Feeling overwhelmed will be an understatement when you have four active kids.
You got your job and you are a student too. Let's not forget about your house chores and other activities.
Now you can agree with me that overwhelming is literally an understatement right?
With three to four kids and more, you rarely reach the end of your to-do list.
The housework never seems to come to an end, and you feel as if the hours you spend at your workplace or at your place of study would not even have been enough, had you invested them also in the house chores.
Flashback to 1997, I remembered vividly when I had a short discussion with my Aunt.
She told me her challenges as a young mum then, that it is not easy to manage a large family, career and study.
I could still hear her sweet tiny voice saying:
“Chi, do you know I sometimes spend half of my day chauffeuring kids around, even to prepare lunch at times is a big challenge because I am constantly interrupted in the kitchen. It is either the boys are fighting or other stuff comes in between my plans
my little boy's naps are constantly interrupted, I barely have time alone with my husband. If only I were a little better organized, my life would be a lot less hectic.”
That is exactly the same thing most of us in Europe face each
day. Europe is a place for most of us Africans where you have no family member around to help you out with some certain things. That means, you really need to get organized as a mum to avoid being overwhelmed and losing yourself.
My days are so planned out that I know what and what comes up
next, immediately I come back from school or from work.
Having footballers as sons can tell you how hectic my days are always. Thank God! I have a supportive and a hard-working man who also sees that things are under control when his work permits.
Our sons' training is daily, the weekend games inclusive.
In fact, you can say we hardly have weekends to ourselves.
What about the home-works they come home with?
As a parent, you need time to help them out with that also,
Even when you've got yours too as a student.
I needed a good structure to help me out when hubby is
at work that is why I came up with these tips.
There are many families in this situation and I hope
they will get help here.
Here are the tips that work for me and hopefully they
will work for you too. You just need to keep to this plan so as not to find yourself in level zero.
#1 Tip CALENDAR
I would say jotting down all your appointments on your calendar or cheat sheet can go a long way in helping your family stay organized. Having a calendar system is a must for any busy mum. You can laminate it and tape it to your kitchen cabinets. You can also download an app on your mobile phone.
#2 Tip MEAL PLAN
If you find yourself staggering into the market more often
on a daily basis because you've got no idea what to serve
your family for dinner or because you've forgotten one ingredients or the other.
The biggest sanity saver for most large families I know has been meal planning. It doesn't need to be complicated. Large families enjoy staple meals such as pasta and meatballs, baked chicken and rice, egusi soup, pepper soup, Ogbonno soup and those
African finger foods like meat-pies, buns, puff-puff, chin-chin etc.
If you need a special recipe to prepare any of those, I will either
send you a recipe or link one to you.
You will be doing your household a great favour by
Making a list of 10 meals your family enjoys on a regular basis and blend those into your weekly menu. When you go shopping, make sure you have the menu plan with you so you don’t forget any key ingredients. With this, your energy is not wasted but invested in things that will benefit your family.
#3 TIP STAY AWAY FROM LONG CALLS ON TELEPHONE
Being interrupted often by phone calls make you stay longer on your chores or whatever you are doing. The solution is you should allow answering machine to pick most of your calls. You can always return the calls in your free time. I see some mothers spend two to three hours discussing what doesn't add to them. Thereby wasting their precious time.
#4 TIP BREAKDOWN YOUR WORK INTO LITTLE TASKS
If you are the type that spends two to three hours on house chores. The solution here is you should try to break down the chores and allow your kids to help out also. In fact, every member of your family should have one obligation to do.
This will make daily tasks go more quickly. Get rid of your kitchen clutter, clear counters of anything you don't use again. Clear out drawers of outgrown clothing in your children rooms.
#5 TIPS REST TIME OR UNWINDING
If your children go to bed by 9:30 pm or 10 pm. Change
their bedtime routine. This you do strictly. Introduce them to the new routine by serving dinner on time.
It is your duty to make sure that they go to bed by at least 8:00 pm or 8:30 pm.
This will give you room for unwinding and also spend time with your spouse.
Keeping a bit organized helps today’s parents to juggle more activities, obligations, work commitments, and family issues than ever before. I see the need to get more organized myself
If I really want to finish my course with an outstanding result. I also don't want to get burn-out and overwhelmed. This I see in many moms. With this little tips, any mum that wants to get a little bit organized has a solution.
Please add more to the tips if you have more. What has worked for you?
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