TWO hacks to help you be a better parent

Am making chai with one hand and catching up on my mails with the other hand.  My mind is racing, I have a 2 hour meeting starting in 5 mins, I need to finish making this chai and take it to my work table!!

My child’s online sessions also begin in 5 minutes. I need to help him log into the zoom class, I need to do this before I log into my meeting!!

How many of us have days that begin like this? I’m going to take a bold guess and say most of us!!  This is the beginning, by the time its 12 Noon I’m exhausted and done for the day!!

I believe that my career is as important as anyone else’s. It is a shame that we live in a world, where a woman has to assert this!! But in spite of prioritizing career and wanting to be a great parent I often feel short of doing justice to both. I don’t even want to begin to talk about self care and time for friends

Pretty much everyday looked the same, till I came up with two hacks
  1. Planning
  2. Asking for Help.

Planning

I know this sounds tedious, but if you play it by the ear its going to be tougher!  I write down with paper and pen on what all I need to do to manage three aspects of my life

   At home:

  1. Plan for Breakfast , we rotate between Idli, dosa, Aloo Paratha, Appam and Puttu on weekdays
  2. Plan for Mid day snack  - Popcorn, Fruit1, Fruit 2, Boiled Eggs, Vegetable Salad
  3. Plan for lunch – Biryani, Curd rice and vegetable , Chappati and Dal, Chappatti and Sabzi, Sambhar rice
  4. I change the above schedule once in a month to stop boredom from setting. I also use weekends to cook more special food and my kid knows this
  5. Get laundry out of the way before 7 AM in the morning
  6. Ensure I know what to tell my house help, so that I don’t end up doing work that accidently gets skipped
  7. Get vegetables cut by the house help ( I don’t have a cook, so I use this option)

  At work:

  1. I plan most meetings in the second half of the day when I don’t need be around for my kids classes. It was a bit tough initially, but my team is wonderful and we all work around each others needs
  2. I work for an hour early morning when my child is sleeping. This helps me catch up on the days mails, slack messages, IM messages and all other messages and prioritize my work

As a Parent

  1. I give an hour everyday for homework and working with other academic subjects
  2. Post 7 o clock we spend an hour doing anything my child wants to do. We sometimes read, we go on walks or we play some games

What I do for myself

I m on the wrong side of 30.  I have started having minor health niggles. So since I started better planning, I have been able to find 20 minutes for a brisk walk. I often end up walking inside the home, but am glad am not glued to a chair through out the day.

I try to catch up with one friend every week. This way I m in touch with most of them

Asking for Help:

We often think and act alone. It need not be so.  We also expect people to help us without us having to ask them. Other people don’t often realize that we need help. Sometimes, even if they realize we need help and want to help us they don’t know how to help us.  So ask for specific help!

  1. I asked my parents to take care of my kid during Saturday second half so I can get some time to breathe and relax
  2. My husband travels a lot for work, so he is not able to contribute much during weekdays. I felt very overwhelmed with having to handle all of my kids academic responsibilities.  I had a conversation with my husband about this. He now managed 3 of her 7 subjects . I feel a bit relieved
  3. My team at work relaised I was going through a rough time but they didn’t know how to help me. When I realized what I wanted and asked my team, they were more than willing to adjust their schedules to help me

I have written this piece in a lot of detail to help other mothers tide through, because this has really helped me

Jency T

Mother to a 7 year old | Business Analyst at an MNC|  Fitness enthusiast | Book worm | Guest Contributor at ekdali.com