Sunday, October 20, 2013

A SAHM's Sanity Saver List

And just like that, with the eldest turning 8, it marks the sixth year of me being a full time mom.

It's been a long journey. I guess with every season, brings along new surprises and milestones. Now with my boys in primary school and the little one who's moving onto kinder next year, things have settled into a nice smooth rhythm.

So how to preserve your sanity in the throes of bringing up kids? Here's what I do.

1. Have a schedule. 

I'm big on scheduling. I like knowing what the kids are meant to do at a certain time of the day. This applies on weekdays. It helps me keep track of their school progress as well as set time aside for their other activities and play time. The kids also know what to expect at different times of the day.

2. Have a hobby and be active

This can be done at home or outside of home. By hobby, I mean doing something for yourself. I love to cook and bake. It's my kind of therapy. So I experiment with new dishes all the time. 

Outside of home, I find time to work out and I go for pole classes. These happen in the mornings or late in the evenings.  My mum or D would babysit when I go for classes. I love the camaderi√® of the pole community and I always have a good time at classes with my girlfriends. So when I head home, I am much happier as I feel that I've had some time to be something other than mum.

3. Friends are your best allies 

The Chinese says it takes a village to raise a child. I agree. When I had the boys in Melbourne, I was very young and had no family around. Fortunately, Australia has a fabulous system where every new mom gets inducted into a mothers group. It is strongly encouraged that you attend as you get put into groups with babies of a similar birthdate from your child. I've made so many friends there and built a good support network of moms whom I can seek advice if need be. It also got me out of the house, which is very much a sanity saver in more ways than one, looking back.

My girlfriends are the ones I turn to for anything. I've also got mummy friends to ask advice from. It definitely helps to have a myriad of friends for different aspects of your life. :) At times, I'd schedule a mid day coffee break with the girls just to have a quick catch up. Always a lovely thing to do. =)

4. Date nights

The husband and I love our personal time. I guess we like spending time to eat and catch up with each other. We would do short travels now and then but once a fortnight or on Saturday when my kids go to Sunday school with gramps, we would  go grab dinner or catch a movie. The husband is definitely #1 in my list so I like to nurture the relationship we share. Cos when the kids are grown, he's the one I've got to grow old with.

5. Dress up

I ever mentioned in a blog post eons ago, it's important to look good. And you gotta dress up for no one else but yourself. Why? Because you will always feel like you are ready to take on the day once you are out of your pjs or house clothes. I'm mostly in simple stuff like dresses or shorts. But I like to add on a necklace or some arm swag to make the outfit brighter or cheerier. =)

6. Spend time playing with the kids

It's very easy to get caught up with the academic portion of school. Trust me, I know. But it's very important to play too! Remember, play is the work of a child. =)

These kids of mine are older and now they enjoy playing board games. And these boys are so competitive when they play. It's a little scary for mum here! ;) Gotta be on top of my game here!

Sometimes, though, all I wanna do is lounge around and watch travel or cooking programs. So they'll sit with me and watch with me. What they love to do is to tell me their thoughts during the program. :/ It's a little distracting but hey! I'd rather have a kid that wants to talk to me than not.

7. Teach kids life skills

This is very important for me. I started with little things when they were younger like self feeding. Then moved on to bigger items like dressing yourself. Now they have little chores like keeping their toys and books (which they sneakily would ask my helper for assistance at times) I find that it matters to impart independence because they eventually would need to learn to fend for themselves when they are out in society. So that makes me want to ensure that they are socially and emotionally able to cope with the challenges that life would throw them. I'd like to think they are doing ok so far.

8. Be positive

I like starting my day with positive thoughts and, at times, a prayer. Kids can be pretty unpredictable. So there are good times and certainly bad times. I live by the mantra, "this too shall pass" which has served me really well in this journey. And I know that, despite the naughtiness at times, they are still good kids. So it's just a matter of showing and teaching them the etiquette of life. 

9. Lastly, always end the day on a good note.

You know how they say you shouldn't go to bed angry with our spouse? I'm sure this rule gets broken A LOT with the husband (guilty!) but, with the kids, it's important for them to learn to go to bed knowing they are loved. Bed time stories are a great way to start. We all snuggle in bad, and I'd read a few stories befor calling it a night.

You'd notice that most of the actions are focused on you. The trick I've learnt is to always always have time for yourself. It does get crazy from time to time or even on a daily basis but, in order to cope, mum needs to be happy first. 

Hope this works, for you guys! Would love go hear what works for you guys as well! xx


  1. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Sounds like great advice but it really works if you are rich enough to hire a maid and to lead such a high life! Not to mention, the branded stuff and high end restaurants often featured. Ask any other mother of 3 (stay home housewife, not tai-tai with maid) and sure that opinion differs. Hope your life is as glam as what you portrayed it to be on social media!

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Everyone has a coping mechanism. This is mine. Maybe you should try to find yours?


  2. I think being a SAHM is really so much more challenging and it's so easy for others to just think so little of the things you do for your family. It's great that you have always managed to schedule some me-time for yourself too. It does wonders!

    If I can be a SAHM again, I will definitely get more tips from you!

    1. Think FTWM is also not as easy! So much to juggle! But you and Keat are very inspiring too! =) xx

  3. Cool! Love this article and I believe in all the points, and try to "do them" too! Though, in my own way, of course!!! :)

    1. Definitely! So glad to hear that! =) xx

  4. I think all you wrote really IS great advice! It's no joke being a SAHM, whether with helper or not, and your sanity lifesaver techniques are so important so that you can be the best wife and mother to your family.

    Well done and jia you! Mothers should be standing shoulder to shoulder with each other, and giving one another all the encouragement they can get, regardless of our individual circumstances. Bitterness leads nowhere.

    1. Thanks hun. We all do what we can for our family! But we do need time out for ourselves too. Makes us happy mums. xx

  5. Wonderful list! Found myself nodding my head in agreement. Simple advice that has nothing to do with whether you are rich or not. I would add 'Be Thankful' because it's easy to wallow in the things that make us tired and frustrated while forgetting about all the amazing things going on with our family!

    1. Yes yes!! I always forget that point... esp when the kids drive us mad but really! we have so much to be thankful for!

  6. you go, girl! :) you already know im a huge fan of how you do things and pole nights are seriously the best nights of the week!!!

    1. Aww you know I'm crazy about your approach too! Looking forward to next term!! xx


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