Many women work outside the home, either due to self – fulfillment or economic demands. It may be a secular employment or a business.
Even stay-at-home mothers are working women.
Whatever your circumstance, we can all benefit by considering a few tips:
Be an early bird – Many mothers, have found out that more is achieved during the early morning hours. You can leverage on this time period to do tasks that require concentration. But this means that you must try and get the kids to sleep on time and sleep early yourself.
Make a Schedule – Don’t try to remember all dates, details, passwords, events, appointments, not even your child’s PTA meeting date. Use your pen and diary; better still, go digital! Your phone’s calendar can be of much help.
A short pencil is better than a long memory. Make lists, either ‘to-do lists’ or ‘shopping lists’. It helps you to be organized.
Take time to go through your schedule for the day and check off items accomplished, it feels good! Try to stick to your daily plan and make room for exigencies. However, if you have numerous items on your daily ‘to-do list’, you are not being realistic and the feeling of not-doing-enough can get the better of you and sap your motivation and energy.
Prioritize – Identify the crucial and urgent tasks that you can not afford to ignore, and accomplish them first when your ‘battery level’ is near full.
Have a place for everything – In culinary practice, this art is called ‘mise en place’. it involves keeping all cooking ingredients and cutleries in place. In the work place, organize your shelf, label files and drawers, so as to save time and stress of looking endlessly for a piece of document. In the home, have a place for damn everything, let others in the family know that you have a place for the kids spoon and a different place for the adult-size spoon. When cooking, limit the clutter, organize your work bench so that cleaning is easier afterwards. In the bedroom especially and if there are kids in the house, things can pile up, real fast.So begin by trying to keep everything you picked up or used, back in place. It is important to teach kids early to do this… in time you will reap a cleaner and organized home.
Delegate – It is easy to be carried away by praises… Oh! She is a super – mum, the best staff and so on … And then you work, work and over work. Well that is nice, but remember that you will eventually pay for it either with your health, stress level, family relationship or something else dear to you. So bite only as much as you chew!
In the office, learn to delegate when you should.
In the house, enjoy doing chores happily, with your spouse and kids. Initially, they may create more work for you than working with you, but do not give up… It does get better with time. No matter how super you feel, you can’t do it all alone. A lot is achieved when all hands are on deck. Discuss with your spouse and kids (if they are older) on the kind of help you need. For example, do you need a nanny? ‘Live in’ or ‘Live out’ nanny? Or should you take baby to the daycare center?
6. Learn to multi-task superbly – Women tend to be naturally gifted with multi-tasking. But the fact that you do it does not mean that you do it well. This helps: ‘Combine similar activities. Make all your phone calls at one time. Do all your errands at the same time. Pay all your bills at the same time. Do all shopping in one trip’. (www.wikihow.com)
Like a piece of puzzle, learn to fit in similar tasks e.g. a mental task + a physical task.
You can load clothes in the washing machine, and start making the beds.
You can be cutting veggies while the meat is simmering on the cooker.
You can be folding clothes while baby is on the potty or even while answering a phone call.
But it may not be appropriate nor safe to be making a phone call while stirring the boiling sauce.
7. Care for your soul, you are someone’s child! –
All mothers need time to Rest, Refresh and Rejuvenate. You may not have to take a swim or go to country-side to achieve the 3R’s. It may be less than an hour of rest, whilst the kids are taking afternoon nap or immediately you return from dropping them off at school, or during your lunch break. If you cannot achieve this daily, then plan towards it weekly or monthly. Signs that you are not getting enough of the R’s are: Irritability, mood swings, anger, impatience and fatigue. These manifestations rub off on the family’s mood and atmosphere. Note: Your Mood Determines the Mood of the House.
8. Have a long range view of all challenges – Be it pregnancy, parenting, office demands, extra degree… Remember that ‘nothing’ lasts forever! Relish every moment! Look on its brighter side! Take it as it comes!
9. There is time for everything – As much as you can, separate work and family. When at work, give it your all, but once you’re home, spend quality with family time with your children every day. Even if you are a stay-at-home mother, chances are that you may go through the motions of your daily chore without fully interacting with the kids and warming their hearts. Resist this possibility! The kids will not be around you forever, don’t miss out on the joy of one of the most rewarding job ever, parenting!10. Communicate freely with your spouse – Involve your spouse in your decisions. Share your daily challenges with him. Besides that it helps to share your feelings, the way you view a challenge may not be the way it really is. So you often times will need a compassionate listener more than a counselor.