Thursday, May 08, 2014

Stay at Home Mother Survival Tips

When I quitted my job to become a Stay at Home Mother (SAHM), my parents and my parents-in-laws were worried if I can cope, after all, I was the studious nerd who topped my classes and was forbidden to do any house work when I was growing up and during the four years plus of staying with my in laws, their domestic helper was the one doing all the chores and cooking. 

Now that I had been a SAHM for almost 1.5 years, a mom of two boys for 1 year and having moved out and staying on our own for 9 months, I am actually quite proud of myself so far! I survived looking after a boy, a baby and myself!

If you do not know, my husband has to travel for his work, so there are days I become a single parent. I am the weekday driver (i also bring my children to hospitals for their follow-ups and therapies), mother, cow (I still breastfeed my younger son), maid (oh! it's never ending chores at home! *cries*), farmer (oh yes! I plant my own vegetables!), cook (Yes! i am amazed i can cook too!) and i am an educator wannabe! I go everywhere with both my children, without a domestic helper or grandparent's help. 

If you are a SAHM too, you will know that it's very difficult to have a fixed routine, everyday is different. There just seems like so many things to do, one will wish for more hours in a day. In the beginning, i kept crying "Not enough time!" and a mommy friend, Dominique Goh, kept encouraging me that it can be done with proper time management. Yes! It's true! Prioritise and manage the time well, you can still be a happy stay at home mom / housewife without losing yourself and your sanity!

I share the below tips to on how i cope:

#1 Bathe at Same Time


I used to bathe together with my boy but had since stopped when my elder boy is three. Now i bathe them together! It sure save time and water, and yet at the same time, it creates a lot of laughters!

Sometime, right before bath time, i let them play with kinetic sand, painting, science experiments etc, so immediately after we go to bath! During bath time, we also learn through play by doodling or spelling with washable crayons, pouring water from big pails to small containers etc to learn simple maths like more or less, shapes etc.

This sure saves a lot of time! Many of the learning for my boys are actually done in the bath room! Hey! How else can you get a child's full attention to be able to sit down and wanna learn something without you screaming?

# 2 Cooking within an hour

This I am actually quite proud of myself now. I only started cooking from Oct 2013! Now, I have mastered the art of whipping up lunch or dinner within an hour, sometimes within half hour! And it usually consists of at least 三菜一汤 (3 dishes + 1 soup).  I used to take longer, but now, with careful planning i have managed to shorten the time. I have to master this art of quick cooking, as my younger son is very attention seeking. He is always wailing at my feet when i do the cutting or cooking. It can get very stressful!

Our typical lunch for me and children: Herbal Soup, Fish, Egg and Veggie

Typical dinner: Herbal Soup, Fish, Meat and Veggie
So how do i do it?

Start by cooking the soup first as soup takes about an hour (the longest) to cook, herbal soup is very good because it's is nutritional and yet so easy to prepare (only need to wash the meat and herbs, less cutting involved).

Then wash the rice and put it into the rice cooker (rice takes about 30 mins to cook).

Then i start to cut and wash the ingredients like vegetables, fish or chicken, to prepare for steaming, air frying or baking! Theses are very quick and healthy methods of cooking! Usually, I start cooking the rest of the dishes 15 to 10 mins before the rice will be ready, and tadah~ all will be ready on the table at the same time! :) Of course, there are days i prepare a one pot stew or macaroni soup too. :)

#3 Minimise Washing with Aluminium Foil and Baking Paper

Ok, this may not sound very environmental friendly, but it saves water and time, so i guess it's still environment friendly! I minimise the use of plates and bowls during mealtimes and try my best to cut down on the washing up required, by planning, as well as using aluminium foil or baking paper when i am air frying or baking food. This way, there is lesser utensils to wash. ;p Plus, steamed dishes are 99% of the time non oily, thus very easy to wash up. :)

#4 Wrinkle Free Clothes

Of all chores, ironing, in my honest opinion, is the MOST TEDIOUS and time consuming! It's also the most boring task that i always put off till it can't wait any longer. I passed the rule that only wrinkle free clothings can be purchased within the household. So, if most of the clothes are wrinkle free, it surely makes life very easy, don't you think?


#5 Detox from Chat Groups and Video Streaming

I admit, I am an Internet addict. I go onto the Internet to check Facebook, Emails, and Blogging. This is what i do in between the day, when I am breastfeeding or taking a very short break here and there. Afterall, I don't have the luxury of flipping the newspaper or magazine without the little baby tearing up the pages. So the mobile phone is a very good source to catch up with the world and latest happenings, of course also gossips and scandals. ;p

Of all the mobile apps i have, i think WhatsApp is a bad guy. Mine beeps constantly and can get very distracting! The chats can be so funny and informative, I wished I can constantly chat with them too! But truth is, whenever I look at the phone, it will have at least few hundred of unread messages, I can't catch up at all! :S Is it getting too much for myself?

The other mobile app that is very very evil, are the videos streaming apps! Korean dramas are very very very addictive, once i start, i can't stop! So this is what that's keeping me from sleeping in the nights and I will wake up very zombified and grouchy the next day! Each time when i am hook on a drama that is bad news for my children cos I can easily turn into a Screaming Mama because I did not have enough rest, thus I became very short tempered.

I had told myself that I didn't quit my job to become a Stay Home Mom with bad quality time with my kids! So what do i do? I think though these are very very addictive, but i rather focus on healthy addictions (such as harvesting my own vegetables) and playing with my children.

#6 Fold Clothes Once a Week

Oh, this is not call Lazy! This is very good! :D It helps to ensures that you wear all your clothes and not not leave white elephant clothings molding inside the wardrobe! It helps make sure you wear most of the clothes you own and also helps to keep your clothes new looking, by minimising the washing of the same clothes too many times. ;p What an excuse I am using! But it sure works this way!

#7 Grab Help Whenever People Offer

I secretly build up a to do list, of what I want to do if I have the freedom. It ranked from few hours, to half a day or longer! My parents are working, but sometimes, my mother will call to tell me that tomorrow is her off day, and she can help me look after my children! That's when i have the time to go salon to bleach my hair, to diy the hair dye or even meet up with friends! Sometimes, I just bring my children over to my parent's home when my dad is not working, to simply nap! Hehe, i get to nap and my dad only need to oversee my children! Or, i also shamelessly text my sister to ask her for help to look after my children, so that i can attend wedding luncheons or dinner with hubby in peace. ;p

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SAHM days can be hectic, tiring and crazy. I don't seem to have my own privacy anymore with two very attention demanding children, my mobile phone is not my mobile phone, I even leave my toilet door open whenever i do my business or bathing, just so that i can hear if they are fighting or doing any dangerous acts. There are days where i feel like weeping because of the serious milo spillage accident, or the almond jelly that i am cooking overheated because of the wailing baby and spilled all over the stove and floors, or the children taking turns to cry through the day, or... just the simple chore of clearing up the mess they created everyday.

But even so, every single day, i count my blessings of being able to spend the hours with them, being able to watch them nap or play, seeing them love the food i cooked.  This is a joy and happiness that adds into my memories to reminisce when I am old. I believe that our children's time only truly belongs to us, when they are young. So, just enjoy and sail through the journey of staying at home, regardless if it's only 4 months during maternity leave or years, all will become precious memories! :)


Linking Up With:


This post is part of a blog train hosted by Gingerbreadmum 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!

 

The next mum on the blog train is Dianaruth. She is mom to 3 bubbly kids, fondly known as Chubbies on her blog.  She left her full-time job last year to be a full-time mom to her children. To help out with family finances and to keep her passion alive, she works from home and plans her schedule around her children’s to get her work done. She shares about her pleasures and challenges as a newly minted stay-home mom.

If you enjoy reading this post, please like me on my Facebook Page as it's where i connect with my readers. I will be very delighted if you can also add me on my newly set up social media accounts - InstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

14 comments:

  1. Wow! Your tip on folding clothes once a week is amazing! So where did you put all your unfolded clothes? In a big big basket? I think washing clothes from putting clothes into machine to getting clothes in the wardrobe is a big time consumer! I like your idea of being "forced" to wear out all the clothes in the wardrobe :) And I can't agree more with #7! If there's help, just take it!

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    1. Haha Christy, I have two ikea foldable baskets. I will squeeze usually three loads in two baskets. And the last batch left in the dryer with a new full load in washer is what will prompt me to start folding. :p

      but your household has more children so definitely your clothes will be more!

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  2. I must remember to allocate space for unfolded clothes in my new home! hahaha

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    1. lol! i didnt allocate the space but i have space for them in my living room! if there are guest then i will hide them into the masters! lol

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    2. the living room sofa works well for such things too :D

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  3. Great tip on #3! And yes, I used to fold clothes once a week.... lol. And your learning curve on cooking is amazing considering you are new to cooking! It shows how when we set our minds on something, we will learn and pick it up! : )

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    1. Thank you for dropping by!

      Hee, we all used our own ways to survive ya? cooking is fun but washing is tedious!

      I looking forward when i don't have to be there with them all the time and that they can play on their own. maybe i can pick up my crochet needle and yarns again to make things, or read books. ;p

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  4. thanks for joining the blog train!
    3 dishes and 1 soup - you are amazing! and for a new cook too! wow wow wow!!! and i totally agree - wassap is a bad guy indeed!! what i try to do is to turn off the notifications for FB, and set my emails to 'push' setting. lesser beeps and dings, lesser lure to the phone to check!

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    1. yes yes! i turned off notifications and eventually, i just keep the phone on silent mode for especially when i finally made the children sleep and a phone call came to ask me if i want to borrow money... -_-||| I find the battery draining too fast, though i wished i can chat all day, but i didn't quit my work to stay home to chat, so... i politely leave the group chats that i can't cope with.

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  5. Where did you placed all your unravelled garments? I believe cleaning clothing from placing clothing right into equipment to acquiring clothing in the closet is a large time customer! I like your concept of being "required" to use out all the clothing in the outfit:-RRB- As well as I can not concur a lot more with # 7!

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  6. Hello! im a singaporean sahm of 2 (a 4 yr old girl and a 11 month old boy) and have never had a maid, nanny or caregivergrandparents. i also work from home - much less now that kid no 2 has appeared on the scene. happy to hear of another maidless sahm in singapore:) and love your tips. yes it's tough...keep u the good work!!:)

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  7. Hello thank u for giving me faith as I just started out being a sahm. Recently moved out of mil house too a wk ago. Have a 2yo boy and 4m baby. Hubby keeps thinking we can't cope withoout helper or nanny. But I wonder is it really so. So glad to.chance on your post. Will keep my fighting spirit up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello thank u for giving me faith as I just started out being a sahm. Recently moved out of mil house too a wk ago. Have a 2yo boy and 4m baby. Hubby keeps thinking we can't cope withoout helper or nanny. But I wonder is it really so. So glad to.chance on your post. Will keep my fighting spirit up.

    ReplyDelete

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