Time Management Skills For That Working Parent
Let me break it down! I am a mother of four biological children and about a hundred and twenty professionally adopted kids, I teach the English Language daily to a class of 11-year-olds, I write on my social media pages daily, I am the Executive Director of an Education Foundation, I am a research student, I also am undergoing an online coaching. I am the word ‘Busy’!
It’s not easy juggling house chores, kids, career, and work. With dedicated domestic staff, life is made fairly simple. For two weeks, I’ve been without any domestic help and I’d say I’ve had my back to the wall.
I wake up at 3:30 am, have my quiet time, do some research, write, plan, attend to the kids, drive to work. At work, I work, work, work from the moment I’m on the premises until work time is over. Back at home, I need to serve dinner, endorse homework, tuck the girls to bed, be sure the home front is neat, set up the girls’ needs for the next day, then hit the bed. It’s a vicious cycle.
With some help from the home staff, I practically supervise, but without their help, I guide the girls plus supervise! Tough one…
So here are practical ways I survived the past weeks:
- I wake up early: This one is non-negotiable. The day I rise at 4am, my schedule becomes muddled up. I ensure I’m up and all settled in before the girls rise. This helps me stay organized.
- I plan ahead of time: You don’t want to know how busy my head always is. I organize activities in my head, and put them down the moment I get hold of a writing material. I do my best to organize the next day’s activities, a night before. So that in the morning, I’m less in a hurry.
- I write down my plans and goals: You can’t get me anywhere without a pen and paper or at least just a pen (the next time you see me anywhere, just say “Daisy, please can I have a pen?”). I try to write out activities. They say, “the shortest pencil beats the longest memory”. I’m always writing. If I don’t write, I become disorganized.
- I delegate: Though a perfectionist (it’s not a good thing, I know), I try to give out some jobs to be done while I supervise and guide. If you are like me, you’ll understand how difficult this task is.
- I have understood that everything cannot be perfect: I do not toy with my house chores, you cannot catch me off guard at home. Everything must be neatly kept, properly arranged, nicely folded. But yes! That’s Daisy! These few weeks, I have learnt everything cannot be perfectly done. Doesn’t mean I don’t still keep things in place, but that I don’t redo most of the chores the girls have helped me out with.
- I quit multitasking: Sure you’ll say this is when I should multitask the more: but No! I used to be a fan of that word. I had to quit to ensure my stress level is reduced and things are done better. I learnt that multitasking drained my brain and noticed that when I took on activities one at a time, I garnered better results.
- I rest: Few days after I took on all house chores, I broke down health wise. By force, I needed to rest. While lying in bed, I decided to give myself some ‘me time’!
- I make use of any opportunity I get to plan with the kids: I try my best to get the children involved in my planning, as it makes execution easy. While driving the kids, I try to spell out expectations clearly. So you could hear me say things like, “Who is in charge of the lunch bags? make sure its properly arranged in its corner when we get home”
As stressed as I may seem at the moment, I don’t long for replacements. I already have received indications of interest, but I’m not in a hurry. I truly miss my Nan and may find it difficult getting familiar with someone else.
However, things happen but then, life must go on…