Busy single mum saves time on ironing by using hair straighteners for name tags and she’s ditched bedtime stories too – The Sun

BEING a single parent isn't easy, especially when you work full-time.

Busy mum-of-two, Holly Thatcher, 35 from Bristol, works in PR and is a single mum to two boys, Sam, 7 and James, 10.

Whether it's using hair straighteners to put on name tags, ironing sheets when they're on the bed or reading bedtime stories in the bath, Holly is always on the hunt for ways to free up more time to spend with her boys.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Holly reveals her time-saving tips… 

“I’ve been a single parent since 2015 and in order to keep the family home and not downsize and move somewhere smaller, I went back to work full time.

While it was great that the kids didn’t have to go through too much upheaval, it has been a challenge time-wise.

Any parent doing it alone knows that it’s hard, especially when you’re outnumbered as I am with two against one.

So anything I can do to make the most of the time we spend together is at the top of my list.

Use hair straighteners to put on name tags and iron sheets on the bed

Sam started school soon after I became a single parent and so suddenly I had two sets of uniform I had to get ready every day.

Name tagging everything became a huge deal.

I’m not and never have been good with a needle and thread and then I had a brainwave – why not use my hair straighteners to iron on the tags?

It worked brilliantly – and quickly – and I was very pleased with myself as it definitely saved me time on ironing.

Most of my mum friends have their own little time saving tricks to make life easier too.

Single or not, we all want to be spending quality time with our children and not tackling a pile of ironing.

One of them irons her bed sheets after she puts them on the bed, which I think is genius, and I’ve started to do that too!

Single or not, we all want to be spending quality time with our children and not tackling a pile of ironing.

Life is just too short.

Wash their clothes every night

I usually pick the kids up from my parents about 6pm every night and as their bedtime is 8.30, that’s not much time to do dinner and the bedtime routine and it can be a real rush.

That’s why routine is a lifesaver.

Every night, the kids know to put their clothes straight in the washing machine and I put on a short wash then tumble dry it so their uniform is all clean and crease-free in the morning.

It might seem odd to wash their clothes every day but they’re boys and they often come home dirty, with lunch spilled over their shirts or mud everywhere.

No bedtime stories

Then it’s time for a bath and to save time on reading them a bedtime story, I just do it in the bath!

It also helps to keep them calm in the bath as if I left them to their own devices there’d be water fights and they’d most likely flood the bathroom – which just takes even more time to clear up.

Another nifty trick I use is cutting pizza with scissors – who can be bothered to saw it up with a knife and fork?

Without a bedtime story, they’re in bed at 8.30pm, and I have a little bit of time to myself before getting their lunch boxes packed and ready for the next day and laying the breakfast table.

In the morning, they leave at different times to go their different schools so it’s a bit hectic.

I try to encourage them to be as independent as they can and to get their own breakfast.

Children can pour out their own cereal and milk!

The more you do for them I think, the more children expect you to do and I don’t want to fall down that trap as a time-pressured single mum.

Get creative with their entertainment

Another nifty trick I use is cutting pizza with scissors – who can be bothered to saw it up with a knife and fork?

And I’m also quite creative when it comes to entertaining the boys at weekends too.

As a single parent, I don’t have limitless funds and can’t take them to theme parks and so on but we’ll go to the nearby train station and hop on a train and get off at the next stop and have a look around.

I’ll often take them to an airport too and watch the planes take off.

It saves money and they really enjoy it.”

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