2020 May 8
“If you’re a mom, you’re a superhero. Period.” – Rosie Pope
It’s been acknowledged from around the world that being a mother is one of the hardest, most complicated jobs in the world. Mothers always do everything in their power to enrich the lives of their children, family and those around them, often compromising attention to their own well-being.
It is safe to say that our Sri Lankan culture possesses different beliefs and stigma around being a mother. Gender roles have been a very dominant factor in our culture for the longest time, which adds so much unnecessary pressure onto every mother’s shoulders.
It is common knowledge that most of the responsibilities surrounding children’s upbringing, children’s education, household work inclusive of cooking and cleaning, taking care of their husband’s needs while taking care of their family’s health and well-being, are automatically given to the mother. And for the slightest pitfalls, mothers are ridiculed, blamed and criticised by fellow members of our society. Most mothers struggle so hard to balance all these intense responsibilities, while taking care of themselves and being financially independent.
We at Pulse aim to ease the burden and the stress that every mother has to take, in Sri Lanka. We spoke to some super moms; Yasodhara Pathanjali as well as Riyaza Jaffar and Varuni Seneviratne from Moms Do Digital, to get an idea of how they balance their work, personal and family lives; with hopes of giving all the moms out there tips to lead a more balanced lifestyle.
Yasodhara Pathanjali is an Artist, Designer, Life Coach, Writer of Children’s books as well as a mom who home-schools her kids. Riyaza Jaffar and Varuni Seneviratne are two moms who started their very own Digital Agency called Moms Do Digital, that carries out Social Media Campaigns, Digital Strategy and Digital Advertising for clients. Needless to say, these super moms have the best interest of every woman and mom out there, making women empowerment a priority.
Without further ado, here are 8 tips for working moms to try out, that might help to lead a balanced and happy work, personal and family life.
Strive to be an early bird
Wake up earlier, about an hour or even more, before your kids wake up. The early morning tranquility and quietness inside the house will allow you to focus on getting things done, with minimum interruptions. This will hence improve your productivity, giving you time to complete a lot of your important work for the day.
Don’t stress too much about cleaning
Especially since quarantine is still in effect, yourself, your children and your spouse will be at home 24/7 (or most of the time, minus the grocery runs). Things are bound to get messy, specially if you have little ones at home. So don’t stress too much about cleaning, you’ll always find time later. Now that you don’t have to spend extra time to get ready to go for work, or the time allocated to travel to and from your office, you can spend a little extra time with your kids or even allocate some time for self care instead.
Schedule in some ‘Me Time’
Take a look at your weekly schedule and find time to exert all your energy on yourself. Allocate a time that fits you best, for example, after you’ve tucked your kids to sleep, to do something you want to improve on or something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. It doesn’t have to be long hours, just a few minutes per day would also do. It can be anything from learning a new skill, taking up a new hobby, taking an online class to learn a subject matter of your interest, or to even relax and unwind; just make sure it attests to your personal development.
Cook and prep meals in advance
Plan and prep what you’re going to cook tomorrow, today. Sri Lankan meals can be time consuming, hence planning and prepping properly will help you cut down the time of worrying about what to cook. If you’re having very busy work days that doesn’t give you much time to cook, it’s okay to make a simple, nutritious meal. You don’t have to go all out with 5 curries, every day.
Delegate work in the household
All mums have the superpower of multi-tasking, and yes, you can definitely handle the pressure of all the responsibilities – but you don’t have to. Get rid of the “I have to do everything” mentality and take it easy on yourself. The other adults in the household should be able to carry out the same household functions that you do, without your help or guidance. So if you have a lot of office work to deal with, or if you just want to take some time to yourself, you should work on communicating it with the rest of your family members and allow them to fill in for things that you usually do, once in a while.
Create a schedule for your employees/colleagues
If you are running a business or you are in a position where you can communicate with your employees and create a flexible routine, create a roster/schedule that allocates certain times for certain employees/colleagues to attend to work matters. You can maintain a WhatsApp group where you can post anything urgent and your colleagues could help you get your work done, if you are finding it hard to manage. You can also encourage your clients or third party business partners to communicate with you via WhatsApp instead of traditional means like email.
Keep a babysitting schedule with your spouse
If you’re a new mom or a mom with little kids who requires constant attention and guidance, you could communicate with your spouse and maintain a daily schedule, taking turns between the both of you, to look after the kids. You could schedule all your work calls and meetings to take place during the time where your spouse is on duty to keep your children occupied.
Create a 1 year plan
Have you ever come across different situations where you’ve always thought to yourself “one day, when I have time, I’ll be able to do this.”? You won’t have to experience that anymore, if you set short term goals for yourself, that gives yourself a year to reach them. It can be anything that piques your interest, whether it is to learn yoga, lose weight, travel, spend time with your friends and have fun or learn something new. It’ll give you something to work towards, that’ll help you prioritise on your personal development and leave you fulfilled.
There you have it! A mother is a role model to everyone, especially to their kids, and a happy and fulfilled mother will always resonate positively with their children. So, shut out the negative judgements and implications that society might throw your way and try to share the responsibilities that are automatically deemed yours, with your spouse.
Your happiness and wellbeing should be a priority. Marriage and parenting should always be a two way street, with equal amounts of commitment and dedication from both parties. I’d like to end this article with the warmest Mother’s Day wishes to all the fierce mamas out there. Until next time; “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”