How I plan my week as a single mum of two – September is starting and I don’t know about you but I always feel like it is the start of a new year. With that comes a renewed sense of opportunity to live my best, most organised life and get all of my ducks in a row.
This time round, I will have two children in the school system as my baby is off to school *wails*.
Of course, I am also working full time and pushing my side hustles like a mad woman and as the boy in my life has now relocated to Dubai, I am single mumming it all the way.
And breathe. It’s fine. Honestly.
For those of you in a similar situation, this is how I plan my week as a single mum of two and the six categories I break the organisation into:
- Self care
How I plan my week – Life Admin
On a Sunday, I use my planner to map out a list of all the things I need to do for the week. This would typically include any appointments, school pick up / drop off times, bills that need paying, activities, birthday parties or days out and any tasks that need completing that week such as needing to switch utility providers for a better deal etc.
Once I have a list of all the things I can place them in the relevant boxes in my calendar planner so I know what is coming up and can check it for each day.
How I plan my week – Work
After work is done, on a Friday afternoon I like to use my Outlook calendar on my work laptop to plan my schedule for the week ahead. It’s a standing joke at work that I block book all of my time, using colour codes for each theme or topic that I need to work on for the next week. Some people find this approach a bit too organised but I find it helps me to see how much time I’m spending on each task or area. If I see too much of one colour, I know I probably need to reassess or reassign my workload to better reflect my priorities. I can also see which slots have meetings in them, and transfer those times to my day to day planner mentioned above so that I know these are fixed appointments.
As I am currently working from home, I have to balance work and home life a little differently to when I was working 8-5 in the office, so colour coding my time and ensuring I make the most of the time I have enables me to give 100% to my career, without letting the balls drop at home. I actually love working from home and may do a separate post on the best ways to make this work well in the future.
I have several other projects / side hustles running behind my day job and so I will also make a list of the activities I need to do for these and make sure they are scheduled into evenings or early mornings.
How I plan my week – Food / Meal Planning
Probably the easiest task of the week but definitely the most boring!
It’s as simple as making a list of the meals for the week ahead, taking into account who is home for each meal and who is not, checking to see which ingredients I already have and then making a shopping list for the remaining ingredients. I like to do an online shop where possible but as I’m working to a tight budget, I sometimes will go to Aldi or Lidl where time allows.
If you are on a budget, don’t forget to factor in each meal and snacks otherwise you will find yourself running to the shops mid-week and spending extra money.
How I plan my week – Self Care
Is this the most over-used phrase on Instagram right now? I think it probably is but bear with me.
If you do not look after yourself and you are a single parent, who is going to look after your kids when you fall apart because your cup is empty?
This is an integral part of parenting and it sets a good example to your family.
Self care for me means getting up at 5am and following a morning routine before the kids get up. The basic premise is to hydrate – practice yoga – meditate – journal – read something that will motivate me or teach me something.
I also try very hard to get 10,000 steps in a day and I work out 4-5 times a week using bodyweight or dumbbells. I also drink up to 3L water a day and track my calories (although not religiously) and macros because I want to feel healthy and strong. Doing these things is beginning to feel second nature to me and has had unlimited benefits to my energy levels.
How I plan my week – Clothes
This might feel unnecessary but when you are dealing in limited time, lots of school uniform, PE kits, odd socks and missing hair bobbles it is essential to get this organised ahead of time.
Just taking the time to work out what clothes the kids need each day and putting them into piles, saves a lot of time in the mornings. I also have started doing this for my own clothes, although to be fair, these days I pretty much just live in my PE kit.
To keep on top of the laundry, I make sure to do it every day and I also designate specific days to things like towels, bedding and blankets. Again, one of the perks of working from home is that when you have a spare five minutes, you can just switch the laundry around and keep on top of it all.
How I plan my week – Cleaning
One day when I am rich (lol) I will have a cleaner but until then, it’s on me. The thing about living alone is that the standard of cleaning is up to you and I do not choose to live in a show home environment. Which is just as well…
However, there are basic standards that need to be met and kept and so I have a basic morning and evening cleaning routine, I assign age appropriate chores to both of the children and I clean one room a day in a more thorough way. It breaks up what feels like a momentous amount of home maintenance into something more manageable.
I’ve done free printables with cleaning routines and planners before on the blog so I will link them below.
It all goes into the planner so I know what I have promised to do each day.
So that’s how I plan my week as a single mum of two. It does take me around an hour to plan this all out but waking up on a Monday morning with a clear sense that I have prepared for the week ahead and that I know what I need to do each day of the week. Obviously, life happens and things never go according to plan but it’s good to try and for the most part, this works for us.
Do you have any other ways of planning and organising your week? If so I would love to read them in the comments below.
- How I plan my week as a single mum of two
- Life Lately – A Week In Review
- Vegan Meal Plan 18/05
- 48 hours in Copenhagen
- The Coronavirus diaries – Isolation