Are you looking for the best work schedule for single moms? I HEAR YOU. It’s so hard to be a mom, work full time, and have time for yourself. Use my strategy here to find the best work at home schedule for you!
Full Disclaimer. I am not a single mom. But, my husband in the Air Force and was deployed for seven months this year. So, for seven months, I basically was a single mom. I worked full time at home. I did all the school drop offs and pick ups. I managed a side business and posted content to this site. And at night all I wanted was just to eat take out and go to bed early.
So, I’d like to think that I know what it’s like to be a single working mom. Let’s get into it!
Why a best work schedule for single moms
Being a single mom is hard! I had no idea. When my husband left on that airplane to ship off with the Air Force, I realized very quickly how every decision was mine to make.
I had to keep the family going. I had to make our schedule work for us. I had to make sure there was food on the table.
Now don’t get me wrong! I often did those things for our family anyway. But, to feel the weight of the whole family without having another person to help with those decisions, was hard.
Something I didn’t expect to happen when I took on the single mom role, was that I really missed having another person to talk things out with me. When crazy news stories hit, I didn’t have a person to talk things out. When my kids were acting up and needed guidance, I didn’t have a person to talk things out.
I know this post is about the best work schedule for single moms, but before I got into the schedule, I wanted to just say how much I admire every single mom.
I admire how you make decisions alone. How you are tough and lead your family alone.
If you are having a hard time and feel like life is just one big survival test, it’s ok! Allow yourself to feel how hard it is, ask for help, cry at night, or eat a pint of ice cream. Whatever you need, realize that sometimes the to-do lists just don’t cut it, and the random internet posts just don’t understand.
So saying all those things, let’s have a random internet post about the best work schedule for single moms.
1. How to Schedule your Day
I really hate schedules that make me plan out every hour of every day, and then I just cross my fingers to hope that everything works out.
Spoiler. It usually doesn’t.
You might have only two daily schedules: weekdays vs. weekends. Or, you might have 7 different schedules.
You will want to treat each of these daily schedules differently to maximize every minute. If you have 45 minutes for lunch on Mondays, but 1 hour on Thursdays, then you need to maximize on that extra 15 minutes on Thursdays.
Grab my free printable and let’s get started!
On the template, you can use my default headers of “mom”, “home”, etc. to create your separate blocks, or you can print the blank doc and fill in the the titles yourself. You will want separate block schedules for each component in your life. I like:
- Child #1
- Child #2
To get started, you will want to block off definite obligated routines for each person.
Add in work hours, childcare, school, sports and activities. See how these blocks affect the other people in the household – and how you can also schedule home chores around those obligated activites.
To fill in the block schedule, fill in your obligations in this order:
- Daily Routine and Morning Routine
- Work hours
- Childcare/school hours
- Meal/family times
- Mom/self time
Then, to make this block schedule work for you, make a list of kids activities and home chores that you can scatter around.
Need 30 minutes to take a shower? Add in a 30 minute activity. Need to run a load of laundry? Spend 15 minutes loading the washing machine while your kids eat lunch.
To add in self-time, look for ways to listen to a podcast or do a facial mask while you are making dinner or taking kids to the park!
On the template, there are really easy ways to create these lists and add them to your schedule.
(To see exactly how I use this schedule, check out my Insta story videos here.)
Click below to get started!
2. How to Schedule your Week and Month
As much as I loved planning my days with my free template, I honestly did better when I took a look at my whole month. Day to day kind of looked like a blur, but I tried to look at my overall month and it was very helpful.
I used this 3-Piece Essential Organization Set from Pottery Barn in my laundry room, and loved the ability to write out monthly goals. These are the things I would down each month:
- Grocery List
- To-Do List
- Monthly Schedule
- Plant watering schedule
- Trash schedule
- Household tasks: calling workmen, checking car fluids, etc.
- Friday Blitz Cleaning, Movie
- Weekend Goals, Errands
- Monthly Errands
- Monthly Phone Calls
Having a very general week-long schedule saved me when my days got ahead of me. I can’t recommend this organizational system enough!
|Trenton 3-Piece Essential Organization Set with Whiteboard|
You don’t need this fancy system, but I love the option to have a mail drop system, a white board, and a cork board all in one place. I use these in my laundry room/garage walkway room which is a central location in my house. I love this drop zone idea to manage my monthly and weekly schedules.
Check out the system here!
3. How to Decide Once
The Lazy Genius (Kendra Adachi) famously talks about “deciding once.” I love this concept, and used it A LOT when I was home by myself working with the kiddos.
If I only have a few minutes to make a decision for myself, I want them to count.
Next time you focus on yourself – and about what really matters to you – create a few questions that give you permission to focus on yourself. Use those questions to drive future decisions.
This is your work from mom home playbook.
Here’s an example. For years, I was frustrated by my wardrobe (or lack thereof). I always bought clothes at consignment stores, or online when they went on sale. I ended up with a pile of clothes that didn’t match – and that I didn’t even like.
I asked myself these questions:
- “What is important to me in regards to my clothes?”
- “How much of my budget am I willing to spend to make me happy about my clothes?”
- “How can I decide once about clothes?”
The result? I created a few rules.
- No clothes from Amazon
- No impulsive decisions from Instagram ads/influencer accounts
- No consignment
- Primarily shopping at one store: Old Navy
I’m not saying I’m a model, but my closet is now perfect for me.
What does this accomplish? More brain space. I don’t spend time thinking about Amazon clothes, or new Target items. I don’t even think about things influencers are talking about. I have stopped making clothing decisions – I really love the clothing I now have – and my brain has more space.
This is just one example of “deciding once”. When I was a “single working mom”, I had NO time for myself.
- I decided once that I could get take-out on Friday and Sunday for myself.
- I decided once that every Friday night was “Pizza Night Movie Night”.
- I decided once that every 4th Saturday of the month I would hire a babysitter to give myself a day to get all my errands done – and have fun for myself.
- I decided once that I would never take the kids to Costco. I used Instacart and saved myself that stress haha.
All of these single decisions made our days, weeks, and months so much more enjoyable.
4. How to Take A Break From Your Schedule
So my blog says on the homepage: Helping working moms create space for what really matters.
And honestly I’ve thought a lot about that statement. How hard is it to focus on the schedule and the routine, but forget to spend time on what really matters.
I didn’t want my kids to look back on this time and think that mom was just stressed out all the time. Change the way you do the schedule. Have fun with the people that matter.
5. Single Mom Resources that I Loved
Here are some resources that I love!
LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer – I realized very quickly that to keep my schedule on track I needed my kids to have their own morning and naps routine. This clock was SO HELPFUL for my 2 and 5 year old.
I love this clock because:
- It has nap time settings so it “turns green” when it’s time for kids to wake after sleep or naps
- It taught my daughter how to wake up and have her own morning chores by herself
- It taught my son to stay in his room at nap time.
- The clock is teaching my daughter to tell time.
- It made our bedtime routine so much better!
Read more: What to do when your kids stop napping.
I also loved following Instagram accounts of single moms and deployed wives. Find women that are where you are, and learn from them!
I quickly realized that comparing my live with married friends and full-time childcare just wasn’t relatable. Look for women that motivate you where you are.
Lastly, let this sing tear at your heart and just enjoy the message to your soul:
6. How to use your Family and Friends
Let’s be honest. Not all of us have a work flexible schedule that we can just take off if our kids get sick at school. That work/life balance would be awesome, but sometimes it’s super hard to keep a workplace schedule while we have a family (and don’t have a partner!)
So what can you do? Find family and friends that you can call in an emergency. I have fantastic friends and neighbors, and more than once I texted because I needed help.
I often needed childcare, an ingredient for my meal prep or groceries, help with my lawn, reinforcement with workers around my house. My friends and family ALWAYS came through and reminded me that I’m not alone.
The best work schedule for single moms
There is no best work schedule for single moms. Instead, there is the best work schedule for YOU. You know your family best. You will make it work. You can do this!
Is it possible to work and be a single mom?
Yes! It’s possible to work and be single. Just create a block schedule, be flexible, make a monthly and weekly routine, get your kids to help, and use the help of family and friends.
How can I make more money as a single mom?
Find easy ways to make money that support your schedule and lifestyle! Look for jobs that have flexible hours, childcare, HR policies that support moms, easy shift hours, minimal commute, and like-minded boss and employees.