at bay. We're still working on this one. Don't allow mail to pile up. If there is junk mail, get rid of it right away and maybe get (or make) yourself a "to do" bin for pressing things. When your son goes to bed, flip through it and try to take care of the things that are most immediate.

Whittle away at the housework: maybe only one load of laundry a night or save it till the weekend? I blitz the bathroom when my son is in the tub so I'm right there (it's small), I can do it fast, and still be with him.

If I have a lot of straightening or laundry to fold, I would set him up in my room with me and put a gate across the door. He would be fine playing on the floor (or on my bed - lots of pillows = laughs!) while I put music on a worked. Again, together time! I would make it more interactive by talking to him about what you're doing, stop for kisses and reassuring hugs and maybe a dance break or two. =)

Try as best as you can to get to bed at a decent hour. I'm a total night owl, but I pay dearly for it sometimes. Give yourself a fighting chance by resting up and protecting yourself from sickness, fatigue and even depression.

Get a calendar or planner. Write everything down!

Little by little, things will come together. You're doing great! Don't forget to forgive yourself if things slip here and there. Loving and providing for your son is the priority...everything else can be a bit flexible.

Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions