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Single autistic mother of three awesome autistic kids. These are my anonymous ramblings about life, love, parenting and the rest – emptying my head of the weird, the wonderful and the mundane. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Of how I find the time to do stuff

So, Recipe Junkie tagged me in my first ever meme, about how I find the time to do stuff. Ironically, it has taken me ages to find the time to join in, so clearly 'with great difficulty' is my overall answer! Anyway, here goes:

First (very important)

Here are the rules:

1. Please post the rules
2. When answering the questions, give as much information as possible. It’s all about the finer details people!!
3. Leave a comment on
Sex, drugs, rocker…and stroller,baby. (http://sexdrugsrockerandstroller.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/how-and-when-do-you-find-time-tomeme.html) This is so we can keep track of the Meme and take a polite nose into everyone else’s lives.
4. Tag 3 or more people and link to them on your blog.

Second... the main event: How and when do you find the time to….

Do the laundry:
Laundry is part of my evening routine every night. It goes like this:
Tea, tidy up, kids in bath, run downstairs, laundry on, run back upstairs feeling like a bad mother for having left kids in bath for 30 seconds, kids out of bath.
DS1 is under strict instructions to yell if there is a problem so I know they're fine, but even so, I have all those safety instructions from baby books firmly drilled into my head. Still, this is the only practical way of doing it -  I still use re-useable nappies so there's quite a lot of washing to get through. This way, the washing machine normally finishes once I've finished getting them to bed, so then I hang up what can't be tumble dried and put the dryer on for everything else. (I'm figuring the re-useable nappies means I can get away with the tumble dryer - that's my justification and I'm sticking with it)

Write a blog post:
Mostly I do this when I'm meant to be working when DS1 is at school and DS2 is at the childminders. This is bad I know, and would explain why I'm not getting enough work and quite frankly am a bit broke at the moment. I then end up catching up with work late at night when I'm too tired to do it properly - and when I can't phone any potential clients anyway! I did try writing a blog post when they were both here after tea the other day but it all ended in tears for all of us - not doing that again. Writing this one while DS2 is napping, let's see how long it lasts...

Look after yourself: 
Trying to look after myself emotionally is the main thing for me. Without another adult to lean on or any really close friends, I have to keep an eye on this or I go slightly crazy! I go and see a counsellor once a month, which essentially involves me brain-dumping all my crap, and her telling me to make sure I take time for myself. Works for me. I have a babysitter once a week and I either go out with friends, or go to an open mic night, or an excercise class, so that keeps me sane/creative/vaguely fit. I'm pretty rubbish at looking after how I look -  an expensive haircut about three times a year is the extent of it! Oh yes, and I blog, of course.

Spend time with your other half?
One of the many joys of single parenting is that this is something I don't have to find the time for. Quite frankly, I have no idea how all you wives out there do it, on so many levels. I was at the Solo Mums UK conference on Saturday and they were reporting on the preliminary findings of some research into solo mums (or Choice mums, whatever we're calling ourselves now, I lose track!) One of the findings was that most of the mums reported that their lives seemed to be much less stressful than those of their married friends, which chimes with my experience really. I therefore doff my proverbial cap to all of you who manage to hold down a relationship and look after your kids - you are true superwomen!! - and if I'm ever in that situation I'm coming at you for advice!

Do fun stuff with your LO:
I am pretty rubbish at sitting down and playing with them, I just sort of let them get on with it when they're playing with toys. We do have fun though. We'll have days out to National Trust type places, but mostly we just try to have fun as we're doing other stuff. Like we'll put on some music - mostly Crush's I'll admit! - and dance around to it in the kitchen. Or we'll just bop our heads while eating tea - which can get a little messy in DS2's case! In fact, dancing to me playing the guitar after tea and before bath has become a bit of an evening ritual - it is weird when DS2 joins in with some of my lyrics, but kind of sweet!
Then, of course, there are our Sun holiday voucher holidays - we love Park Resorts and the entire Sparky Krew - you don't know what you're missing people! 

Spend time with your family: 

Really? You're meant to spend time with them, they're not just a babysitting service? Someone really should've told me that. To be quite honest, I don't make a special effort to do this. I do see Mum and Dad, but mostly when they come over to have the kids, or occasionally we'll meet up for lunch either at their's or at home. It's not that I'm ungrateful, it's just that my family always make me feel as if I'm some kind of weird freak of nature, so it's not great for my state of mind! As for the rest of my immediate family, I have a brother I haven't seen in about two years, and the other siblings I really only see at Christmas and Easter - or if we happen to be at a Park Resorts near them! I see a bit more of my sister as our kids are similar ages so we try to get them together two or three times a year. Our family is a bit of a strange one, I'd say we're not that close, but we will absolutely close ranks or be there for each other if there's a crisis.

Socialise with friends:
 We've just started having a Year 1 Mum's night out once a month, which is great to get to chat with people I see everyday, but without the kids around. Other than that the only friends I really see regularly are my NCT mums - I try to catch up with at least one of them once a fortnight or so - and some are pretty good at turning up at Open Mic nights too!

Prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine?
Another of the joys of single parenting is that you can have tea with the kids and not have to wait for anyone else to get home. So, basically to make tea I either get the kids to play together or sit them in front of Thomas/Night Garden, then we'll all eat tea together somewhere between 4 and 6pm, depending on what we're doing, and then we're into the aforementioned kid/clothes washing routine.

Deep clean your house.
You mean two Dettol wipes instead of just the one?? Seriously, this doesn't happen. I hoover, I occassionally floor mop, and anything else only when it looks really disgusting. I'm a big fan of House and if you know it, you'll know that bit where they go and investigate the patient's house for potential toxins that could've caused whatever's wrong with them. If they came to my house, I swear there's some corners of it where it's so disgusting there' are lifeforms that would come forward with their hands up going:
'It was me guv, it's a fair cop'.
I am toughening up the kids' immune systems, it's the only way. 

Do the food shopping
ASDA online while the kids are in bed, then to the market once a week for fruit and veg. I have no idea how or why anyone goes to supermarkets for a big shop anymore. It's got to be cheaper on petrol to do a monthly online shop and pay for delivery, surely?
Do bulk ironing:
I don't iron, I never have, I don't intend to start. If anything looks really creased I hang it in the bathroom for a couple of days while we bath/shower. Any creases left after that I live with.

So that's me, but I would really like to know how Yummy Mummy? Really?, Trouble Doubled and Slummy Single Mummy find time - particularly with those twins Trouble Doubled!!


  1. Oh washable nappies - the bane of my baby years, they were - needless to say they were the Husband's idea - as to which, your comments on that front ring true- I love him dearly, but from a strictly practical level life could be a lot simpler...

    Thanks for finding the time! x

    1. I do love the washables, they are so cute and so much cheaper, but the endless washing does drag on a bit! Still in admiration of anyone who can manage a husband and kids - good job you love him really!!

  2. Thanks for the tag dear!

    I enjoyed reading your post. It sounds like you have a good balance. I am in awe of guitar time. It sounds lovely.

    I have no clue how I find time for my hubby, but I will think about it as words will be required!


    1. Thank you! Guitar time is fab, the kids dancing is soooo cute - although only DS2 has any sense of rhythm so DS1's can be a bit off putting! Look forward to reading your post when you find the time :)

  3. Thanks for the tag! I'm with you on the 'sometimes it's easier to be alone' thing. OH recently went away for the week and while it was hard work, it was less stressful in many respects. I don't think I could do it all the time, but it certainly had it's advantages. I too avoid ironing - what's the point, really? Great post.

    1. Thank you too! Everyone seems to be confirming my suspicions about the hard work of having an OH - it's definitely going to take a very impressive man to make me even consider giving up singledom!! I have never understood the point of ironing, but there's seems to be an awful lot of people doing it...

  4. I usually hate these memes but this is a good one. It is actually helpful to knoe how others fit it all in - or what they choose to forgo. I also don't iron, only do house cleaning whenI absolutely have to (not because I don't care but because I don't have time), don't do enough work as I'm too busy blogging, and I put on the laundry while 3yo is in the bath.

  5. Thank you - glad you liked this one! It has been really great finding out how everyone else fits things in - and also quite reassuring to find that lots of other people do - and don't do! - the same as me. Sounds like you and I are pretty similar!!

  6. I wish, oh how I wish, I could avoid ironing! But my hubby wears a new shirt every day for work; and the deal is that I do the ironing, he does the garden. Very traditional, but hey, I can watch TV whilst ironing!

    Thanks for tagging me. My post is here!


    1. I think the lack of shirts to iron is definitely one of the Joys of Single Parenting (I'm just going to shorten it to JoSP in future!) but I reckon ironing for gardening is a fair trade! Right, off to read your post now - looking forward to it!