Tag Archives: schedule

Our Normal Routine Getting Flipped Upside Down

I am a routine person true and true… I do not handle abrupt change well so needless to say this last few weeks have been extremely hard.  I went into the week with everything planned and scheduled, by Friday everything was chaos.  No routine, no schedule, just a lot of unknowns.  

Let’s start with my career, I work in hotel sales. Thursday, March 12th, is when it all started to unravel for us…  We were going into back to back sold out weekends and then the coronavirus began to hit. In a matter of hours, it seemed like the world had changed…Hundreds of hotel cancellations had came thru, concerts cancelled, the NHL postponed… St Patrick’s Day activities were all put on hold. What started out as a typical Thursday had ended as one I will never forget.  It just escalated the next week with having to furlough most of our employees. I still feel at times I’m just living in a dream… 

That just transpired into my home life with sports cancellations, play dates postponed, stores closing,  and then the announcement of online learning would begin. So many abrupt schedule changes… and before that Thursday my biggest worry was having to get one kid to cheer and one to soccer at the same time..

Fast forward a few days.. The kids have now started distance learning and I’m working from home.  So much to process with changing schedules and all activities coming to a complete halt. It was complete overload.  I have a hard time making an instant transition when it’s not pre-planned.   

So here we are the first day in and I’m just a mess… I’m a creature of habit. I get up at 5:20 each day  go to the gym before work, come back and get ready… here I am with all gyms closed. I scrolled thru you tube for workout videos and there is about a million to choose from…which gives anyone a migraine. 

So instead I skipped working out for today, stayed in my pjs, ate chips while I worked from the couch.  By 4 pm, felt defeated and so overwhelmed with all the changes. I was crabby at my kids all day and yelled at them numerous times for the smallest things. It finally got to a point where my daughter said, “ why are you so crabby” nothing seemed to feel normal or in order. 

I think it was a lot of the abrupt changes and disruption to my normal schedule. I decided that night that I needed to get back on track. No one knew how long we would all be together and I would not survive without sticking to some sort of routine.  

The most important thing for me was still getting up and exercising. So starting the next day, I would be up by 6:30 and go for a 3 mile walk or run.  It felt like an accomplishment and some what normal. I also added in another short walk at the end of the day. I then get ready for the day and listen to a podcast, the same as if I was driving into the office.  

The distance learning is still a challenge for me and will take some time to get into more of a groove. I try and stick to the school schedule but with working from home and many interruptions it doesn’t go as planned. Honestly, if it says optional we skip it.  I have enough going in life right now without trying to be the overachiever teacher.  

I’m learning just do small things through out the day that keep it as normal as possible. Exercising, organizing, making a to do list, are all things that have kept me in as much as a normal routine as possible.  

I don’t make my kids do every activity that is sent out by their teachers… we do the best we can and we get through it.  We take it day by day… 

-snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Home Sweet Home

“Home Sweet Home”….That’s a sign that many of us have hanging in our home somewhere. But, it might be taking on a different meaning after having been confined for a couple of weeks.

It’s one thing to take a couple of weeks off like a stay-cation, compared to someone telling us that we have to sit and stay and continue to be productive at work from home.

 Believe me, I know what it’s like. I have been working from home for a number of years doing a variety of jobs including being a realtor, and property manager, technology trainer and Dale Carnegie instructor.

Working from home seems like a dream opportunity until you actually are doing it, because reality sets in, and all of the distractions are difficult to juggle.  Our significant others and/or our children act as though if we are within view, then they can ask us for anything. And of course, we as wonderful partners and parents might actually prefer spending time with them than getting work done. Because, I can certainly finish my work later. That’s the great thing about working from home, right? Well, yes and no.

And let me be clear right here, I know there may be a number of people who feel that being forced to work from home is the equivalent to a prison sentence.  I feel you. My hope and intent here is to provide some suggestions to ease difficulties.

The first suggestion would be, if you can, to create designated times that you are working and can’t be disturbed. It could actually be as short as two hours depending upon your at home situation.  Ideally two four hour stints would be best, but hey, I know what it’s like. Of course figure in coffee and bathroom and fresh air breaks. Remember that this is a target to shoot for and not something to beat yourself up with because you can’t do it. 

The next important consideration, if you can do it, is have a designated space in your home where you are working. The intent here is to give yourself a physical distinction called ‘when I am here I am working’.  it could be anything from a separate room with the door that has its own computer and office set up to a table in the corner of a room that you can bring your laptop to. The thing here is to create a clear distinction of where you are working.  You can check Facebook, Instagram, twitter, YouTube, tik-tok, later in a different space, Just not here where you’re working during designated times…. Of course, I understand that some of you incorporate social media in your work… But you know what I’m getting at.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts with more tips and technologies suggestions.

 

`Steve Overton

Realtor

Trainer

Unapologetic Apple Evangelist

The More Things Change

The more things change the more they stay the same. 

Except so much has changed.

I am not sure where you are, but in my part of the world we are on strict Stay At Home orders until at least the end of April.

Our schools closed right before St, Patrick’s Day. Due to the nature of my job I have only been home myself now for six days.

I like everyone, am trying to figure out my new normal.

My daughter is about to start her second week of homeschooling and I’m thankful we have a district that planned and has worked hard to make things not too painful on us.

I’m the midst of this … I’m starting a new job.

So… I’m trying to control what I can control. It’s something I have been doing since G and I first left her Dad. I get up. I do my hair. I get dressed. I even put on makeup. You may say why? I mean if you have been on a ZOOM meeting all bets are off.

But this is my ritual. My thing that I can control in a world that feels so out of control.

It’s my time to quiet my head. Or do my checklist for the day.

The big difference is now I put on a T-shirt, leggings and comfy socks.

With so much feeling out of sync, it’s ok to have those things, Please know though, the days of fake lashes and foundation are probably on hiatus, but a good mascara, lipgloss and a Bobby pin in my bangs make me feel better.

They say the more things change the more they stay the same.

For me I need this same, as trivial and silly as it may seem.

It’s my anchor.

I hope you have one too Mommas.

I am sending you so much love.

Be safe.

<3 Caprise

Alexa, Please Help Me With Mornings!

“Alexa, wake me up at 6:45”

My 8 year old son snuggles up to his stuffed dog while I tuck him in.

It’s the first night back to a bedtime routine since winter break. Everything is peaceful; it’s not even 8PM.

Rewind twelve hours before though, and peaceful is not the word I would use.

“You’re always yelling at me!” My son cries from the bathroom floor as if the task of putting on just one sock in 10 minutes is simply unattainable.

Sound familiar mamas?

You’ve gotten up, poured the cereal, thrown your hair in a messy bun, and cheerfully woken your child up with a “good morning sweetie”.

What went wrong? Why are you always 30 seconds from yet another tardy slip as you fly into the drop off line, trying not to spill your coffee? Again, sound familiar mamas?

I don’t know the answers to a perfect morning, actually I despise mornings; but here are a few things

I’ve learned:

1. Set a Routine that Works and Follow it.

Your kids like a routine. For mine, setting an alarm with Alexa gives him the power over his day. He knows when his alarm goes off it’s time to get started. He sets it for a few minutes before I get up,so he can have some time to wake up alone. For yours, it may be turning on a certain type of music, having a cup of hot herbal tea, or hopping in the shower. Think about it mamas, do we like the lights turned on to wake us up with someone hovering over us saying: “get up, get dressed, eat, brush your teeth”, all within a matter of a half hour or so? Be mindful of this in the morning with your kids.

2. Lay Out Clothes for the Next Day.

Mamas this is a lifesaver. Before your bedtime routine, even if you don’t really have one (that’s an article for another day) make this simple, but so very valuable task, something you do each night. I’m talking the whole entire outfit: socks (oh dear, don’t forget the socks), shoes, coats, and even gloves if needed. Get your child’s input. This will avoid the “these pants don’t fit me” or “this shirt is scratching me” “I wanted to wear shorts instead!” Trust me, putting these few minutes as a priority the night before will save you much turmoil in the early morning hours.

3. Give Yourself Grace

This is important.

When nothing works and your morning is a mess, you’re tardy for the 7th time this month, and your coffee did spill (oh no, anything but the coffee),

Give yourself grace.

If you’re anything like me after a morning of tears, lost socks, short tempers, and rushed breakfasts, (or let’s face it a quickly slurped go-gurt thrown into the backseat of the car)- You’ll worry all day at work. Is his day okay? Did I ruin it all? Can he focus on his school work? Is he sad at lunch? Does he hate me? For what, mama? For being human?!

I think as single mothers we often forget: we are rocking this thing on our own. You’re the one who worked all day, the one who made the dinner, the one who gave the baths, and read the books, and put the laundry in, and said the bedtime prayers; and that’s just the start.

You’re the one who woke up to face another day of doing it all over again.

You are the one who deals with the tears and the melt downs and the homework; but you are also the one who gets the hugs, the cuddles, the “I love you mama”, and the “can you tuck me in?”

You, working single mama, are the one in your kid’s corner. Don’t forget it.

The world’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad. Here’s to messy buns, almost spilled coffee, and asking your kiddos to put their socks on for the 182794633479315th time….. all without losing your mind.

Happy Everything,

~Katie B.

Some Day We Will Get To Go To The Zoo

Some Day We Will Get To Go To The Zoo…

My daughter is six. She is smart as a whip and sharp as a tack and all those other colloquialisms we like to use. She asked me a question that kind of stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Mommy, why are you always in your room?”

Insert bulging eyes emoji.

“Well… It’s nice in there. I like it.”

She responded, “In the other house, you were in your room a lot, too.”

“So, what you are saying is you want me to spend more time with you?”

She and her brother, age five, both nod. Brother responds with: “We miss you!”

There is no rule book on how to parent singly. I often have no clue. Granted, I wasn’t really sure how to do that WITH a husband, either, so I come by it honestly. But she had a point. I thought about it. I always feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with them or I work so much that I’m too exhausted and use any spare time to rest. There is no such thing as work/life balance for mothers and especially not single mothers.

Do you know that I have wanted to take my kids to the zoo for about three years now? But it never happens because it’s just not in the budget, no matter how creatively I work around things. I still have to account for fuel, food, appropriate clothing, etc. I would like to declare that 2020 is the year I finally get to take them to the zoo. I currently work three jobs. Surely this year I can take them to the zoo. I really need to show them the spider cages. And the snakes…

I explained to her that mommy has to work a lot. “Why?” She often tells me she does not want me to work so much. I have tried to have her understand, but she won’t truly understand until she’s an adult on her own. In the meantime, I attempt to make her aware that money buys things and getting money comes from work. Money means food, shelter. She’ll understand. Someday…

And someday, we’ll get to go to the zoo.

~ALG~

Getting Out Of Bed Has Saved Me

Getting out of bed and morning routines have saved me. If you knew me in college, this would never have happened.  20 years later I would be a person that loves a morning routine. And now I set my alarm to get up earlier than I need too including on the weekends, I still stick to a routine.  Yes, I set my alarm most weekends because otherwise I just won’t do it.. I come up with some excuse and then I’ve missed my opportunity.  We all do it.. say we are going to get up early but it just doesn’t happen. Setting a routine and sticking to it everyday works.

After my divorce,  my life seemed to get crazier with my kids and settling into a new lifestyle… there is a lot of adjusting with schedules, emotions, and just life.  I know people think that when you share custody you have all this free time. FALSE. I almost think I’m more busy ( that’s a story for another time).  I knew I had to do something different with my daily schedule. I needed to find time for myself and not finding time to exercise was making me more stressed. I felt so overwhelmed with the changes in my life and my mind was going to explode.  Like when you are trying to think about all these things to get through but your head is just scrambled.

I decided to start a morning routine, which includes getting up at 5:15 am.  This is not something that happens easy … it takes time to change habits and it’s hard.  I had to change my nightly routine and go to bed earlier.  And many days I have to drag my body out of bed and I still do..but I love it.  Morning is my favorite time.. it’s my time. I usually go to the gym and workout for that hour.

Crazy thing happened…After a couple of months of sticking to a routine.  I noticed that I am more prepared when my kids wake up and I’m not losing my shit every morning.  I am more productive at work because I’ve had time to plan my day and think about what I need to accomplish.   And I feel better about myself for getting up and doing something. It’s that feeling of accomplishment.

It’s my time of the day and I schedule it.  I get to prepare myself for the day ahead and not feel so rushed.  I hate that rushed feeling of not being caught up with life…. You start to feel scattered and running behind on everything in life..Routines keep me on track for the week.

Some days I go for a walk, write a blog, listen to a podcast, follow up on small projects or just sit outside..but I stick to the same routine that includes time to focus for myself.  Your daily routine does not need to include exercise, it can be whatever you want.  What is something you want to do each day but can never find time… this is the time that you can schedule it.  For me, this gave me an extra hour in the day.. one hour, 60 minutes, for seven days adds up.. it’s amazing what you can find to fill that hour.. and pretty soon it’s a routine for you and feels normal

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

All I Wanted Was A Cup Of Coffee

How many times have you woke up and thought, “Today I will be on time!  I will stop for breakfast and coffee and get this day started right!”  I too have had these delusions of grandeur once upon a time.  This story that I am about to share with you is one that I’m sure many of you can relate to.   It happened a couple of years ago when I only had two children.   My oldest son was spending the day with his aunt, so it was just the baby and myself that morning and I was actually early!  Let me just say that since having children, that NEVER happens.  In fact, I’m usually always running late.  So needless to say I was super excited because I was finally going to be able to stop for coffee before work.

I get to the daycare to drop off my son and as usual, he pooped on his way to the daycare.  This wasn’t stopping me; he did this all the time and his teacher would change him inside.  What I hadn’t realized was that this particular poopy diaper had leaked through his clothes.  Again, I’m still focused on Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.  He has extra outfits at daycare, no worries!  No worries, until I realized that my scrub jacket had poop on the sleeve.  No big deal, I asked for some of his wipes to clean it off and took my jacket off to throw in my backseat until I got to work.  That’s when I noticed this horrible mushy, smelly mess in the car seat!  It was even in the buckles!  How in the world did this happen?  Was he doing yoga stretches back there or something?

I wiped up as much as I could, washed my hands inside and headed to work.  No coffee for me!  I remember being so heartbroken over this cup of coffee that I had been dreaming of and tasting in my mouth all morning.  It wasn’t going to happen, and I was kind of pissed about it.  Looking back on this now, I can laugh, but the whole way to work in my car I was literally talking to God out loud asking him, “what’s so wrong with coffee?”  “You know that all I wanted was a cup of coffee!”  I remember being almost in tears.   I made it to work on time, ran in to tell my boss what had happened, grabbed some gloves and disinfectants and spent the next 15 minutes scrubbing out that car seat.   In that moment I decided that my favorite baristas would have to wait until the weekends to see me.

While it sucked in that moment, I remember that day and take it as a lesson learned. Things don’t always go as planned and that’s ok.  And just perhaps there was a reason that I didn’t get my coffee that day.  What if going that way would have had me stuck in traffic?  What if I avoided being in an accident?  Missing out on that cup of coffee could have been God protecting me from something that I was unaware of.    Who knows?  Poop may just have saved my life!

~1spentmom

www.1spentmom.com

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

The countdown til the guy in the red suit is officially arrives is on.  It also means I must start planning on how I will spend my Christmas alone. I am working. As much as I can. It means tense emails and texts about where my daughter will be and with who.

Some of which has been dictated by a  judge and lawyers who don’t know us.

Some of the decisions I have caved to, to avoid a fight with my daughter’s Dad.

After almost nine years of this- at my daughter’s Grandpa’s urging I asked G what she wanted.

She is twelve. I feel like in the midst of thinking I was doing the right thing I did a lot of the wrong things over the years. She missed out. I should have fought harder for her to have more of a Christmas, instead of being so afraid of her Dad.

So … like I said, I asked her.

My girl is a diplomat. I think a lot of kids of divorced parents are. She insisted she hasn’t felt slighted, she enjoys Christmas but she has not waffled from what she wants either.

This year she wants Christmas Day at both our houses. I know I can manage it, but her Dad will put up a fight. He will have dates and times and examples. He will make threats. He will make this hard on me.

I will take it for my kiddo, and stand my ground. This time of year isn’t about me.

It’s about her. Like it is everyday all year long.

When I told her I would figure it out for her because it’s what she wanted, she smiled and grabbed my hand. Said” thanks Mom”, and gave me her twelve year old smirky smile that I live for.

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

Being a Mom is tough. Being a Mom during the holidays can be downright bananas. It’s hard. But at the end of the day we have these amazing incredible humans who love us.

I am wishing you all so much joy and happiness over the next few weeks and into the next year.

<3 Caprise

Confessions In A Communal Mirror

I put my makeup on at work today in front of the mirror

Standing in a public bathroom in unflattering lighting.

Annoyed looks from the younger women.

Sympathetic looks from the older.
I want to tell the youths that I’ve been up since five thirty.

This morning I checked my emails for fires, then roused two children and corralled them to school. That I had to issue 20+ reminders to my ADHD son to keep him on task, because his meds hadn’t kicked in yet. And that I had to remind myself to be intentional about paying equal attention to his brother so he wouldn’t feel ignored. That I hadn’t had my coffee yet.
That I had a 7:30 parent teacher conference with a team of devoted educators. And that afterwards I finished my grocery shopping, on my phone, while sitting in the parking lot.
That on my commute this morning I called the vet, the pediatrician, the pharmacy, and an electrician, because there’s a light in my basement that is always on and won’t turn off. I ate my breakfast at red lights and finished caffeinating in a parking deck, and  I will likely eat my dinner standing at the kitchen counter.

I want to tell them to be careful of the partners they choose, and life has no assurances so be smart when you pick your path. I want to tell them that even if their world burns down one day, they have the power to rise and to create something new.

I want to tell them that I’m proud of myself, and of my kids, and of our messy beautiful busy life. I know that if they knew these things, they’d be proud of me too.

But instead I just smile and nod at those whose I eye I catch while applying my make-up in the mirror.

~Leona

Mom’s Ups & Downs With Busy Schedules

After months of busy work, school and activity schedules, I was looking forward to a long holiday weekend to relax and enjoy some down time. We had a few things planned and my ex-husband and I were getting close to finalizing a car for our 16-year-old daughter, but I figured I would still have some time to rest and relax. On Saturday, we spent the morning signing papers for the car and figuring out logistics on how to surprise our daughter. The afternoon was spent picking up the car, surprising her with it and driving around to visit her friends. Who knew the emotions that giving your child a car would evoke? Although she’s been driving for months, giving her a car means having to let go a little more and not being able to protect her because she’ll be out there on her own when she’s on the road. It’s overwhelming to think about the fact that you’ve taken care of and driven this child around for 16 years and all of a sudden, they want to be out there by themselves and with their friends while you sit at home and wonder if everything is ok and track them on your Life 360 app. High school and driving are like tests of letting go for the parents, before the kids head off to the real world.

If that weren’t emotional enough, I was faced with more interesting information. I’ve been talking and to and hanging out with a guy for the past year; he lives over an hour away and is in the Army and was deployed a couple of months ago. We’ve never claimed to be in a “relationship” due to our schedules and distance, but we pretty much text/talk every day and it felt like we were. I won’t get into all the details, but let’s just say that I found out this weekend, through social media, that things were not what they seemed; another woman changed her status to say that she was in a relationship with him on the day after he stopped texting me. While I was worrying about his safety, he was busy playing me; I found out that he was back home from deployment and saw a picture of the two of them together. My emotions have been all over the place this weekend along with many tears, trying to figure out what in the world happened, going back and looking at old texts, questioning things and coming up with plausible theories. Maybe it’s my fault … I get truly invested in the people that I care about and can be over the top. Sure, that sounds great, but it can also be a tremendous weakness, especially when it causes you to get hurt often. And when it causes you to overlook red flags along the way because you just want to be in a relationship again.

The situation transported me back to when my ex-husband and I were discussing separating and all the feelings and emotions. Obviously, this situation is not even close to that, but I just remember constantly wondering what I did wrong or how I could have changed things, instead of realizing that it’s about him and not me and that it’s his loss or that I deserve better than this. Thank goodness for good friends who will remind you of that. I was constantly trying to keep things together on the outside for my girls while I was falling apart on the inside. When you have kids, you can’t just crawl in my bed and wallow; you just have to keep things going. On one hand, that might be a good thing because of the distractions. But, at the same time, the feelings of betrayal, loss and disillusionment are real and need to be addressed.

Ironically, the same day I found out this information, the girls and I attended my friend’s wedding. I was not feeling great about going, but I was excited to celebrate my friend. She and her fiancé both have gone through a lot in life and were each getting married for a second time. To sum it up, the wedding was just perfect – intimate, beautiful and heartfelt. As I watched them take their vows and listened to the speeches, it brought tears to my eyes; I was sad for what I was dealing with, but it also made me feel hopeful. These two had been through a lot and those experiences brought them to this point, where they were able to join their two families into one. I felt so grateful to be included in this amazing celebration of love and it gave me some hope that good things are coming.

If you remember one of my earlier posts, this year I tried something new and chose a word of the year – embrace (click here to read that post). I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to embrace life this year, the good and the bad. I’m trying to embrace all the changes in life as I parent a high schooler and a rising 4th grader, which is not always easy. I also embraced opening myself up to someone new and letting my guard down.

But now I wonder, what lessons am I supposed to learn from this latest challenging experience? I still don’t have the answer to that and maybe it will be a while before I figure that out. The fact that I invest in the people that I care about can be a positive and a negative. What I don’t want to happen is for these experiences to change me in a negative way. I hope I don’t become a pessimist about love and life and become cold, bitter and extremely guarded …. I worry about that. Right now, I don’t know how much more my heart can take, but at the same time, I really don’t believe that I’m meant to be alone forever. So, I guess I’ll just keep plugging along, taking care of my girls, working on myself, doing the things I love and just keep embracing life as it comes. What other choice is there?

 To see more posts by Laxmi, check out her blog at https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/