Share this Page URL

Chapter 14. Family Matters > Making Home a Safe Haven - Pg. 150

Family Matters 150 If you're a single father trying to run a household, there are probably times when you feel like the only one around, but that's not the case at all, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Although the number of single mothers (9.8 million) has remained the same over the past three years, the number of single fathers has grown 25 percent, from 1.7 million in 1995 to 2.1 million in 1998. Consequently, men comprised 1 in 6 of the nation's 11.9 million single parents in 1998, up from 1 in 7 in 1995 and 1 in 10 in 1980. Family Life If you do have a family of more than one, you've probably reaped not only the joys and rewards of family life, but also a whole host of new things to procrastinate about. The parents who participated in the procrastination survey (that survey is described in detail in Appendix D and highlights of the results are given at the end of Chapter 1) and others I've talked to mention putting off such tasks as the following: · Planning, shopping for, and preparing meals · Getting kids packed up and out the door for school, appointments, and activities · Taking care of evening rituals such as bath time during toddlers' (and parents') meltdown time of day · Picking up toys · Doing the extra laundry · Signing up kids for classes, activities, and summer programs · Shopping for clothes and shoes (keeping up with kids' rapid growth) · Getting organized in general · Planning family outings and vacations · Finding time to slow down and relax with the family Almost all of these procrastination problems are organizational problems, which can be solved by following the suggestions in Chapters 8, 9, and 10, as well as in the books and Web sites on or- ganizing that are listed in Appendixes A and C. Particularly important is having a routine, having places to keep things, and not overloading your schedule or your kids' unnecessarily. Action Tactic Instead of wasting time writing out a new grocery list every time you need to go to the store, keep one permanent list of the items you typically buy. Arrange the list in the order that you'll find the items in your supermarket's aisles. Post it on the fridge, and as you discover things you need throughout the week, mark them on the list. Making Home a Safe Haven Isn't it odd how responsible and safety-conscious we are in the middle of the night when we hear a strange noise in the house or think we smell something burning? Not only do we usually jump up right away to go investigate, we also vow to take some action first thing in the morning to make our home and family safer. We promise to put fresh batteries in the smoke alarms, install stronger locks, call the burglar alarm company, or take whatever other steps are necessary to feel safe and secure.