This article is for moms who feel OVERWHELMED by the vast demands of their roles as wife, mom, daughter in law, employee where there is no room for self-care. I have been there, done that and have emerged with healthy solutions and BOUNDARIES for myself. I share those practical, super cool tips from my practice as a LIFE-COACH that work a 100% at improving the quality of your life, give you more time, more energy and much less ‘stress’ in your day to day living.
I CAN SPEAK FROM BOTH ENDS –STAY AT HOME AND WORKING FULL TIME. FOR 4 YEARS I WAS A STAY AT HOME MOM, completely dedicated to my daughter but the ‘expectations’ of the husband and family from a stay at home mom are ENORMOUS! The most common response – “Sara din karti kya ho”. Initially the tigress within me would roar with anger but eventually with time I realized it is useless, men think in one gear, one direction only. So I then I knew with time, how to humor it out like in my mind I would be saying something so inappropriately funny to him like “balcony ki deewar par zhadu leke dance kar rahi thi” but we know that we work at home is endless.
A YEAR AGO I STARTED FULL TIME WORK, she was going to be in 1st Grade then aND THE USA LIFE IS HORRENDOUS IN ITS DEMANDS because I am not the mother who cooks food for 7 days in advance and cleans home once a week. I like cleaning the home every 3 days, car every week and cook at least a fresh dinner. Having to exercise, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, prepare lunch for next day, help daughter with 1.5 hour of H.W., drive her to classes, do daily religious prayers, write articles and build a business on the side. There are no helpers to help whether we are sick, have overtime work, guests or not.
SO GIVEN THAT THERE IS SO MUCH TO MANAGE AS A MOM HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS:
Majority people don’t realize that we spend 3 – 5 HOURS in a day on Facebook NewsFeed and WhatsApp groups, brooding over other people’s lives, unnecessary videos and forwards.
- S-T-O-P LOOKING INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S NEWS FEED, display pics and family pics. When you look at someone else’s life their life is taking away time from your life!!! (UNLESS it teaches you something valuable). You can spend time either honing your life such that everyone will want to keep looking at yours or waste your time looking at how ‘cool’ someone else’s life is.
I use Facebook primarily to share my articles, grow my skills or my business. I spend no more than 10 mins. a week on Fb newsfeed mainly for death, new born or important announcements.
- CHOOSE TOP 5-7 PEOPLE WHOSE NOTIFICIATIONS YOU WANT TO FOLLOW, unfollow all others. That way your NewsFeed is filled with news of people you VALUE the most.
- STOP SHARING LINKS, ARTICLES, FORWARDS. You spend up to 20 mins. a day doing that, use that energy to hug your child, assimilate photographs or finish a quick workout!
- PULL OUT OF UNPRODUCTIVE WHATSAPP GROUPS that don’t add to your lifeline, health and peace of mind. Some people read and forward quotes and health messages daily. How much of it do we actually practice and implement?
- LIST 12-20 VALUABLE PEOPLE OF YOUR LIFE. That way you are not spending time writing HBD and HA to tons of other people on Fb and WhatsApp every month, people that won’t influence your life in any way. Remember that people who love you, will love you no matter whether your wish them or not.
- FIND OUT WHAT KEEPS YOU SO HOOKED ON FACEBOOK OR CALLS? Take a moment of silence with yourself and ask yourself if you feel LONELY, EMPTY or feel you have a MEANGINGLESS LIFE. Do you feel jealous when you look at other people’s progress or wonder how everyone’s happy and you are not? These are indicators of ‘emotional wounds’. A Life-Coach can show you with fun games and exercises many ways to heal your hurt and create a life that makes you feel fulfilled.
- START YOUR DAY WITH PRANAYAM, YOGA, AUM MEDIATION, not with text messages to people back in India, friends and family. A few minutes of silence goes a long way for great physical and emotional health.
- KEEP ONE DAY OF A WEEK OR 2 HOURS IN A WEEK TO CALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABROAD – the people who dearly miss and wish to connect with. That way you know how much time you are utilizing and where. Remember that the amount of time you spend talking over the phone or texting daily, that time you could spend to hone your skills to build a million-dollar life, million-dollar health or invaluable family time.
- The amount of time you spend writing super emotional and heroic posts to wish your husband and kids on Facebook, IS WORTH ACTUALLY SPENDING WITH THEM IN PERSON.
- ORGANIZING YOUR DAY IS SUPER IMPORTANT ESPECIALLY FOR STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS. It is easy to get swept away by laziness, “I’ll do it later” thinking. Set your day with cooking, exercising, other routines with specified time lines like ‘finish all cooking by 10am. Exercise 11am – 12pm, etc.’ Check Facebook once a day at bed time or a fixed time so that your day and thoughts are not CONTROLLED BY FACEBOOK!
- SET PRIORITIES OF YOUR LIFE. On a paper make 3 columns: Most Urgent Needs, Immediate Needs, Needs that can wait and list them down. Check how your day to day actions are helping you fulfill these needs. You will be surprised at how much time is taken away by Needs that can wait while your urgent needs are being ignored.
- MARK APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES. What does that mean? IT MEANS STOP BEING A PEOPLE PLEASER. Most of the ‘gyan’ I blurted about Facebook and WhatsApp in the above pointers is all about creating BOUNDARIES around your life and you such that other people do not take over your time and energy so that you feel more in CONTROL of your choices and life. -Say NO to a friend when you know that you need that time to exercise.-Attend 2 instead of 3 events on a weekend so that you can finish groceries and house chores. -Split with your husband in attending events for your kids so that you can turn takes doing work and having fun. -Balance out the amount of fun and work that is taking over your time. -Sometimes people are unable to say “I need to hang up” or feel guilty for NOT calling a friend.-Know that your life needs your attention before anyone else’s life does. Guilt has no place there. -REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU, WILL LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT, even if you don’t call them as much, don’t go out with them or can’t help them to the extent they need.
BE NICE, HELPFUL AND KIND FOR SURE BUT THERE IS NO NEED TO SACRIFICE YOURSELF, YOUR WORK AND PEACE OF MIND FOR IT. Do what’s within your reach, not beyond it.
PRIORITIZING, ORGANIZING AND MARKING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES IS THE KEY TO MASTERING TIME MANAGEMENT AND MULTI-TASKING, USEFUL IN BOTH BUSINESS / WORK AND HOME LIFE. IF YOU CAN DO THAT, YOU HAVE GOTTEN THE RECIPE OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD.