Mothers are always busy-irrespective of whether they work from home, outside or
are homemakers. Responsibility of a child, family and work do take their toll on
the time that mums have at their disposal. Whatever happened to the belief about
being a supermum who can manage work and home with equal ease and still end up looking
smashing? Most of us know how far we are from this statement! Yet, things need not
be as bleak. We offer you simple, yet effective suggestions on how to manage your
time as a mum. These habits and principals have to be internalized and developed,
which takes practice and effort. But, in the end, it’s all worth it, isn’t it?
1. WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
Time management literature is replete with the word ‘priortising’. If we all know
what is important for us, we will know where to focus our iBut, what is it, other
than your kids and home, that do you really want to accomplish? Be clear on that.
You’ll need that bit of information when you have spare time to put to good use!
2. WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR CHILD DOES
This is a tip for doing really important things which really important things which
require concentration or which otherwise would not be done. Let us say you want
to really exercise to lose weight. But, running behind your child the whole day
and meeting family and work requirements does not give you time. Do it before your
child wakes! Even 15 minutes of peace to yourself at the beginning of the day will
give the much-needed pep-up.
3. PREPARE IN ADVANCE AND GET ORGANISED
We often waste time on minor activities which could have been prepared for in advance.
For example, one can prepare the next day’s clothes the night before, plan weekly
menus and shop accordingly. Basically, with kids, you can’t afford to lose ‘last
minute’ time. Take an honest look at your life. When do you feel hurried and out
of control? See if you can prepare for that situation in advance. Many mothers find
that cooking and provision shopping consumes a lot of time. Dia Shah, a fashion
designer who works from home, stresses on the importance of advance meal planning.
“We plan our meals and shop for the provisions beforehand. Thus, it’s possible to
preparations even for the evening meals while we cook for our lunch. This leaves
our evenings free and saves a lot of time,” she says. Devise simple strategies to
stay organized. Besides enjoying the benefit of saving your time, you will pass
on this skill to your child too. Learn to put things in their place immediately
after use, plan each day the night before, de-clutter and prevent clutter effectively
and plan organise stuff well.
4. WORK A ROUTINE IN SYNC WITH YOUR CHILD’S
Work your schedule around their classes, naps and activities. Dia swears by her
son’s noon naps. “This is the time when I finish off all my outside work such as
meeting up with clients, tailors and embroidery people,” she states. Bijal Shroff,
a work-at-home mother of a toddler and an infant, also advises mothers to get maximum
work done when the kids are sleeping. “I do all my professional work which requires
concentration when my children are asleep. If the older one is awake, I plan activities
to keep him individually occupied beforehand. I do my housework when both the kids
are awake. This way, I can also keep an eye on them and housework done at the same
time.” Thus, it helps to identify the time when you can do your work, depending
on your child’s schedule. When your child has a set schedule, you can work yours
around it to get maximum time benefits. As Bijal puts it, “You must make the effort
to set their schedule in such a way that you get time to do what you want.”
5. THERE’S NO HARM IN OFFLOADING!
It is absolutely okay to expect help from others! Wise mothers also know when to
take help from whom. The first obvious choice is the family. Pramila Agarwal, stay-at-home
mum to a toddler, appreciates the joint-family support she gets. “it helps to have
family members take members care of your kid while you are busy finishing chores.
I would also stress on the fact that the husband has to become very supportive,”
she opines. Hired help can also take off a lot of burden. Teacher Akshita Kothari
relies a lot on her house help. She says, “When I am home, she does the housework
while I spend time with Anaya. When I go for my classes and tuitions, my maid supervises
my daughter”. It pays to train your kids to do their work themselves. Working mum
Anita Deshmukh strongly advocates making your child independent very early. She
explains, “I kept on telling my daughter that mamma won’t always be around. Ever
since she was a toddler,I used to get her to pick up her toys, clean up and do simple
tasks herself. As she grew older, I also let her chip in in the household tasks.
I’ve never fed her after she was three! Now, she even manages her schoolwork herself!
I feel that a lot of parents fuss unnecessarily over their children.” No wonder
it’s possible for her to work away from home without worrying too much! You may
have gone out of your way to do things for others. But, now that you are a mother,
there is a very important responsibility ahead! And, it is a 24*7 one! So, it’s
perfectly okay to say no and not do things which you feel you should not have to.
Let everyone know your priorities. It will clear up a lot of time for you to do
what you want to. One of my favourite statements post the birth of my son was, “Evenings
are my time with him. Unless it is absolutely urgent I cannot do XYZ.” It gave me
a lot of quality time with my child.
6. DON’T LENGTHEN TASKS UNNECESSARILY
“I make my work as short as possible” says Praveen, I used to prepared elaborate
breakfasts earlier. Now, it’s something quick yet healthy. If guests come over I
may not prepare all snacks at home but order a couple of things from out. Little
things like this make a big difference,” she says.
7. LET THE CHILD’S AGE HELP
Each child’s demands on your time change with age. You can leave an infant in a
baby gym and do your chores around the room. But try doing that with a toddler and
you’ll land up with a bigger mess! But, you can definitely rope in your toddler
to help you out doing simple stuff. Again, once the child grows up a bit you can
plan activities for him when you are busy, and he will sit by himself and do them.
Be aware of the unique personality of your child, keep in mind his age and then
plan your activities and schedule accordingly. Allow yourself the freedom to have
free time without feeling guilty. You deserve it!.