“CONNECT” Smooth98.1 fm
Today, I focus on the family. It is called CONNECT! See, as a working woman, you are pulled in many directions, it seems everybody wants to get a piece of you; the kids demand attention and need to be attended to, you are needed by your spouse, your boss, your parents, your committee and your community. How do you put it all together and get all these done at the proper time? The following statistics as conducted by a Canadian research institute shows how much stress our mothers, wives, daughters and employees are constantly under: 45% admit to cutting back on sleep when they have to find more hours in their day. 35% of women report that they are under constant stress because there are more demands on them than they can possibly meet. 32% of women worry that they don’t spend enough time with their family or friends; 31% say that they don’t have enough time for fun anymore. 26% would like to have more time for themselves. And 22% of women intend to slow down the coming year. What about single ladies caught in the career web of unsuspectingly attending to all career friendly tools.
We’re running at breakneck speed from the time we step out of bed in the morning until we hit the sack again some 18 hours later; no one has a lot of time on their hands these days: not men, not women, not children.
I will share two key thoughts;
(1) Get up early enough to put yourself in order before attempting to put your house in order. – The earlier hours of the day give you uninterrupted and ample time to get organized. Prepare all the kids would need for school. Get your documents; files and all needed work materials ready before hand. And if perhaps you have outstanding responsibilities left over from the office, this may be a good time to do them so you do not carry yesterday’s trouble into the new day. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Setting aside an hour or two in the early mornings when everyone else is sleeping and phones are not ringing can make an hour seem like two. But sometimes the demanding schedule of the workplace ensures you get back home late and too tired to wake up in the morning. So do all you can to conserve your energy while at work. Disengage yourself from every form of triviality. Endeavor to go to bed early enough, resist the urge to watch a movie late into the night; watch night movies only on Friday and Saturday. It’s the habit of champions. One working mom whose office is quite a distance from her home, says she always get her shower and work clothes on before the morning chaos begins. “This allows me to focus on the kids and help them get ready each morning. I was no longer trying to dry my hair while they were brushing their teeth. It really reduced my stress levels, because I wasn’t rushing around at the last minute”. Allot time to yourself before attending to all that demands your attention. Call it ‘ME TIME’.
(2) Organize your routine effectively. – Another easy way to organize your activities effectively is by making use of calendars and a To-Do list. As a matter of fact, behind every do it all working mom is a great calendar and a functioning To-Do list. Run your life and activities like a CEO. Divide each area of your life into departments. For example, you should have a family department with units such as kids, spouse and welfare under it, a work department with your various assigned tasks and job descriptions under it. Relationship department with units such as friends, colleagues, parents, siblings and in-laws under it. Then, let your to-do list reflect daily goals and objectives for each department. When you get the school calendar, write down everything for the full year; update your calendar daily with notes from school volunteer meetings and dinner dates. Use post it notes placed strategically in your house, on your keys and at the office to help you remember key events. Stick devotedly to your schedules and you’ll be on your way to running a wall balanced and happy life. One thing you must endeavor to get rid of are distractors. Be ruthless with them. Frustrate distractions at all cost.
I believe women have the ability to maintain a work life balance, but they can’t do it alone, they need to fully engaged partners and strong support systems, including neighbors, friends and extended family. So, I would advice you to establish good and clear communication lines with your spouse. Let him know the strain and challenges of a workingwoman so you can get your husband’s side of the entire commitment. And the only way to do that is by submitting to him, loving and showing that you care. Express your need for his support, telling him when and where you need it but express it with all humility and sincerity with deep respect. It’s not about what must be, it will only be about what can work and what is available, we change what we can change; we accept what we cannot change and go forward. Strong husbands must be team players. This is why wives must create love systems that must be able to mesh into the heart of your husband enough to create a platform that would enable you to sell the idea of team work so that, with issues such as children study supervision, you could work together, you do Monday-Tuesday, he could do Wednesday-Thursday; Whatever you do, work with your husband. And the only tool to achieving that especially in black Africa is by true love and respect from the heart. Alternatively, you can seek the help of your parents to supervise the welfare of the children or register your children to a nearby student care center or an after school club. But it must be remembered that no amount of external help can substitute for quality time with your children. Try to set aside at least the weekends to spend undisturbed time with your family. Equally, do ensure you work for a family friendly employer who understands the challenges of a workingwoman.