Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Managing My Time As a SAHM

Being a stay-at-home mom can wear you down emotionally and physically. Some people may think it is pretty simple, but unless you are one, it is hard to comprehend how demanding it can be. To survive as a SAHM, you need good time management skills, the ability to multi-task, inexhaustible patience, unwavering commitment and lots of unconditional love. Unlike other 8 to 5 jobs, being a SAHM is 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t get any day-offs, vacation or sick leaves. You don’t even get paid monetarily. Every SAHM knows that to be able to accomplish what you need to accomplish, you need to run a schedule that works for you and your kids. Even when I had a household helper, I planned out a schedule to ensure that she will make use of her time efficiently. This schedule is something that you develop over time as you get to know your child’s personality. As soon as my husband leaves for work, I keep in mind that my son Caleb is my priority. This means that he comes first before mopping floors, washing dishes or cooking dinner.  Needless to say, this is not an excuse to be lax on your chores. My own strategy to keep our house in order is to “Clean As You Go.”  This means that if there is a scum on the floor or on the table, I wipe it right away. All dishes have to be washed immediately so they don’t pile up on the sink. Beds have to be made up even after a nap and toys have to be kept in the box when not in use. I keep in mind that as much as possible, I want our place to look presentable even when there are unexpected guests. This strategy has helped minimize the time that I need to clean. I’m not a believer of general cleaning because in my opinion, that’s a waste of time. Time is always of the essence when you're a SAHM. You don't just sit around the TV doing nothing, there always is something that needs to be done - a spill that needs to be cleaned, a diaper that needs to be changed and a snack that needs to be prepared. Your day can be filled up with so many unexpected chores that the more important things get pushed aside. That is why setting your priorities is a must. One priority that I like to keep on my list is having time for myself and doing things that refresh and boost my energy. Time for exercise is one of these things. And by exercise, I don't mean vacuuming or chasing around my toddler. A good exercise for me is a 30 minute run, 20 laps in the pool or a yoga workout video.  As  a SAHM, this entails extra effort on my part, like waking up early just catch to squeeze in the 7 am spinning class before my husband goes to work.  More that the desire to go back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I value exercise mainly because I want to be recharge, function at my best and avoid getting sick.  Another priority for me is setting time for R&R or as I call it “mommy me-time”. My favorite would be shopping online, savoring my coffee or tea while reading OK! magazine or watching the Entertainment channel. Whatever that is or however little time you have left, it is important for SAHMs to set aside time during the day to put their feet up and unwind. After all, over fatigue can lead you to feel cranky, and even depressed. But most importantly, effectively managing your time means making it a priority to pray and reflect on God’s word so you will have the strength and wisdom you need to seize another day.

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