What is the importance of time? Ask a full time mother!
If she is one with a supervising job at home along with a full time job outside, she will be an even better person to ask.
There was a time when time never seemed of any importance. The days came and went as I lived my life in carefree comfort doing my chores at my own pace.
That was when we were kids and Ma was taking care of us. I never spared a thought at how much work we were to her. I just took it for granted, never lifting a finger, unless threatened.
Then came a time when I started working and my sister started college and we both moved to a different city. Ma got worried and sent someone to look after us. The carefree comfort continued for my sister. I got a little tied up with work responsibilities. I started understanding the meaning of a budget and expense management as I started paying for the rent and food and regular expenditure in the house. But even then time was endless for me!
When my sister moved to Pune with a new job, I rented a tiny little studio apartment to live on my own. That’s when I felt the first pangs of loneliness. I sat back and wondered how much work it would have been for Ma to cook for us and take care of the household. How much effort and time consuming it must be! But again, I didn’t pay much heed as I had a maid cleaning up for me and I ate most of my meals at the office cafeteria. I was a very small eater. When at home, I ate a bowl of porridge and milk or some fruit juice. It didn’t matter if it was breakfast or dinner.
I first started cooking after I got married. It took me an appalling whole day to prepare a regular 3 or 4 course Bengali meal. If it was lunch we would eat at 5 in the evening. Sometimes we ate dinner at 1:30 in the morning when the whole neighborhood was asleep. I just couldn’t manage to cook fast and pondered all day over how every household prepared 3-4 meals a day when one meal for me took most of my day.
That’s when I realized how every Mother must be a wizard at time management. They could probably give a lecture or two to the most prominent time management gurus! How do I know that?
Well I am a Mommy now. When I had my first son I was working round the clock cooking, cleaning, studying and taking care of my baby. By the end of the day I would be a wreck. I wailed and screamed for some help. My mother and mother-in-law understood my plight but they could do little from across the ocean. Luckily I wasn’t working then.
Eventually I found some help and regained my sanity along with it. I started to manage the time for maximum utilization. I learned the art of fast cooking. I not just learned it but mastered it so that now I can cook even 5-6 varieties of food, sometimes a complete meal for 10 people in less than 3-4 hours. It takes very careful planning and a lot of pre-cooking arrangements.
When I started a full time job it was a new challenge for time management. The job was important and so was everything else, but nothing as important as my infant son. Along with that was the new hurdle of remote supervision of all household work.
I learned how to move around the pieces of the daily puzzle some more to utilize time better than I did before. Very soon everything was working like clockwork. Eventually my first son was joined by his brother and I also started work as a part time lecturer along with my full time job. The time crunch was worse than ever before.
We forgot all about socializing or entertainment. It took a lot of effort to fall into a pattern again. There were ups and downs, good days and bad. There were tantrums and mood-swings and giggles and pranks. Finally the clockwork was back. I managed to crack the age old secret code of Time Management. This was that same secret that my grandmother, mother and aunts used to make every day so effortlessly easy.
Time Management is more like a game that you keep playing with the best possible strategies. You keep at it till you know all the tricks so well that you know without having to guess what is around the corner. Sometimes if a secret jumps you even then you are ready with your contingency plan to carry one like nothing happened.
Is it fool proof?
Are you kidding?
For all I know just tomorrow I will be wailing again faced with the most difficult situation.
Till I bounce back with a solution again!