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Showing posts with the label single parenting

20 Ideas For Raising Kids Frugally

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Kids can be so expensive. There is the expected expenses of clothing and feeding them. Then there are the unexpected expenses of injuries, wisdom teeth, illnesses, and notes from school saying they owe money for this or that. Either way, kids costs money.

I am here to tell you that after raising two kids to adulthood and two kids on their way to adulthood, that kids do not have to be expensive at all. In fact, you can raise kids rather frugally. Most of these tactics are not one-time savings ideas, but are everyday savings ideas. Whether you are a prepper, homesteader, or average suburban family, these ideas are all for you.

I want to preface this list by saying if you are serious about raising your kids frugally, then you need to put yourself into a frugal mindset. Being frugal is not a one-time thing. Being frugal is saving and not spending money everyday and every minute of the day. Being frugal is in the decisions you make and what you are willing to do to have to spend any more mon…

Five Ways To Teach Your Kids Situational Awareness

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Kids are naturally observant and often notice things we would not expect them to or want them to notice. They often say what is on their minds and ask questions we would never have thought to ask. You can take advantage of this for their safety.

While kids are young is a perfect time to teach them situational awareness. Teaching them to be aware of their surroundings can stop a potential kidnapping or may help someone else in need. Too many kids have their heads down nowadays whether they are playing on their phones or other devices or they are just not paying attention to anything.

Five Ways To Teach Your Kids Situational Awareness:

1. Play games with them. We would play a lot of "I Spy With My Little Eye Something..." passing the time at restaurants, doctor's offices, and ball games. I would start with the game with picking out a color of something. This game has the benefit of teaching kids to look around and notice things that wouldn't normally notice. I would also …

We forget to live life

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Today is my kids' last day of school. They will be out at 11:30 am today and will have the whole summer to do what they want without the restrictions of school (for the most part). Yes, they will have daily and weekly chores to do. They will also have camps to go to, swimming to do, life guarding to do, 4-H fair to be apart of, and so much more.

Life is always a little crazy during the summer too, but life during the summer for a kid is mostly about living life. They don't have a strict schedule with many commitments on their plates. They aren't worrying about grades and papers. They can relax with their friends and do nothing if they want to until school starts again on August 23rd.

As adults, I think we forget that. We forget that life is about living. We get caught up in the work at a job, work at home, sleep, eat, and repeat. We forget to experience life and just live life. We don't go for a hike or go camping due to "time restraints". We don't go to a …

10 Prepping Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer!

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Summer is coming! The kids will be out of school very soon and will need ideas to keep them out of trouble and off your nerves. Teaching kids prepping should be at the top of your list of things for them to do. We put a lot of emphasis on adults knowing how to prep, but we really should be teaching the next generation how to prep too.

Remember: our goal in raising kids is that they are self-sufficient when they leave home. While we should expect phone calls on how to do things, we want them to know the basics and be able to care for themselves.

I am gearing this list towards first grade age kids and older. You obviously know your kids better than I do. You can be the judge about whether they are ready and responsible enough to learn these prepping skills. However, always teach your kids about how to be responsible while doing these activities.

10 Prepping Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer!:

1. Camping. Even you can only camp out in your yard or at the county park five miles from…

The Back To School Routine - How To Set Up Your Family For Success This School Year!

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School has started for us! (Excuse me while I do a happy dance!)

Starting school is an excellent time to start new routines in your household. I find being organized in the morning starts our day off well. We are on time for work and school. The kids are rarely rushing around to get their things together. 

This school year we have had some additional changes from last school year. We are taking cold lunches to school almost every day. We are no longer eating breakfast at school. (The school raised the rates and we no longer qualify for free or reduced lunches.) We are no longer allowing electronics and phones to be in their rooms overnight. 

We also had some changes to make from last school year. We needed to get more organized at night. We were not getting clothes picked out the night before which caused some chaos in the morning looking for a certain shirt. Bags were not ready to go in the mornings. Things were scattered everywhere and certainly lost by the time we were ready to leave.…

What Does Your College Student Really Need?

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I have had two kids in college for over three years now. I know there are things they need and don't need. We have experienced dorm life and apartment life. While both are very different, the college student needs are very similar in dorm life and apartment life. 

Basically, this is home away from home! Your student needs to feel at home where he is at while being very independent. 

While I had a pretty good idea on what a college needs, I polled some of my favorite college students, mainly my daughters and their roommates/best friends. They had some great insight on what a college student really needs and what makes life easier. Three of them have been in college for three years now so they have a pretty good handle on things that are needed. 

You might read some of this list and think "My kid doesn't need that". Some of these things are more comfort items than needs, but your kid needs to feel comfortable at college or you are going to get some really sad phone calls.…

A Single Parent Needs These 10 Things!

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Some people are single parents right away. Some people become single parents after being married for a while then becoming divorced or widowed. Either way you become a single parent, you have to make big adjustments. 

You need certain things in your single parent arsenal to be a better one. Because, let's face it, being one isn't easy. Some days go really well. Some days go really bad. An unexpected bill, a misbehaving child, a broken washer, or that phone call from the school can just make you want to pull the covers over your head! 

After being a single parent for almost ten years, these ten things are completely necessary for me to survive and thrive as a single parent. I am not offering these ten pieces of advice out of arrogance. I have learned all ten of these things the hard way which is how I learn most of the time. 

10 Things A Single Parent Needs

1. A way to keep your sanity in a healthy way. Develop some hobbies. Get some exercise. Find something that calms you, helps y…

9 Things I Have Learned As A Single Mom Prepper/Homesteader

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(Circa 2007 when this journey began)
I am the only one who can do for myself and my kids. Of course I have a great support group of family and friends who help, but at the end of the day I am still the only one for for my kids. I have to do the work required to keep up the home, bring in the money, and to do for ourselves. I have to do the canning, be worried about security, working to stay of debt, keep buying groceries to eat and to store, and be creative.

I learned really fast that being a single mom, after being married for eleven years, came with a steep learning curve. Suddenly I had to do two parents' worth of work as one person. I had to figure out a lot of things for myself. I had to change my ways, look further down the road, and prepare for it. Preparedness became extremely important to me because I never knew when the child support would or would not come. I might have $700 in child support one month and none the next month. 

Now cchild support isn't an issue, but the…

12 Safety Tips For College Students

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This August I will be sending my second child to college. I have sat through two college orientations and my favorite session is the personal safety session for parents. I have learned a lot about how to help my college-age kids safe while at college. I have a lot of confidence in my girls being able to protect themselves and being aware of their surroundings while at college. 

However, let's be real here. There are some potential situations that girls or any kids can face at college (or even high school). Some situations may be unavoidable, bad decisions may be made, or small problems can become big problems. Drinking, drugs, sexual assaults, bad roommates, thefts, and fights can be situations they could face.

In light of this, here are twelve safety tips for college students and young adults. These are tips that have been given by safety officers, campus police officers, and some common sense tips from myself. These are tips that can be used to avoid or prevent a bad situation fro…

Parents, Life Is Meant To Be Simpler (And Not So BUSY!)

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Life gets so crazy sometimes. We run and run and run. The kids are involved in several things at once, we can't say no to the latest commitment, and home is only a place to rest your head. Does this sound familiar?

Life shouldn't be like that. Yes, I know. I can hear y'all now.Kids are only young once. They need to experience all these things. They need to find out their potential. We need to be involved in their things. We need to be active in everything. The kids need to know what it is like to be involved and learn to get along with others.

Stop it.

Life is meant to be simpler.

Kids need to know that their family is also their best companions. Kids also need to know what it is like to hang out at home and be a contributor to the household. Kids need to learn how to keep a home, be content with what they have, be content being home with family, and live a simpler life. Kids need to learn how to work and develop a work ethic. Kids need to learn to entertain themselves instead…

Raising Your Kids To Be The Opposite Of Society's Expectations

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Some beliefs I have encountered:

Many people believe that kids need a gentle, coddling introduction to being a grown up.

Many people believe that kids cannot function on their own until they are 22-25 years old.

Many people believe kids do not need to have a job while in junior high, high school, or college. They should just concentrate on their studies and being involved. They have the rest of their life to work.

If the kids have jobs, they still don't need to pay any of their own expenses. They should save their money or just blow the money on junk.

Many people believe that kids need to go to college in order to be successful. As long as they graduate with a degree, they will be successful.

Many people believe that it is okay for kids to move back home after being gone for a few years and not have to contribute to the home or pay bills. They need to concentrate on finding a job and saving money to buy a car or a home.

All of these beliefs? They are the reason why we have a gener…

Single Mamas: Life Does Get Better

Dear Single Mamas:

Life Does Get Better.

Someone said this to me when I was going through my divorce and I thought I couldn't be a single mama, full-time working mama, soccer mama, and whatever hat I also needed to wear. I thought life was going to be even harder when I realized I was truly on my own and their father wasn't going to be an active part of their life.

But life got better. And it will for you too.

It is hard to see that when you are knee deep in the trenches. It is hard to see that when you are crying with frustration in bed. It is hard to see that when your child is disappointed and you are powerless to help. It is hard to see that when you are robbing Peter to pay Paul and may need to rob Simon too. It is hard to see that when you have a screaming toddler and impatient, attitude-filled teenager. It is hard to see that when all you need is another person who understands your situation and you think no one does.

Life does get better.

Your children will pass through …

A Mother's Desire for Her Children

These last few weeks have been crazy, slightly emotional, and full of firsts/lasts. I find it very hard to believe that my oldest daughter is a senior in high school already. Time really does fly and I look at the wonderfully made, beautifully mature young woman that she has become with awe. She is experiencing a lot of lasts with a few firsts: last first day of regular school, last season of high school volleyball, etc.

As her mother, I feel even more responsibility for her to be launched into the world with the character qualities that I want her to have as well as the moral fiber that will make her a strong, wise young lady. I also feel some difficulty in letting her go to make her own decisions. I have never strived to make all my children's decisions, but guide them to wise decisions. I have had to step in and make decisions for them when they do not appear to be heading the right direction. As they get older, I have felt more compelled to guide them in their decisions to avo…

The Single Mama Gig

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I have had this post cooking in my mind for awhile and not sure how to write it. You see, I never intended to be a single mother. I never wanted to be a single mother. I wanted to be married and have the support of a marriage while raising my children and thereafter.

Life threw me a curve ball. One I wasn't prepared for. One that sent me to my knees and still does. My then-husband did not want to be married anymore. He did not want what we had built together. Now, looking back, I see that we had not really built too much together and how much of our marriage was focused on him. 
But we had four incredible, wonderful blessings together. Blessings that to this day give me so much pleasure and hope for the future that I want to be better for them. Blessings that also keep me going from the time my feet hit the floor every morning until I go to bed every night. 
So I find it disturbing just to say the least when people comment to me that life must be easier as a single parent. 
That I am …

Sometimes we all need a little help...

I have gotten some feedback from readers on my lack of posts on single parenting. I can understand that. Single parenting is not something I can write easily about. Or keep my opinions to myself on. And I am kind of opinionated.

Single parenting is not easy. I am finding it to be easier now that I have a rhythm and a routine. We have a schedule and I have to roll with the surprises (oh, you have this going on?!?!) and the disappointments.

I would not be anywhere this easy going about single parenting if I did not have help. Unfortunately, their father is not much in the picture anymore. He pops up from time to time and he pays child support because the state hunts him down and garnishs it. He does not take the kids for the weekend and he does not live very close to them anymore. I do not depend on him for anything.

His parents, though, are fabulous! They help so much. They take the kids a couple weekends a month when their schedule permits and help me with shuttling kids around. Som…