Over the years, I have been granted the honorable title of Super Mom because of the ability to multitask and manage a career as a freelance writer and also full-time mother. I’ve never taken the award before, so, I shy-shy accept it now and share some stuff with you to help you manage the stress level better.
1. If you have to get ready clothes for the kids the next morning, make sure they’re ready and prepared a couple of days in advance. When the maid comes over, I get her to get everything prepared a few days in advance so that at night, all I do is drag the clothes out and put it over the chair for the next morning.
2. Make lunch or tea or snacks the night before and then leave it in the fridge. Come time to go to school, pull it out and heat it up.
3. Have a specific place for all important school stuff. Everytime done using it, make sure leave it at that place and no place else! otherwise everyone ends up tearing through the house looking for missing book or whatever.
4. Always have a checklist. I am BIG on checklists, believe it or not. I have multiple checklists on my PDA and then several others pasted all over the house to remind me of things.
5. Do things well before time….rushing causes uninmaginable stress unhealthy to BOTH you and the kids. If I am in the back-kitchen, I would start cutting up vegetables for the dinner even if it’s in the middle of the afternoon. Make use of every single spare second you have during the day to make sure you’re not rushed.
6. Get up 20 or 30 minutes earlier than you have to. Just to run through the day’s events. I do this with my PDA the night before and in the morning.
7. Give the kids their own set of to-do lists. Go through everything with them so that they know that this is their responsibility and if something goes wrong, it is their responsibility to right the wrong. Not you. If cannot be corrected, then they have to bear the consequences. Hey, that’s life, man! Your mother is not always there to cover your ass, rite or not?
8. Give the kids warning before an event. Like if it’s dinner time and the kids just got back from school, I would holler, “OK, I am going to give you 5 minutes to get ready for dinner. You know what to do!”
9. Use a timer. I use a timer for everything (sad, isn’t it?). In this case, it’s my handphone. So, if I tell the kids that they have to do their homework in 15 minutes, I set the timer and I inform them that this is their free time and they can do whatever they want to do now before the handphone goes off. No, seriously. And it works because they stop dilly-dallying and start picking the choice of activity immediately. If they want to spend that time lying on the bed doing nothing, then I let them.
10. Have time for yourself. I barely survived this rigorously tiring schedule with the kids and work over the years and I had no support. But after a recent incident and the stress problem and blood pressure, I have incorporated something new. Which is time for myself. I should be as strict on the ME TIME as with all the other schedule stuff. In fact, officially, I clock out at around 9.30pm. Which is good cause by then, my Wah-Lai-Toi show start liao and I sit around on my little beanbag watching a show and shutting out work issues. Whatever the problem is, this Super Mom is off work.