Nov 7, 2008

Need Christmas ideas for a single mom

Hello, my blogger friends. Funny, but many of you are actually starting to feel like my good friends! I just want you to know I appreciate you every single time you click that button that sends you to my blog... OK, put the hankies away and on to today's business. I don't talk about it much, but my 28 yr old daughter is a single mom (well, a mom in the middle of a divorce from the worse-than-your-worst-nightmares dad). She has a good career and works hard, she's an absolutely fabulous Mom to my two year old grandson, but she frequently gets overwhelmed by all she has to do to maintain her home, her job, her child, and everything else that's involved in daily living. For Christmas, I'm trying to think of ways to help her. She has mentioned several times that she knows she needs to work from a daily To Do list and calendar like I do, and she always complains that she needs to get more organized, but she never seems to find the time to actually do it. I'm thinking of creating her an organizational notebook for Christmas. So far, it would contain pre-printed sheets for the following:
  • Emergency phone numbers and contact information
  • Instructions for babysitters
  • A daily printable To Do List
  • A yearly calendar for scheduling
  • Grocery shopping list
  • List of family birthdays, anniversaries and addresses
I'm going to buy a three ring binder, make a pretty fabric cover for it, and print the lists out on pre-punched paper, in a variety of colors according to subject. I'd also include a list of web sites where she can go when she needs to print off more. I've never been a single mom, so I'm open to any and all ideas you might have that would be a good gift for someone in this situation. Maybe Toddler Activities for when she runs out of ideas? What else? And in case you're wondering, she rarely reads my blog! I think the only one in my family that does read it is my daughter-in-law (Hi Lisa!). So I'm not revealing any gift ideas here! Help me, please!


karen said...

could she use some pages about budgeting? how's she do with the money? maybe someplace to put coupons, etc?

The Calico Quilter said...

I think your notebook is a brilliant idea. And definitely a coupon pocket. How about a notebook of fun, easy, cheap activities for her son? I'm sure she would love some of the neat things you come up with, and having a source for ideas on that rainy Saturday when they're at home together would be priceless.

Lisa said...

(waves) Good morning, Joan!

How about toddler activity kits? Take some of these ideas you have been coming up with and put those basic supplies and instructions in a big plastic ziploc bag for when she's run out of ideas? Maybe 5 or so different kits to keep handy.

Other ideas:
-- Franklin Covey planning pages, if she doesn't already have them for work. They are wonderful and PRETTY! Of course, you would also need to get a planner but this would be a great gift if she doesn't have one and likes to write things down.
-- Big wall calendar with organizational tips written down
-- Fabric board (maybe you could make this), with the ribbons that hold bills, coupons, reminders, pictures, etc. Those would be nice to look at in the home.
-- Cookbook for one or cookbook specifically geared towards meal planning
-- Over-the-shoulder briefcase with two or more compartments for work stuff and mom stuff.

A few other things that might make her life easier if she doesn't have them...
-- Nice travel mug for morning coffee
-- Audio CDs for the car with kid-friendly songs or kid-friendly stories to entertain Brayden on the rides to and from all the places they go
-- Woven baskets with tags for putting away toys
-- 1/2 day at the spa to recharge!

Joan said...

All of these are great ideas! I'm especially liking the budget and coupon pages for the notebook, and the big calendar and fabric board, as well as the packets of Toddler Activities. You guys are amazing!

Dixie's Whimsey said...

Joan - Maybe add a few reminders of things she can do for herself. Single moms always seem to put themselves last, never taking any time to do the things that rejuvinate them. Simple things that cost little or nothing... take a walk on a fall day, invite a girlfriend over for a cup of coffee, buy new hand lotion and don't forget to use it...