A Lesson Learned By A Stay-at-Home-Mom
Wait, what, it's June?? Time is flying so fast that I did not realize that we're approaching half 2017 already. I have been very preoccupied adjusting to our new life here in Sydney and just recently, I decided to take in some freelance online work to earn a little while I stay at home. Things had been very difficult lately, and I must say, all the stress from adjusting, to learning chores, to managing time and taking in extra work must have taken a toll on my health. While I post exciting discoveries and family bonding activities on my Facebook and Instagram pages, I was also dealing with some health struggles here in Sydney. Apart from my recurring pimple infections on weird parts of my body, non-stop flu, and stress-related acids and ulcers, and insomnia. Aside from Leon (who had a recent febrile seizure episode), I also went on a series of tests to find out what have been causing my pimple breakout. Then it was discovered that I have iron-deficiency anemia - which I was not surprised cause I have been anemic since I was a kid. But since doctors here are eager to find out what's causing my low hemoglobin count, I still have to undergo more test to help increase my blood count.
So the past two weeks, I have been trying to reduce stress, limit the load of my online content writing, eating healthily and catching on enough sleep to help increase my iron naturally. I was advised to not take any supplements for the meantime (cause they need to check if I am flushing out iron in my stool) so I am doing everything organically. The past month has been very stressful as I try to multitask all things at once and now, I am experiencing its repercussions on my health. As I try to improve my time management and my lifestyle, let me share with you how a day of stay-at-home-mom-who-tries-to-earn-at-home looks like (and how it affected my health)
6:30-7:00 A.M Wake-Up Time
I wake up, prepare a little breakfast - usually coffee, bread, and some spread to share with my husband. Since we are both preoccupied, we try to have some "us time" while we drink coffee in the morning. Once were finished, the husband takes a bath then I prepare his baon for work.
8:00 AM Off To Each Other's Tasks
The husband commutes to work while I prepare for my day's task. Usually every Monday, I do batch cooking, where I cook 3-4 dishes for the week. I used to cook every day but when things are beginning to get tiring, I decided to do the batch cooking so I'll have more time to do other things - like being with Leon!
On Tuesdays, I usually iron clothes. Tell you, I never ironed clothes when I was in the Philippines but since we have no choice here, I had to do it so my husband could wear nice clothes at work. Also, I'm a little OC here so I still iron all our clothes (especially Leon's) to kill the germs (as per our elders in the Philippines)
Wednesdays used to be my rest day but since I started doing this freelance content writing, I do a lot of tasks to this day. Income is on a per-article basis and the more articles you make, the more money you earn. Though translating my US dollar income to Philippine peso may seem huge, converting it to Australian dollars is a bit low compared to the cost of living here. Still, I do it so I have a little extra on the side and manage to do productive while I'm at home.
Thursday was bathroom cleaning day and Friday is usually laundry and vacuum day. I do all these tasks in the morning, while Leon is still asleep. Now that I have the online thing on the side, I sometimes do the bathroom cleaning on weekends while the husband vacuums the floor -- depending if I had enough time to finish all chores on a weekday.
9:00-10:00 Leon Wakes Up
If I am still busy with chores and Leon wakes up, I usually play with him for five to ten minutes then I let him watch his TV and make him eat his breakfast. If I am not doing anything, we would play with toys and eat breakfast together (imagine my second breakfast). It would take a while for Leon to finish his breakfast but I am trying to make it a habit for him to eat before doing anything else
10:30-11: 00 It's Time To Go Outside
Then, we prepare. We usually take a bath (together, sometimes) then we go outside to do some outdoor activities. On Mondays, we usually stay at home all day. Tuesdays and Fridays, we walk to Woolworths to buy random things, play in the playground in McDonald's, go to a huge park, play with bubbles and even play in the playground in Biplane Park. These are just walking distance from our apartment and we spend 2-3 hours to consume all of Leon's energy so he could take his afternoon nap.
Wednesdays and Thursdays, we go to the library to attend the 11:30 storytime, eat lunch at Westfield mall and let Leon play in the playground, We spend the same amount of time exploring the mall and commuting to and from the house.
2:30 - 5:30 Leon's Afternoon Nap
After spending so much energy outside, we go home for Leon's afternoon nap. We have this routine already that sometimes, I don't need to ask Leon to go home but rather, he tells me instead. After I put him to sleep, I rest a little and begin to do some online tasks. Since I write really slow, I tend to finish only 3-4 articles during this time.
6:00 Leon Wakes Up
By the time Leon wakes up from his nap, I have to pause my work and attend to him. Leon is really demanding of my time and attention that he would rather play with me than spend hours watching TV (which is a good thing, actually). So instead of being able to finish more tasks, I have to hold it for a while so Leon and I could play trains, build blocks or race cars.
7:30 Dinner Time
By this time, Paolo arrives from work and we eat dinner together. We usually spend an hour or more on the dining table cause Leon really takes his time to eat. (Most of the time, we would have to fight first before he agrees to eat what is served), After all the feeding struggle, it's time for Leon and daddy to either play or watch some TV together
9:00 PM Chores are finished
At 9 PM, I was able to clean the dishes and the table. Leon is a messy eater so we still have to spend a lot of time cleaning all the rice particles on the floor (crying). Once I'm finished with all the cleaning, I try to go back online (if possible) to finish more articles.
Then, it's time to put Leon to sleep. If he overslept in the afternoon, it will take me more than an hour to put him to sleep. If not, we just need an hour of bedtime activities for him to fall asleep. After 5 books and neverending reprimands of "Leon go to sleep," "Leon, close your eyes." Leon would finally fall asleep and I could go back to my online work. (Whew)
1:00-2:00 AM Tasks are Finished
Since I want to earn more money, I try to take on more tasks even if I write really slow and do a lot of chores at home. I have been struggling to finish everything within the day but I always end up sleeping really late just to accommodate everything. two weeks ago, I found myself not spending sleepless nights just to do more articles. Hence, with all those work in the house and online, I suffered from a lot of stress, causing the decline in my health.
I barely had time for myself. Since I used to be a go-getter at work, I tried to still do things excellently and passionately even if I am just at home. I try to be great in all aspects - I try to cook dishes beyond my level (I never cook before), I want each item and area in the house sparkly clean and polished, and I want Leon to have a great time outdoors and indoors. As if I'm not yet satisfied, I even took an online work, took more than I can handle just to do something financially productive. I don't know why I did this to myself (husband is not even pressuring me to) but I should probably pause and take it easy. The past two weeks, I have been taking everything lightly as I can - catching up on sleep, adding fruits and vegetables to our diet, decreasing tasks and delegating some to Paolo. I learned that I must give myself some time and take it easy. My health is the most important thing to keep our family
I might find a regular 8-5 job soon! Leon is turning 3 in a month and it's just perfect for him to go to a childcare while I help the husband bring more money in the house,
xx, The Mommy Roves