Single mom hacks.

I just found this post with some really great life hacks for parents (I think they work for everyone, not just single moms!) And I agree with every one of them! I thought I would add a few more here, too. Let me know if you have any good life hacks, I’m always searching for ideas.

– Get a foam roller. Voila! Instant DIY back massage!

– Get a tennis ball. Same idea as above, it’s great for your feet.

– Grocery delivery. I talk about this one all the time broken record! But if you can get free grocery delivery to your door, why not?

– Is tons of baby laundry + coin laundry a huge pain in your life? Check out this portable washing machine!

– Order household goods on Amazon. If you join Amazon Prime you get all packages delivered free to your door, plus there are extra discounts for parents (the discount program is called “Amazon mom”). And if you are a college student you can join Amazon Prime even cheaper with Amazon Prime for students. If you join using either of those links you can also get a free month trial!

– Join the YMCA or other local gym. The YMCA has sliding scale gym membership fees, great facilities, programs for kids, and childcare for $2 per hour. Where else can you find childcare for $2 per hour?! Occasionally they even have a parent’s night out where you can leave your child with them to have dinner and play – while you get out for a few hours.

Let me know what helps you get it all done! Hope to hear your tips soon.

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photo via

The Minimalist Challenge: Day 24…and done!

Day 21: Credit card (whoop whoop!), another big stack of old paperwork, 5 more padded envelopes (I’m finding this seems to be the item I hoard ;), old police report (goodbye!!!), a dozen notes and cards given to me over the years, map, old employment packet, dinner plate

Day 22: jar, tack, some little unidentifiable metal item, keychain, knitting needles, 2 keys (ok, apparently the other item I hoard), postcard stamp, membership forms, packet of old receipts, old business cards, ziplock bag, cool annual report (nerd alert), iphone headphones holder, rental applications, post-it notes, 6 CDs

Day 23: pile of mail I saved (?), headphones, baby towel, CD of photos, credit card contract packet, 4 fliers, crib mirror, homeopathic sleeping pills (this shiz did not work btw), 12 items of baby clothes I was planning on keeping forever and ever,

Day 24: 3 bookmarks, flier, 3 recipes, CD, another packet of old receipts, walgreens membership card, old newspaper someone send me from a place I once lived, heart rate monitor, 3 bath towels, bath mat = 16 items on day 24

And I’m officially out of things to get rid of! That’s a total of 292 items. The hardest thing to get rid of was the baby clothes. The thing that felt the best to get rid of was an unused credit card account. Mostly I didn’t realize how much random paperwork I was holding onto. I want to keep looking at the things that I own in this way, it’s so nice to feel like there is a little less to worry about. This has been a really therapeutic and thought provoking exercise. I highly recommend it!

Single mom love.

A few years ago I used to play this electronic 20 Questions game all. the. time. This little thing can really guess what you are thinking. And it’s the perfect thing to play before bed. After a while I started choosing an abstract concept instead of an animal/vegetable/mineral. That’s where it really got interesting. It’s really good at guessing what you are thinking when it is something concrete, but abstract ideas caused some pretty poetic guesses. Over and over again I would choose “love” as my abstract idea. And here are some of the things the little machine thought I was thinking:

mirror
hammock
umbrella
golf club
flower
beach
island
glasses
poem
birthday

Then this thing got packed up for a couple of years. I got it out again recently and thought about how I would play the word love over and over again. And I thought, I wonder if things will come out differently now that I have experienced the love I have for my child. So I played it again. And here is what it thought I was thinking:

love

Try it out and let me know what you get.

The Minimalist Challenge: Day 20

July 1st: 1 ice cube tray
July 2nd: 2 baby spoons
July 3rd: 3 decorative bathroom hand towels
July 4th: 4 shirts
July 5th: 1 vase, 1 reusable grocery bag, 1 pair of pants, 2 old computer chargers
July 6th: 1 travel shampoo, 1 sample size bar of soap, 3 magazines and 1 airline blanket
July 7th: 3 magazines, 1 Xmas stocking, 1 spatula, 1 cup and 1 book
July 8th: 8 books
July 9th: 9 books
July 10th: 10 books
July 11th: 3 books, 1 caulk tube, 1 chair, 1 sili squeeze, 1 necklace, 3 small towels
July 12th: 2 baby blankets, 1 teething ring, 1 glider chair, 1 pants, 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 shirt, 1 scarf, 1 hat, 1 pair of shoes
July 13th: DVD, power strip, 3 books, reusable bag, 2 sheets, old digital camera, mobile wifi hotspot, picture frame, rain jacket, throw pillow
July 14th: toy drum, postpartum belly wrap, baby halloween costume, scarf, 2 mismatched socks, 3 stuffed animals, 2 baby blankets, 3 shirts
July 15th: sweatshirt, bike lock, child’s record, 2 old prescriptions, old back-up hard drive, old computer battery, clogs, lip liner, old cellphone, new cellphone box, magazine, deck of cards, portable high chair, vintage casserole dish

July 16th: stroller, toybox, giant basket, 3 books, xmas stocking, throw pillow, box of tea, old driver’s license, old library card, old medical insurance card, stripper heels (don’t ask), file folders, greeting cards, huge pile of bank statements

July 17th: investment statements, notes and letters from friends, checkbook register, tax forms, homemade book, old car registration, photo paper, stack of scrap paper, teething necklace, padded mailing envelope, 5 shirts, 2 skirts

July 18th: old wooden champagne crate, 2 sheets, 2 pillowcases, 2 dresses, scarf, pillow, 5 rocks, shell, bracelet, 2 guitar picks,

July 19th: 16 books, toy, thread, tape measure

July 20th:12 keys, pin, ring, 6 safety pins, button

= 210 items!

It’s definitely harder now that I’m having to go through things that mean a serious stroll down memory lane. Why do I keep stuff that’s hard to look at? (Hello old love letters – yeesh…!) I really can’t believe I had 296 unused things. It blows my mind. If you have ever been to my place you know I don’t have a lot of stuff – but somehow I do! I think I might need someone to come over to help me tomorrow! I’m getting a little weary at this point. It’s harder every day! If I were to do this again I would do it in reverse…30 things on day one…29 things on day 2…etc. At least it would feel a little easier everyday.

The Minimalist Challenge: Day 15

July 1st: 1 ice cube tray
July 2nd: 2 baby spoons
July 3rd: 3 decorative bathroom hand towels
July 4th: 4 shirts
July 5th: 1 vase, 1 reusable grocery bag, 1 pair of pants, 2 old computer chargers
July 6th: 1 travel shampoo, 1 sample size bar of soap, 3 magazines and 1 airline blanket
July 7th: 3 magazines, 1 Xmas stocking, 1 spatula, 1 cup and 1 book
July 8th: 8 books
July 9th: 9 books
July 10th: 10 books
July 11th: 3 books, 1 caulk tube, 1 chair, 1 sili squeeze, 1 necklace, 3 small towels
July 12th: 2 baby blankets, 1 teething ring, 1 glider chair, 1 pants, 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 shirt, 1 scarf, 1 hat, 1 pair of shoes
July 13th: DVD, power strip, 3 books, reusable bag, 2 sheets, old digital camera, mobile wifi hotspot, picture frame, rain jacket, throw pillow
July 14th: toy drum, postpartum belly wrap, baby halloween costume, scarf, 2 mismatched socks, 3 stuffed animals, 2 baby blankets, 3 shirts
July 15th: sweatshirt, bike lock, child’s record, 2 old prescriptions, old back-up hard drive, old computer battery, clogs, lip liner, old cellphone, new cellphone box, magazine, deck of cards, portable high chair, vintage casserole dish

= 106 items!

I can’t believe I’ve gotten rid of this many things. I didn’t realize I had so much unused extra stuff hanging around. I’ve moved an incredible and insane 11 times in the past two years and I really thought I had gotten rid of anything not useful. I think maybe when I was going through that huge amount of instability…maybe I clung to my material possessions? It feels really good to clear things out. Really good. Try it with me! You can start any day you want – it doesn’t have to be the first of the month. Let me know how it goes!

Single mom support systems.

“We usually think of support systems in human terms — a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend. This is understandable because human relationships are essential to a sense of personal well-being. However, support systems consist also of community networks that provide supplies and services: adequate housing, sufficient food, efficient transportation, safe streets, good schools, accessible medical care.

When these services are readily available, they are ‘psychologically silent‘: we do not notice the enormous contribution that they make to our personal well-being, to our ability to have harmonious human relationships, and to our capacity to be adequate parents. It is only when one or more of these supports are lacking that their importance can be appreciated because of the stress that the family experiences in their absence.”

– Alicia Lieberman, from The Emotional Life of the Toddler

A little food for thought.

The Minimalist Challenge: Day 12

July 1st: 1 ice cube tray
July 2nd: 2 baby spoons
July 3rd: 3 decorative bathroom hand towels
July 4th: 4 shirts
July 5th: 1 vase, 1 reusable grocery bag, 1 pair of pants, 2 old computer chargers
July 6th: 1 travel shampoo, 1 sample size bar of soap, 3 magazines and 1 airline blanket
July 7th: 3 magazines, 1 Xmas stocking, 1 spatula, 1 cup and 1 book
July 8th: 8 books
July 9th: 9 books
July 10th: 10 books
July 11th: 3 books, 1 caulk tube, 1 chair, 1 sili squeeze, 1 necklace, 3 small towels
July 12th: 2 baby blankets, 1 teething ring, 1 glider chair, 1 pants, 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 shirt, 1 scarf, 1 hat, 1 pair of shoes

= 74 items!

At the beginning I didn’t think I would make it this far. But so far – it has been pretty easy. Tomorrow it a huge question mark though. (Don’t tell Jeff!)

The Minimalist Challenge: Day 9

July 1st: 1 ice cube tray
July 2nd: 2 baby spoons
July 3rd: 3 decorative bathroom hand towels
July 4th: 4 shirts
July 5th: 1 vase, 1 reusable grocery bag, 1 pair of pants, 2 old computer chargers
July 6th: 1 travel shampoo, 1 sample size bar of soap, 3 magazines and 1 airline blanket
July 7th: 3 magazines, 1 Xmas stocking, 1 spatula, 1 cup and 1 book
July 8th: 8 books
July 9th: 9 books

Are you taking the minimalist challenge?

Here is Jeff’s progress:

1-Vans
2-South Park boxers, VAIO desktop
3-HP printer, AirPort Extreme, phone cable
4-Toshiba HD, WD HD, Samsung HD, Seagate HD
5-Floppy cable, phone line, MacBook Pro battery, Logitech power cable, Hitachi HD
6-Laptop lock base plate, phone cable, AC adapter, desktop PC2 RAM, phone splitter, USB mouse adapter
7-phone cable, AC adapter, phone splitter, USB cable, car lighter charger, power cable, phone extender cable
8-phone cable, power cable, long serial cable, printer cable, WD HD, power adapter, floppy drive, memory card
9-phone cable, antennae, phone splitter, AC adapter, USB cable, power cable, bracket, printer cable, phone cable
(Am I going to lose this game?! This list is a little intimidating. Except that the South Park boxers make me laugh too much to be intimidated).

All single moms, all the time: links to look at.

The 10 best places for single moms and their kids to live. Do you agree? Have any other suggestions?

I really like this writer I just found. She’s a single mom but she doesn’t write only about that – which is very refreshing. Loved this post about motherhood though.

Single mom stereotypes.

Another great single mom blog I just stumbled on.

Sweet letter to a single mom from her grown child.

On Single Motherhood.

A funny/not funny single mom cartoon.

Ok, this one has nothing to do with single moms but it will be once I take me and baby on a trip like this!