PARENTING

IS TIME RUNNING OUT OR ME?

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.

 

 

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PARENTING

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PARENTING LIFE EASY

It is no surprise that parenting comes with huge lessons of ‘overwhelm’ – the common feeling shared by almost all parents if not all. Life feels like an overflowing fountain of ‘demands’ – not demands from children all the time but demands from life. Come to think of it, parenting is a wonderful SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. Many people do not completely understand the word spiritual. ‘Spiritual’ is anything that forces your ‘spirit’ to grow by having to go outside its comfort zone. Spiritual is anything that teaches us better values or to be a better version of ourselves. Having walked a wonderful parenting journey for 7 years and mentoring many parents through articles and direct conversation, I will like to share 5 simple ways to lessen that ‘overwhelming’ feeling and reduce your frustrations.

  1. Organize your home and learn management skills
  2. Prioritize social life
  3. Plan your career life
  4. Realistic expectations from your child
  5. Realistic expectations from yourself
  1. Organize your home and learn management skills – Organization is the master of leadership skills. A great leader is the one who has the skills to multi-task, prioritize, put things in order, stay focused and organized. Remember that being a parent is a lot about being a LEADER.

    What happens if your supervisor at work reaches work late, leaves work even later, doesn’t eat on time, has no proper places to file his work and has no idea what the day and week ahead will look like? Same is with you as a parent.

    One part of organization is your physical space: how well are your things and your kid/s things kept? Can you tell me in your sleep, where ANYTHING is kept without having to get up – whether it is anything in your kitchen, bedroom, dining, etc. Use organizing bins, trays, holders to make sorting easier. E.g. I place puzzles in zip lock bags, her stationery in a heavy-duty organizer on her table, soft toys in a laundry basket, all bed sheets in one drawer, a drawer for art work, one for miscellaneous items, one for puzzles, etc. My bedroom and kitchen is super organized too.

    Another part of organization is time management. How well are you with your routines? If you sleep and wake up more or less the same time daily, your life will be 80% better with your kids than you ever estimated. Your sleep-rest and body cycle has a huge impact on your mood, on your health and amount of energy you feel. Same is with your kids. Do not let them rule your routines, take charge, set time boundaries for them with T.V., eating, sleep, etc.

    What you feel, you transfer to your kids. Mentally plan your meals for the next day rather than having to wake up with a huge frustration question mark of – “Now what to cook today?” Standing in front of the kitchen cabinets, scratching your head over breakfast and lunch deals for the day is poor management. Think of every minute of your life as a great investment towards your kids. How many minutes do you want to waste and how many do you want to multiply?

  2. Prioritize your social life – Yes, we love to party and meet, greet and laugh. But Parenting is a lot about learning to make adjustments, compromises and changes in one’s life. Before my child, I would be out every Saturday and Sunday with husband and his group of friends. Once my child was born, not only did I have to change my routines for the 1st few months, but I made permanent changes to my social life.

    I don’t mean to say stop having fun but the AMOUNT and DURATION of your outings can be reconsidered. How much do you want to cook for your guests? Is it important to ‘impress’ them or to spend time with your children? Each day as a trade. When I plan a day in my mind, I ask myself- how many hours do I want to spend today with my child, based on that I make my other decisions. I may not be able to deny guests from coming home or having to attend parties but I surely DEFINE how much energy I want to put into preparations or having to stay at a party. My time with my child is not the time that is LEFT OVER after everything is taken care of, my time with my child is the 1ST thing I set aside or plan for the day and then everything else revolves around it.

  3. Plan your career life – Once again it is about need vs. demand. What do I demand from my life vs. what I need. For 6 years I dedicated my life, time, energy to my child because I CAREFULLY CALCULATED it this way – once she starts full time school at age 5, she will NEVER EVER AGAIN IN HER LIFE have a FULL WEEK with me at home. She will be spending more time at school than home and never again will I get to PLAN or SPEND 40 hours in a week with her. Hence, I rather set my career aside for those 5 years, even if there were financial challenges, I rather save money and my time with my child than give away that time to a stranger in a day care for whom she will be ‘one of the 20 kids’. That was my choice, you must make yours to what suits you bets. Do understand that time with your kids will never return and make a wise choice based on that along with all the other needs of yourself and your family.
  4. Realistic Expectations from your child – Would you rather have a ‘smart’ child who attends 5 or 7 different classes and tops in math, academics, dance, etc. or would you rather have a child who tops in ‘the language of love’. While classes can teach your child ‘skills’, sharing valuable time with the parent teaches the child invaluable lessons of love and self-growth. Exploratory play at home can be nurtured by the parent which teaches many skills to the child along with learning to build a bond, show and receive care, feel secure and important.  Also, not all kids are made for the ‘A+’ game. Grades is not everything and success is not correlated to grades alone.

    Don’t overburden them with expectations that their body or mind is not made for. Focus on their strengths, explore their talents and be realistic about their limitations. A rational and loving approach will make your parenting life easier, simpler and more successful.

  5. Realistic expectations from yourself – Now tell me that you do this – take over way too much than you can handle. You invite guests today and then accept the birthday invitation for tomorrow, then realize you had bought tickets to a party, then have groceries left to do, wish to be a super mom but also need to be super sexy, want a super skin, miss watching the latest movies and can’t stop browsing the entire world’s Facebook! P-R-I-O-T-I-Z-E !!!

Your kids do not need a super mom. Just be a M-O-M, that itself is great. Chose the top 5 important things in your life. E.g. here is my list:

  1. Spend at least an hour with my daughter on weekday and 5 total hours with her on weekend.
  2. Health – exercise 4 days a week, eat healthy 5 days a week, care for skin / hair twice a month (not the priority right now).
  3. Career – Advance in one’s career at a steady pace and build business slowly on the side.
  4. Socialize – Have an enjoyable outing 2ce a month if not more and call any close friends and family members every 2 weeks. (No receiving calls on weekdays or times when I spend with her).
  5. Learn – learn something new every month either from book, training, observation, etc. (No reading news or news channel, Facebook only to learn new skills).

I hope this article helps you settle down some of your frustrations and overwhelming feelings of parent-hood.

It is nice to be hopeful that life will continue well and it is wise to be realistic that life can change anytime! Make the most of today. Investment in your kids is the greatest investment you can ever make and that is not about how much money you invest in them or their future, it is about how much QUALITY INTERACTION you live with them in this very moment, HERE and NOW.

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