with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
Another school year is here (or almost here, in our case, but not quite). As nice as it will be to have a schedule again to fill up all that scary blank space on the calendar, I’m daunted by the time and money challenges that lie ahead for 2012-13.
Sixth and third grades: more homework, more responsibilities, more sports equipment, and more clothing to replace what they’ve outgrown. New England autumns and winters don’t help, either—this is definitely the land of at least three seasons of clothes and footwear.
So I’m trying to come up with a better game plan for this single-mama household. Chaos reigns a little too often here, and I’d like that to change. That’s tricky, of course, in a home with two dogs, two cats, two kids and one adult, so I’m looking for some wisdom from you!
What’s working for your family—small, large or in-between?
1) Time management: What’s your favorite method for keeping track of everyone and where they need to be? Wall calendar? iPhone? Post-Its all over the bathroom mirror?
2) Food prep: This is my Achilles’ heel, peeps. Talk to me about packed lunches and crockpot meals. How do you feed your family well, for cheap? Where do you cut corners, and where do you refuse to?
3) Allowance: We have “Do It Because You Are Part of This Family” Chores and “This Is a Gross Job So Mommy Is Prepared to Fork Over Some Cash” Chores. How do you work spending money with your young ones—and not-so-young-ones?
4) Household chores/maintenance: This is where I need some big help, both with the doing, and the wrapping my head around all that I can’t do, financially. What happens when you’re stuck with an oil furnace that costs $3-4K to fill yearly? We qualify easily for fuel assistance in Massachusetts, but it doesn’t make much of a dent. We’re on a list for weatherization assistance to our house, but there’s no telling when it will be our turn. Aside from keeping the thermostat set to 55 degrees and bundling everyone in sweaters and living upstairs instead of downstairs in the winter, what can be done when there’s no money to make seriously needed home improvements? What are your family’s cold-weather tips and tricks?
So tell me—how do you tame the back-to-school chaos?
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