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    Posted August 15, 2014 by
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    10 Tips for Surviving Independent Parenthood



    I am single and I am a parent; but I do not  consider myself a single parent. Kai's dad is very active in her life  and while  we live separately, we have been very successful at  co-parenting our little boo... Think of it as an independent parent  kinda thing. That being said, I am financially responsible for my  household,  I take pride in spending quality time with my daughter, I am  active on several projects at work, AND I'm trying to be consistent  with this blog/ hair journey/ and The Kia and Kai Show thing that I'm so  proud of!

    With so many time-consuming obligations, life can  easily become overwhelming. While I've only been a parent for 2 years,  I've managed my own household for 5, maintained the same full-time  career for 6 , all while completing  many public relations gigs on the  side. The following 10 tips are my guide to survival. Feel free to  add-on...



    I  am fortunate enough to have my mom, Kai's dad Daniel, and my best  friend Krista. They are always willing to help! Whether its watching  her, shopping for her, calling to check on her... We all love us some  Kai!!




    There  are pros and cons to living life on a clock. My days seem to go super  fast but I am able to maximize my time and be productive. Time  management is a huge part of surviving independent parenthood. Adhering  to a strict schedule ensures that you have fulfilled your daily  obligations and adds organization to what could easily be chaos. My Schedule:

    My  day starts at 7:30AM. From 10-6 I'm committed to work, after that its  me and Kai. We have dinner and baths, then the rest of the evening is  girl time. We color, do flash cards, feed the fish, watch Doc  McStuffins, dance in the mirror and just have fun! When she's asleep at  10:30, I focus on cleaning, blogging, editing for YouTube, and catching  up on current events. I go to sleep around 2 AM and do it all again the  next day.




    I  hate to be blunt, but when you're an independent parent you have very  little room to f up financially. The best way to combat being  financially irresponsible is to have a plan for your money... a budget.  Make it a habit to pay yourself. By ALL means, you've worked hard for it  and you deserve to reap the benefit. BUT I'm not talking about the  latest bags, watches, and glasses... I'm talking about SAVING and  INVESTING! Save for a rainy day, invest  wisely so there will be no  rainy days. It is also important to pay bills on time. I try to keep  rent and car paid a month in advance. I've found it beneficial to pay  car and renters insurance in one payment, as to decrease my number of  monthly bills. SAVE on gas by not going unless you have to. SAVE on  household items by buying in bulk when you find it on sale. An  independent parent/ adult should never be without toilet paper, paper  towels, bleach, detergent and other personal essentials.




    Balance  is very important, especially with MY two-year old. She's spoiled  rotten but has gotten accustomed to hearing "NO!" I learned that you have to establish boundaries, set expectations, and follow through with  praise/ consequences. It builds character... a little discipline never  hurt nobody. Same holds true for every aspect of independent parenthood.  Try applying the rules of discipline to your budget and time  management.




    Life  is not perfect. Sometimes {stuff} happens when you least expect it.  Sometimes you get tired of work, people,  and questions... You may even  get tired of hearing "mommy" a billion times in a row for no reason at  all. Just remember that it's mind over matter. Exercise patience... even  if it requires a 10 minute time out before hand. Think of it as a test;  will you pass or fail?


    6. ME TIME


    I  don't get much but it is definitely healthy to steal some time each day  to do absolutely NOTHING!! Well, that's what I do. Just chill and  think. Sometimes I get lucky and get a few hours break. That's when I  like to play in my hair. #CurlyGirl #KiasHairJourney (Make sure you say  hash tag when you read this... It makes my day!! LOL)




    This  one is monumental! Kai observes and imitates every little thing I do.  She enjoys changing trash liners, folding face cloths, holding the dust  pan, and passing me clean dishes from the dishwasher. Not only is she  learning and having fun, but the housework is getting done while  spending quality time.




    Wait... not like a hoarder; there are definitely levels to this. I mentioned a list of items that all independent adults should always have on deck. Well there are more... Basically anything that you know  you're going to need to efficiently run your home. Target and Kroger's  Manager Special section are great places to start. They always have a  clearance and I have been able to rack up on essentials like toothpaste,  tooth brushes, lotion, Finish dishwasher tabs, JetDry... The key is to  only buy these items on sale and when you find it on sale, rack up!  Thanks mom, I get it now!




    I'm  no Pinterest Queen, but I can appreciate an organized and neat space.  Everything in my apartment and on my desk has a specific place. It is  hard for me to relax or be productive in a cluttered space. I plan to do  a video to show you guys some of my storage solutions. Creativity and  personal taste will get you a long way with a little money! Now let's be  very clear,  my closet and laundry space are disastrous. But I know  where everything is and I'm OK with that. I've accepted that folding  clothes and putting them away does not work well with my life. That  chore is for the birds!


    10. DON'T SWEAT


    ...And IF you do, don't let em' see you!

    Don't  get overwhelmed and allow yourself to feel defeated. My mom always  said, "If there is a way in, there is a way out!" Sometimes it's  necessary to take a step back, analyze the situation and approach it  with a fresh prospective. Positivity goes a long way. You have to be  your biggest motivator. You have to affirm that you CAN and WILL and  then you have to DO! No one knows what you're going through unless you  tell them. Anything that may cause you to sweat, is probably  best kept between you and God! Nobody else has the power to do anything  about it... So spew happiness, joy, and positivity and watch it turn  around!



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