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Easy Ways for Single Parents to Stay Organized

Examples of heroism abound in our society. Doctors, teachers, social workers and emergency responders all make our world a better place. But no less deserving of praise is the average single parent, upon whose shoulders rest countless responsibilities. It's for these brave souls that Bellies & Babies presents the following guide. In it, you'll find helpful tips for raising your kids while enriching and improving your own life at the same time.

Why routines are anything but boring

Childhood has its charms; then again, so does adulthood, like being able to go to bed whenever you feel like it. But, as tempting as it may seem to live your life on a "whenever" schedule, following a structured pattern has many advantages. Here's what we mean:

● Most people are happier, healthier and more productive when they follow a regular routine. What seems restrictive at first can, over time, give you more freedom than you've ever known. Try it for a while and see for yourself.

● Not only is a set schedule good for you, it's crucial for your children's well-being, according to The Spruce. Specific meal, play, study, nap and bedtimes are foundational to a child's mental and physical development.

So how do you create a realistic, productive schedule? Begin with listing your priorities. For example, good health is crucial for people of all ages. So have set times for exercise; going for a walk as a family is a good option. Education is also critical. So set regular study periods for your kids and join in with them if possible, either by tutoring them or by pursuing your own adult learning opportunities. Adequate rest is essential. So you and your kids should stick to a regular bedtime.

Now let's look at another critical topic: money.

The benefits of budgeting

You may think that billionaires spend money like it's going out of style. But just the opposite is true, according to Time. Take Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates for instance. Each of them lives well within his means; and each is a self-made success. All of us could profit from their examples. To be clear, we're not talking about Scrooge-style miserliness, but rather about treating money like the valuable - and limited - resource it is. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

● Use credit only for essentials and emergencies.

● Save a little money each month — especially when you’re expecting. Even a few dollars set aside in a piggy bank can add up over time.

● Refuse to let marketers and salespeople make you feel guilty. Being an example of responsible money management will help your children far more than splurging on designer clothing and trendy gadgets for them.

● If you intend to move to a neighborhood that offers better schools, using online websites can help you find the perfect apartment, for example, that fits your budget. Sites like Apartmentguide allow you to easily navigate all of the available options in and around Alexandria.

How to stay organized and upward bound

So far we've discussed money and time, both important subjects. Now we'd like to suggest ways to make the other areas of your life not only better organized but more fulfilling:

● Have a family cleaning day and use it to declutter your home. Turn your unused items into cash by having a yard sale or donate them to a worthy cause. Tidy surroundings encourage tidy habits and vice versa.

● Use your daily commute time to brainstorm problem-solving strategies or listen to parenting books.

● Give your residence a learning-friendly atmosphere by starting a home library. Old-fashioned paper books are indispensable for knowledge and self-enrichment, even in this digital age. Look for bargain volumes at thrift stores, used bookshops and discard sales at your public library.

● Give yourself a mental pat on the back with every task you complete. Do the same for your children. Acknowledging achievements both big and small can plant the seeds for future success.

There's no need to go it alone when it comes to single parenting. Use the tips in this post to help you raise your children to adulthood. We wish you and your kids all the best in the days and years to come.

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