Who are you ? What do you do? I get asked this questions a lot. Even more so since I started blogging seriously and very often my answer stuns me. Because my primary role is mother and care-giver to my 3 little munchkins; the answer inadvertently is Mommy of 3 who dabbles in a bit of blogging I like the sound of that. I seriously think that my proudest moment is when I became a mother. But dont let my sheer optimism fool you. Being a mother and no less to three cherubic, active, intelligent youngsters is no walk in the park. Instead it’s like a bed of roses , you know the kind of roses that have the heady beautiful glorious blooms with their fair share of thorns…Yes! That kind.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done is be a Mother. No doubt being a mother has also brought me the most joy. When I look back at the years since my eldest was born, I reminisce and see oodles of happy memories but that does not mean it did not have it’s fair share of challenges.
The first thing that poses a challenge when you become a parent and more specifically a mother is the sheer lack of time. If once 24 hours was trickling too slow, now 24 hours zooms past like a buzzing bee. It comes and it goes and the next thing you ask you ask yourself is Why does it go by soo fast.? I ask myself that all the time because I’m one of those people who need more than 24 hours in a day.
When I was younger, I fancied myself as a great reader. I loved books second to none. And books together with laps in the swimming pool could be listed as my hobbies. Today I can only wish I had a hobby. The stark reality today is that if I could read a full book in less that 8 hours in the past, that same book will probably take me 80 days to finish now, The same with the pool, the only time I get in is when I take the kids into the pool for a paddle and that means keeping an eagle eye on them ALL THE TIME, so the only part of me that gets a workout is my eyes and my voice(no guesses there) Why? Well, when you have children time now belongs to them.
If before I could squeeze in regular trips to the saloon and visit a masseuse, today I can only hope that if I pencil it in my appointment book that it actually happens. Yes, being a mother is very challenging. Add caring for children to your other chores as wife and daughter and you’re day will read like this.
Morning – Breakfast, Get Kids ready for school, Go to the Market, Quick cleaning and then start working on lunch.
Afternoon – Pick kids up, Give kids shower, Feed Kids, Help with Homework, Send kids for extra activities
Evening – Start working on dinner, Bathe Kids, Feed Kids, Do the dishes, Sort laundry and set timer, clean up MASSIVE mess in the hall and play -room and how could I forget, finally have a shower myself and then hit the bed completely EXHAUSTED.
And Oh Yes, did I forget to mention I also work from home. So now you’re probbaly going – When does she work? I ask myself that same question too and the answer comes just before it’s time to sleep, so I trudge down the stairs when the house is finally quiet and calm and set out to earn that moolah.
But really when you read that list above, you’re probably going to think but she’s still at home. You’re right I am at home with the children and I am truly blessed but that does not mean that the time I spend with them is Quality Time.
For me Quality Time means an activity with the kids and if possible with hubster included that does not have me running around worrying about other chores. In order to work on that I introduced this concept of Friday Fun at home where me and the kiddos work on a project together. I t could be a simple Art Project, It could be a science experiment, sometime we bake, and there are days when we just drive to the cinema to catch a good movie.
The reason I specifically separate this time is to remind me and the kiddos that we did something together as a family. Frankly speaking who remembers what you cooked for dinner last Tuesday or which page of Math homework you worked on three days ago… I dont. But ask my kids what they did for Fun Fridays for the month and they’ll even show you the pictures that we take to capture the fun moments.
This time is very precious to me because ever since I took on a job again albeit a work -from-home kind of job it has still been a challenge. There are days when I wish I didnt have to do any work – neither the office kind nor the home kind, but the reality is as a woman and mother, our work never stops.
I came across this fact recently and I think it really applies to me. Did you know that ” the Malaysian mum spends an average of 6 hours 45 minutes with her children in a day; and considers 60% of her time spent with her children as “quality time”, the working mum spends less time and consider a lower portion of her time spent with her children as “quality time” “
I’m not too sure where I belong in that equation but I can tottally understand how a Mother who is working full time feels. In fact stattistics show that “ a working mum spends about 2.5 hours lesser than a non-working mum or housewife with her children, and she considers only half her time with her children as “quality time” .
Add on work stress & tension and more often that not, we mothers sometimes feel we’re not being able to function optimally. In my years as a mother I’ve also experienced the whole gamut of emotions. The feeling of inadequacy when you think you’re not spending enough time with the kids, the emotional let down when you miss important moments, the heartache when you have to nurse a sick child or when you have more than one who fall sick at the same time. There are so many times when I wish I didn’t scold them or reprimand them and hoped instead I handled it gently with words of advice.
It’s at this time that as a mother you need the help, advice and friendship of other like-minded mothers. Of late, I have joined a few mothercare forums and found it an invaluable source of information and advice. But even more it’s good to know that i’m not the only one who faces this challenges.
Recently, Friso Malaysia launched their “Our Today Moments” campaign. Aiming to provide a platform for mothers to come together to share and learn on how we can make the most out of time spent with our children. Part of the campaign involved carrying out a survey to find out how much time mothers spend with their kids and how much of that time was really Quality Time.
To find out more on the survey results or just to get an idea on tips and ideas as well as to be part of a sharing forum, do visit https://www.facebook.com/FrisoGrowingUpTogether . I’m all for new ideas and suggestions and never turn down a chance to learn more and I hope it’s the same for you. On that note, Good Bye for now and stay tuned for something special soon.