Balancing Your Life As a Mom Interview
I managed to grab another busy mommy from her hectic life, to sit down and share with us her priceless advice on how she balances her life as a mother who is constantly on the go. She juggles life as a dedicated wife, inspiring mother, successful homeschooler and organized homemaker. She also studies part-time towards a professional career, side by side with her study of Deen.
AGE: Mid 30′s
AGES: 9, 8, 5, 4
TYPE OF SCHOOLING: Homeschool
What is one of your most valuable tips for motherhood?
Balancing your life as a mother within your home first.
How do you accomplish this balance so well?
By having a schedule, gaining insight into my children's needs, realizing the importance of daddy time, early meal preparation, de-cluttering, having fun with my kids, having hobbies, setting goals, having alone time with hubby and having girlfriends.
Please tell us more about having a schedule?
I have a schedule, but I always leave room for tweaking. You see, you have to leave room for the needs of yourself, your husband and kids when setting your schedule. I make a mental schedule most times, but I think a written one is best.
Would you please share part of your schedule with us?
Sure, I awake for Fajr every day. Make dhikr and recite Quran in the peace of the morning. Then I get some computer time for myself. I get my kids up early too, like an hour later, and I have the Quran playing for them. I like to put on Sura Baqarah daily. Even though I homeschool, I like to get my kids up early to instill in them routine and rhythm. I want them to get used to rising early to avoid laziness. They may get up at around 7 am, pray Fajr, then have breakfast at a particular time after. Instilling routine will break any negative characteristics or hereditary traits.
How do you gain insight into your children's needs?
By spending time with my kids and learning about them. Being affectionate and loving towards them with hugs and kisses. Making sure they always greet me every morning when they go anywhere or arrive from somewhere, with salaam and a kiss. This reinforces that you are there, and they can acknowledge it. I speak to my kids all the time, and I ask them questions to know what's going on in their mind. When they whine or show neediness, I give them one-on-one time for a few moments, which may seem tedious but actually cuts down the nagging.
You mentioned the importance of daddy time, how do you implement this?
Very simple. I feel it is important for my children to see their dad and to greet him before he leaves for work. The same thing applies when he arrives home; they drop whatever they are doing to run and greet him at the door. I see how much my husband enjoys the awesome greeting that awaits him each day, and the kids love this too.
Please tell us more about your meal preparations?
At night I look in my fridge or freezer and mentally decide what I am going to prepare the next day for lunch and dinner. Once a month, I cook meat, such as chicken or ground beef with onions, tomatoes, and some spices - this is my base. Then I divide the meat mixture into portions and put it in glass storage containers. After it cools, I freeze it. Each day I will take out one container of meat and leave it by the stove to thaw. A half an hour before dinner, I cook some rice or pasta, make a salad or add some bread. I will cook the meat with whatever else I want to make that day to complete the meal. Cooking like this reduces a lot of time and is a huge load off my head. Meal planning is one of the biggest issues for women. By following this method, you can cut down 1-2 hours in your meal preparation daily, because there is no need to defrost the meat, cut it, cook it and then cut up onions and tomatoes too. I also don't have that meat smell on me every day, lol!
Meal planning is one of the biggest issues for women. By following this method, you can cut down 1-2 hours per day in your meal preparation. Because there is no need to defrost the meat, cut it, cook it and cut up onions and tomatoes. I also don't have that meat smell on me every day, lol.
Yes, that's a bonus. Please tell us briefly how you de-clutter and organize?
Twice a year I go through my family's clothing, toys, and books. I ask myself this question, "Have I used this in the past six months?" If I answer no, I give it away. I also make Fridays a special day with my kids. We clean the house and organize the night before, and then do touch ups on Friday. My children have their showers, groom their nails and wear nice clothes.
What fun do you have with your kids?
Friday is our special day, so we take it easy and have more fun and do extra things that we don't do other days. We may do things such as buying take out, going to the library or to a store. We also try to go for Jummah prayer at the masjid. After the prayer, I give them a treat as an incentive for going to the masjid. Once a month, I take them to a store and allow them to spend some of their pocket money on something they want.
Tell us why is it important for a mom to have other interests?
You, as a mom need interests out of the home. Do any class that will uplift you, such as an art class or poetry class. Join a book club or any other type of class where you are interacting with adults. Have a goal as a woman, even if it takes many years to achieve it, or you only have one hour, once per week to spend on it. This is good for your mental state as a mom because you need to get away from the monotony of your responsibilities or motherhood will feel overwhelming.
Tell us more about the importance of hubby time?
A wife needs time with her husband alone and out of the house. If you have young kids and you can't go out at night, try going out in the day time and take your kids to a family member, or have family come over to babysit. You need to reconnect with your husband on a level that you can't when the kids are around. Try to do this at least twice a month. I prefer talking and connecting with my husband over a coffee or something simple like that. Going out together doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Simple is best.
Please share with us the importance of having girlfriends?
Have girlfriend time at least twice a month. If you have to go on a playdate together because you are unable to go out alone, that's fine too. Get together with one another so that you can share your ideas and problem solve about the kid or home issues. Form a bond of support for yourself and your friend. One-on-one interaction is the best.
Wow, you have gave us so much food for thought. Any final words of advice?
Yes, plan for the future but never write it in stone. Trust in Allah and be content, and He will give you more barakah.
Thank you for sharing your priceless advice sister. I hope many moms will benefit from your wisdom. May Allah Reward you for taking the time to share a bit of your life with us.
Thank you. You are welcome!