Let me begin by saying that I am not writing this to show off in any way. On the contrary, I am writing this article to help you with time management and to answer the question that I get asked a lot: How do you do it all? The key word here is…ALL. First of all, being a believing Muslim, I can accredit it all to Allah or God. That would be the easiest answer to give and most certainly true, for me.
The evolution of the female from gatherer to doing it “ALL” is quite simple: love what you do or do it for the sake of love, and that way, it is worth your pain, sweat and tears. Oh dear… I hope I am not scaring you away?
Ambitious, driven, creative, a leader…or so they say (blush). Leadership took me through high school and University like one-way ticket as it is still going. I joined extracurriculars, volunteered at the hospital, played tennis and ran for club and organization leadership roles for ex. Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper or President of the South Asian Students Association, even Secretary for Muslim Students Association and the list goes on. Again, I am not showing off…. My planner used to be packed with my bad handwriting, to the point that my parents had to ask me if I had plans, before confirming a family gathering. I joined organizations I was most interested in and in time, I learned to love my fellow members like my own families and that love is what drove me to do it “ALL.”
When I got married, I continued studying, got my Masters in English Literature in the UK and then, a teaching degree in Sweden. This is beginning to sound like a resume or CV for a job application, but doing it “ALL” is the story of my life! I was first a wife, daughter-in-law and student. If you are a South Asian, like myself, then you know that “daughter-in-law” means “duties” and is practically an entire occupation of its own (difference is that it´s pro-bono).
When I had children, I became a Mombie. When my children started nursery, I worked part-time as a teacher, studied full-time to get my teaching degree and teaching licence. Mother, teacher and published author I was when I wrote my second book, an award-winning novel entitled, “So Complicated,” and later, my first poetry anthology, “Unveiled.” Yes, I wrote for Hayati Magazine too. Here is my secret:
1.I was a mombie and insomnia is what kept me beautifully in-tune with my second daughter, who still has trouble sleeping at night, but I have decided to use that time efficiently. I use this time, spent awake, as ME-TIME. I do what I love most…. I either write an article for Hayati like I am doing right now, a chapter for my next book, paint with acrylics, sketch in my book or just, read a book or watch a good romance.
2.I worked part-time because I chose to study full-time in a distance/Online course. A distance/Online course helped me choose my own hours. I worked three days a week so the other two days were spent studying. My daughters went to nursery so I had the time necessary to study with complete concentration. Now, I work as a full-time high-school English teacher as my studies are over. Basically, take on as much as you can. That does not necessarily mean, you have to choose one or the other…it just means, find a way to make both work in the time frame that suits you best.
3.My summer and/or winter holidays are usually dedicated to writing and spending time with family.
4.Saturdays and Sundays are similar to for ex. Outings at the park or a hike through the woods, even berry-picking!
5.How do I stay active on Social Media? I recommend picking one hour a day, just one time period during the day that you can surf or chat with family and friends, even publicize or schedule your social media postings during this specific time period.
6.If you have a husband, try to get a relative to babysit and go on a date at least once or twice a month. He needs your attention just as much as the kids do! Mothers are sometimes so caught up in showering children with love that they forget hubby needs attention too! We are all guilty of this!
Not to be completely disrespectful to masculinists, but statistics show that women are more likely to multi-task than men do. We are multi-tasking queens because of that little bit of extra called, motherhood, that is added into the mix of education and career. That is not to say that fatherhood isn´t important-ahem, according to Hadith, the mother is three-times more important in a family than the father is…ahem! Cough! Cough….
The recipe for a woman´s emotional and psychological health when it comes to such multi-tasking is a few table-spoons of love with a tea-spoon of routine. In other words, you must do something that you do out of LOVE for it, whether it is taking care of your children, dating your husband or practicing a hobby. At the same time, you should schedule it “ALL” into a routine. Love plus routine equals _________(you fill in the blank).