Five Must-Haves for Single Parentpreneurs
- Amazon Prime– When you’re a single working parent, you have no time. Enter Amazon Prime. I can’t remember the last time I went “shopping” but the reality is that our household can’t live off what is available at the neighborhood gas station, so we order what we need. We live in the middle of an urban area and the big box stores are a haul. Like in a completely different direction than school, sports practices and my office. Thankfully, Jeff Bezos is hooking a mother up. Search and click- either from my desk or my phone- and magically stuff appears at my doorstep. I’ve actually gotten kind of lazy, ordering just about everything we need from Amazon. Hand to God, here is a sample of what I’ve ordered over the last three months: a hairdryer to replace the one that caught fire, mascara, protein bars, a coffeemaker identical to the one at the house I rented on vacation because it brewed a pot in 4 minutes instead of the 12 it was taking my old one, a new keyboard for my home office, a mop bucket, school shoes for my son because apparently last year’s are no longer compliant with the dress code, and earwax removal drops. Plus at the end of a long day, I can dial in to Prime from my cozy bed and watch episode after episode of The Americans. (That’s a complete lie. I rarely make it thirty minutes before my eyes close, but the Amazon angels know exactly where to pick up tomorrow. And that Keri Russell makes me feel like a badass.)
- A slow cooker– I love to cook and it’s really important to me that my kids eat healthy and appreciate good food. I’m not a crazy person about it, but we try to eat real, nutritious food every day. When I was married and not working, I’d say that cooking was my full-time job and aside from kids, the thing that gave me purpose. In fact, the last year of my marriage, I had a blog that centered mostly on food- probably a diversion from what was really going on in my life. Since the big D, I certainly can’t spend three hours planning and preparing dinner every day, but I can spend fifteen minutes in the morning chopping and throwing ingredients into a slow cooker. I have slow cookers (yes, plural) with timers that will cook, then keep meals warm indefinitely. Kids hungry when we get home? Then eat. Don’t want to eat until after soccer? Sounds good. I’ve curated quite a collection of excellent recipes- and I’m happy to share.
- Evernote or Box or some cloud-based document storage– Speaking of sharing, a cloud-based home for important documents is critical. Just today, my daughter’s soccer coach needed a copy of a birth certificate for this weekend’s tournament. It had to be submitted TODAY. In the past, I would have kept paper like that at the bank or in a file cabinet, but since I had it in Box, I was able to send it over in seconds. I also have my favorite recipes scanned and tagged in Evernote. Again, I’m not one of those people who is critically organized. I just figured out that by spending a couple of hours scanning and tagging a decent selection of recipes, I would save much more time. If I get a request from the kids or am at the grocery and feel inspired, I can whip out my phone and grab what I need without having to look it up back in the kitchen.
- Downy Wrinkle Releaser– Who has time to iron? Sometimes good enough is good enough.
- Running. Or Biking. Or Barre Class– I believe that you get more productivity out of physical movement than the hour or so you give up for it. I believe that’s especially true if it’s something that brings you back to the peace of childhood. I grew up in the country, so when I go out for a run in the park, even in the middle of the city, I smell the trees, hear the leaves under my shoes, feel the seasonal changes in the air and THAT brings me back to being a little girl with no worries. It physically calms me. When I get on my bike, it’s like I’m nine again, on a big adventure and exploring the world. I recently took a barre class and realized it had been months since I had been barefoot and lying on the floor. I felt tangibly connected to the earth. Regressing back to childhood for just an hour is great for the soul.
Those are my must-haves. What are yours?
Amanda Aguillard decided to become a CPA when she was 16, and never looked back. She started Aguillard Accounting LLC in 2012, committed to running a cloud-based practice from anywhere in the world. Aguillard Accounting is a Xero Gold Partner and Cloud Integrator, Vend Certified Advisor, Clio Certified Consultant and Deputy Certified Advisor, amongst others, and Amanda regularly teaches the Xero Partner Certification course. While she holds a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Denver, she would much rather craft and implement ecosystems for retailers, law firms and creatives. She spends any spare time cooking for her two kids and reading historical fiction. She is slightly obsessed with Penzey’s Spices and Chris Thile.
She is the Xero Ambassador for the Southwest US.