Networking has been the key to my career success. I have been very fortunate to have had the help of great people like Matt Murphy, Dave Osler, Nancy Tremblay, and many others who have helped me navigate the waters of the Autodesk world. Without their help, I would not be where I am today. They have given me advice, inspiration, and so much more. Knowing how much they helped me at work, I decided to create a parenting network at home. This network consists of other single mothers as well as married women who inspire me and teach me how to be a better mother. I often call them up to get advice, vent, or just straight out ask for a favor. If you are not as fortunate as I am to have a great network, then it might be time for you to do something about it.
On Tuesday, March 15th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, a Single Mothers Seminar is taking place in Riverton, Utah. Admission is completely free and I believe that it will be well worth your time. Check out the flyer for more information. The address is:
LDS Church Offices
3740 Market Center Dr
(approx.13400 S Bangerter)
Once you start developing your network, here are some ideas on how to use it to your advantage.
1. Watch them with their children or yours and decide which habits you want to incorporate into your own parenting style. Children respond differently to different parenting styles. So find the style that you see your children responding to the best and incorporate it into your style. My youngest is the hardest headed child that I have met. When it comes to getting her to do chores, I struggle at figuring out the trigger that will encourage her to pitch in. Then I watched my mother get her to clean base boards, windows, pull weeds, and many other things without much effort. Of course, I wanted to learn how to get her to do chores without wasting all my energy so I asked her how she did it. She admitted that she made it seem like she was having fun doing it which made Savanna want to do it. She also bought a fun duster that my girls love to play with. So whenever we go over there, they want to play with the duster and “pretend” to clean. It is a great tactic that I have incorporated at home. They don’t even know that they are working.
2. Ask for advice on how they are successful in accomplishing what you want to accomplish. Laundry is my biggest nightmare. So when a close friend of mine told me she finally caught up on laundry and has been able to keep up with it I asked her how she did it. She said she found flylady.net. FlyLady is a great website with advice on how to get your house in order. The best advice on that site is to do a little something each day. My friend started doing one or two loads of laundry each day and it helped her have more time on the weekends to go have fun with her family. I have tried to incorporate this but have to admit I do not always make the grade. A little each day on everything thing else has help me a ton though.
3. Take turns picking up each other’s children from daycare, after school activities, or play dates. In my last neighborhood, there were a couple single mothers that had their children in the same school and afterschool program as mine. So from time to time, if I found myself running late to pick up my girls, I would ask one of them to pick up my girls while they were picking up their children. Of course, I would return the favor for them whenever needed so it was a win win for both of us. If you are going to create this type of relationship with another single parent, make sure that you put that person on the safe list at their school so that they can pick up your children.
4. I also took turns cooking dinner with one of them which was really nice because there were days that I just wanted to go home and veg in front of the TV rather than cook dinner. It also helped that she was a great cook so I did not always have to eat my cooking which can become boring sometimes. Through this relationship, we have exchanged recipes, laughter, and tears and created a bond that will likely last a lifetime.
I hope you enjoyed reading this week. Please share your comments here on tools and tactics you have used that have made you a better parent. I am sure that others would love to hear from you.