How To Single Parent With A Baby or Toddler
Single parenting isn’t always a walk in the park. Having really young kids can make it difficult to get a break or have one-on-one time with each child. Some parents divorce or split up when kids are older, but others split up before the baby is even born, or when the baby is young. How can you have time to clean, cook, work and get a few seconds of sanity too?
Here are a few tips, tricks and ideas of how to keep your sanity and get through the day while doing it on your own.
1- Enlist in the help of others. If you have family nearby, friends in your neighborhood or from work, do not be afraid to ask for help. Even if it is to watch your toddler so you can go to the grocery story alone. If someone volunteers to help say yes! Do not be too proud or shy to ask for help. If you are off on weekends you can try to trade babysitting with friends that want a date night.
2- Get organized. Make sure you have appointments, play dates, school events, etc on a wall calendar and your cell phone calendar. If you are sharing custody with another parent you can get a cell app that shares certain parts of your calendar with each other (and you can share your children’s appointments) so you both don’t forget. I like the app called Cozi.
3- Get organized chores (if you also have older kids). Kids ages 5+ can help with chores. Younger with assistance. If you need help with the house and cooking get your older kids to help. Mine have to each make dinner once a week.
3- Baby monitors are great when little ones are napping for free time to do some cooking, cleaning, watching tv in a different room, etc. I love how this baby monitor by Panasonic isn’t just audible. It is also two-way, has a camera (that works in day or night) and works with extra long range. They are also good to monitor older kids (so they are getting along and not in mischief) and special needs children. You can cook, clean and be in a different room while having a monitor on them.
4- One-on-one time with each child. Especially if you have an older one. Try to have a mommy-me date once a month, as you can fit it into your schedule. If you can’t weekly, try monthly. For me this isn’t always easy, since I homeschool. But I tried while one was at their aunt’s house or a play date.
5- Get a sitter and get out. Go out alone, go out with friends and if you are ready, go out on dates. For me I even like going to get a massage or a pedicure. Just some quiet time to have some ‘me time’ helps with my own stress levels and sanity. Being able to talk to friends about your week is a good way to unstress and vent too. It is good for your mental health to schedule time for yourself.
6- Meal prep, order out and meal planning. You can be that type of person that plans meals a month ahead (I wish I could do this) or a few days ahead. Ordering out for delivery and fast food can be expensive and not healthy. Doing some meal prep or ordering foods that are fresh, with the recipe, but not cooked, like Hello Fresh, Gobble and Blue Apron are amazing. You can try all of them, a little at a time. Most offer promo codes for a discount. I also don’t mind cooking food that isn’t 100% from scratch but still made at home. Hamburger Helper is a favorite (I substitute with turkey burger) and I can make it ahead and heat it up later.
7-Treat Yo’Self. If you have watched Parks and Rec you’ll know what I mean! It is okay to indulge once in a while. Get a treat for yourself. I love the low-calorie and low-carb options from Arctic Zero. They have light ice cream in all sorts of flavors. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies is my favorite (so far). I like that I can have a sweet treat without blowing my diet or having too many carbs.
8- Learn to DIY at home. From skipping Starbucks to teeth whitening. Don’t worry about keeping up with appearances. If you are on a single income you need to watch your money. $5 at Starbucks might be the same as 1/2 hour or work at your job! If you go to Starbucks once a week that means you worked over 2 hours for free! If you like coffee you can invest in a coffee maker that has some ‘fancy’ features to make some drinks you’ll like. Check out this Espressotoria Capsule System. It does so much and you’ll be saving money!
You can order K-Cups online too from and use this awesome Kafe in the Box to ditch disposable cups.
9- Learn to trade. If you have something you are good at learn to trade these skills with others. Car repairs, gardening, plumbing, baby sitting, etc, sewing, hair cuts, etc. You can even find local Facebook groups (we have one here called ‘buy, trade, barter’ that is fantastic). It is a great way to get things for free while offering things you excel in to others.
Some other Single Parenting Blog Posts:
- Single Mom Sanity To A Clean Home
- Surviving Kids’ Sports As A Single Parent
- Single Parent Homeschooling
- Single Parents Tips, Tricks, Resources & Support
What tips do you have for Single Parents with A Baby or Toddler?