Hi Welcome to the Last Day of the blog train! It is my privilege to wrap up everything…
Ha… Just joking, Nah, this is not going to be a summary. It’s another perspective from an ordinary mum. : )
Please bear in mind these are what I find useful for me, my family dynamics of 2 active boys(6YO and 5YO) and a 3YO girl with a domestic helper. Therefore, as the saying goes one man’s meat is another man’s poison – just pick the meat that is not poisonous for your family ok? ; )
1) Conviction of role and flexibility to changes along the way.
I became a Stay Home Mum (be it part time or full time or homeschooling etc) from within and made a choice to make it work. If one can’t live with this decision, then do what one can live with (be it back to work etc ) and you would be contented to be living with. I had imagined myself to even home school my kids but have now accepted my limits. Working part time had been good for the past 2 years, but now am going back to full time staying home.
2) Establish a routine that works for your family dynamics
Your family dynamics is really unique from others. It took me a few years to accept and to continue growing in understanding my family dynamics.
I try to have a feasible (realistic) and flexible routine. Having basic mealtimes, naptimes, showertime, playtime, outdoor times at a consistent time each day helps. Before I had a helper and even with one, I planned for buffer time and try to be FLEXIBLE in doing activities in order to have a consistent basic routine. One thing is for sure, we never know what kind of issues we need time to address with lil ones (tantrums/spillage/distractions/just time for cooling off /discipline). Therefore, having a flexible mentality is important for a less frustrating journey.
I expend my kids’ energy at the playground before heavier stuffs like lessons.
My kids have a simple free drawing activity as a daily time slot for 10-20mins to stimulate creativity and one of the sit beside me undisturbed times. My Art Mobile Cot Station gave them much pleasure. An effective way to nurture independence is to include a 20mins ‘Time Alone‘ for each child. For children over 2yrs, he/she can take a room/space area each. For below 2yrs, a high chair or own playpen/cot will ensure safe playing. During such times, Toy Rotation (Playful Learning has a good system but you get the idea. Just categorise them simply if her method doesn’t suit you) works well for them. I also allow change of toys after 20mins and continue for another 20mins. But I started small (e.g 10mins then slowly increased the time)
E.g Simple Marble/Pom Pom Play for baby.
I find that slotting in undivided attention time with each Child alone for at least 10 mins a day helps satisfy their love bank (need for attention). They would be happier doing things alone or playing by themselves than vying for my attention. This can be done perhaps while they are having time alone in the above mentioned?
Speaking of which, I do the above activities with my best friend– my TIMER. Eversince I read this somewhere, I marvel at how the timer helped my kids learn to play contentedly as they know there would be the ringer to help signal end and start of something. It pre-empts them to the next part and keeps them satisfied to the activity allotted. As they grew older, as the routine established, the use of my friend decreased. Another sort of timer that I started was to play a 5mins song to help my boys keep focused on wearing their shoes to get ready for school. Instead of nagging and threatening, I play the song and they automatically get into the mode! It changed the whole atmosphere as the lovely song motivated and uplifted our spirits before they leave for school. If they fail to do so by the time the song ends, they will have to return home and practice wearing, taking off shoes 5x to help them become better. That worked.
My Best Friend : )
3) A Power Nap of 20 mins works miracles for a quick perk. ( I do this when in dire need of rest)
Nothing more nothing less if possible. I shook off the thinking I need to fall asleep. Just a moment to rest my eye and relax my brain would be better than none. So don’t feel frustrated if you can’t fall asleep. Just think eye and body rest even if your brain refuses to rest! It helped me tide through the roughest times. I catch a nap when the kids are having their independent time alone/nap.
4) Jogging while kids are at the playground gave me the opportunity to exercise. Kids also catch our act and will be motivated to exercise too! My kids often cheer me along the way (Jiayou mama!) after they jog one or two rounds with me before their play.
5) Plan meals a week ahead while hubby is home to attend to them. Check out GingerBreadMum’s tips on cooking.
Or just recycle them every fortnightly?
6) Sleep Sufficiently!
I find that it is best to start the day before my children wake up. As I would be fresh and fruity after my Quiet Time, to greet them with a smile and a big hug. This is as opposed to past periods of being awoken by them feeling cross and deprived of my privilege of sleeping. I decided to make a change (waking between 6-6.30am) as my kids’ bio alarm is at 6.30-7am. But I must force myself to sleep no later than 11pm (This attempt is still very much work in progress!). They’re also trained to have their own quiet time of reading upon waking. This allows me extra time to help each one freshen up.
7) Train kids to be independent. More tips from Gingerbread mum.
Basically, the kids clean up after mess, keep things where it belongs. For example, hang own towels, bring own dishes to the kitchen (including my 2yo) and older ones wash their own dishes (for breakfast and tea), return books to the shelf (they helped label the books from 1-5 so they know which books belong to which cubicle).
8) Allocate couple time. My hubby started once a week date night about 2 yrs ago (prior to that we had only random time alone). It transformed our relationship! Being contented in our marriage helps provide security to the kids. I have a support group (read about how they helped me through my lowest moment and why I employed a helper.)
9) Pick up a manageable hobby/interest for self care and growth. I read and recently found a new joy in blogging.
10) Above all, I take heart from this verse
Phil 3:13 I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
For Christians, we press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. He is my source of strength and hope in my life.
For those who are not of the same faith, it is still a good reminder to forgive others, forgive oneself and not hang onto the past and move forward.
I remind myself not to indulge in self pity or excess blame. But to acknowledge and learn from past mistakes and sometimes manage to see the humour in it and laugh at myself. : )
A favourite Poem comes to mind i forgot by who..
Go on go on go on go on
Go on go on go on go on
Go on go on go on go on
Go on go on go on go on
To ALL MUMS!
Let’s Persevere in passing on our legacy to our lil ones who will become Men and Women of the future! : )
This post is part of a blog train hosted byGingerbreadmum where 31 stay-at-home mums share their survival tips. We hope that you’ll find our tips useful and remember that you’re not alone!
For the whole series of 31 Days SAHM Tips, just click on the below (image) link!
For more of GrowingHearts, come join us at our FaceBook, Or Subscribe by entering your e-mail in the box on the top right side bar to receive notifications of new posts by email.