By Mei Yee
Someone asked me about ways to avoid burning out as a single parent.. (insert awkward laugh here).
I laugh because this is something that I find hard to do. Whether physically or mentally.
If you sit to relax then you’re thinking of things you need to do or should be doing. So sometimes relaxing isn’t always easy. I know for me it isn’t. I have burnt myself out a lot by thinking I needed to be “perfect” in every aspect for everyone.
One thing I do that helps is, use hacks when I can. I am not talking about the five-minute ones that can help you turn jeans into a purse.
I am talking about ones like, if there is a recipe that includes cut (shredded, pulled etc.) chicken I grab some already cooked and cut chicken from the store. It cuts down on the time I would need to cut and cook the chicken.
“It’s really not that much time taken to cut and cook chicken, why are you so lazy?” Said a former co-worker.
Well, let’s see not only do I need to (1)go to the store after work, (2)I have to then get my kids, (3)go home, (4)sort groceries and put away everything from the store that isn’t needed for dinner, (5)prep for dinner while (6)helping with homework, (7)then actually cook dinner. Seven things to do after work and before being able to eat dinner, which is only about an hour long.
So, if buying precooked chicken to cut down prep-time makes me lazy, then I guess I am lazy (just kidding it’s not lazy, it’s helpful). But it gives me that extra time to help with homework, or maybe quickly get another chore done (like washing dishes since I am right there).
And this honestly saves me 15-20 minutes. I can do dishes and wash a small load of laundry with that extra time. Things that I normally would do after dinner but now don’t have to and can have a few extra minutes to sit and try to relax. Or have some extra time with my kids.
This could also include other things that are already cut and ready to go. Like veggies, at some stores around here they cut up peppers in slices, wrap them up and put them with the other vegetables. So you could grab those and not have to worry about cutting them yourself.
Which also helps cut down on dishes you need to wash. I get it would only be one knife and a cutting board, but every little bit helps, especially when you know you have other things to do.
More tips: Part 2