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Organizing Tips for Single Fathers

By

Work-at-Home Dad

One of the biggest challenges newly single dads tell me about is the need to establish new routines when the other adult at home is not there any more.

Get the kids involved. A lot of routine chores are within the capability of the children. Chores like cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and more are not beyond their skill level if you teach them what you expect. A chore chart can really help with reminding them and keeping them accountable.

Have laundry days. Trying to get ahead of and keep up with the laundry can be a big task. One new single dad I know tossed all of the kids' socks and bought 12 matching pairs for each child so mating socks became easy. Consider setting aside a couple of days a week for laundry. If your kids are a little older, they can do their own with a little training. And if you are not used to separating clothes for washing, ask an experienced laundry-doer for some help. There are not many things more discouraging than having a nice white shirt being suddenly pink because it was washed in the wrong temperature water with the wrong colors.

Have your own chore chart. One dad I know got one of those little binders that hold punched 3 x 5 index cards with dividers for different days of the week. Under the Monday and Thursday tabs, he put cards for vacuuming; under the Saturday tab was a card for cleaning the bathroom. Every day he opened the binder to the right tab and knew what he had to get done that day. Find a simple system and stick to it. It will take a lot of the stress out of these routine duties.

Accept help. Often, as others you love see you struggle, they will ask if they can help. Learn to be a gracious receiver of their offers. Swallow your pride, recognize that you can't do it all, and express gratitude for the help of others.

More on Adjusting to Life as a Single Father

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