Our third interview on the popular TV show ‘Dak li Jghodd – Gwida ghal Genituri’ hosted by Claire Agius Ordway was dedicated to a topic we constantly discuss and shine a light on because it is at the heart of our mission. While we’ve always been the first to talk about ‘Work – Life Balance’ and we’ve given tips and shared tried and tested techniques whilst also questioned if ‘Work Life Balance’ really exists and gently introduced the concept of ‘Work Life Integration’ which might really be more realistic, we decided to take our debate to the ‘Dak li Jghodd’ sofa and share our favourite five tips to juggle work and home.
Claire’s first question focused on why women feel guilty. Katja quickly explained that from a very young age women start to think about how to design a life which would work for future kids, even though those kids haven’t actually been born yet. We programme ourselves to take the full responsibility of the upbringing our children even though in the majority of cases there are two parents and not just one mother. Guilt is something we automatically feel, it’s natural and we need to strive to include our partners, get more organized and focused on quality rather than quantity.
Here are Katja’s five top tips which should definitely come in handy.
1. Decrease morning stress.
Claire was curious to know how we can decrease stress, especially in the morning. Katja emphasized on the importance of getting organized because really, mornings are a race against time. We can prepare lunches the evening before, take out school uniforms and create a routine which the whole family will become accustomed too. Some other clever tips include dinner prep, online supermarket shopping which are two of Katja’s popular favourites and which help maximize time and minimize stress.
2. The Family Calendar
Here’s a tried and tested tip. Start a family calendar and share all the family events, meetings or important dates that all the family, in particular, your partner should be made aware of. Apart from increasing communication, your partner will know when you need support most and you will be able to coordinate and really stick to your commitments. Use technology to make life easier.
3. Schedule appointments strategically
Yes sometimes all it takes is for us to be clever and to schedule appointments, after school classes and meetings where and when it makes most sense. For example, if you work five days a week then it would make more sense if your chosen child care center is close to work – apart from helping you be more efficient and avoiding unnecessary traffic, you would also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that if something had to come up, if your kids needed you urgently you would literally be a couple of minutes away. Here’s another for instance. Let’s say you need to take your child to a 45 minute dance class or a birthday party. Leaving for such a short period of time, battling traffic and coming back even more stressed that you started doesn’t make sense, staring into space for 45 minutes is a waste of time so instead, schedule any pending meetings in a nearby coffee-shop. The trick is to use your time wisely.
4. Avoid Multi-tasking
Yes, we are famous for our multi-tasking techniques however Katja encouraged viewers to be present and give their undivided attention to the main task they should be focusing on. If you’re at work try and avoid dedicating time to personal issues and when you’re home, give your children the undivided attention they deserve. We truly are super multi-taskers however taking the time to focus will make us more productive, less likely to make mistakes and be more efficient.
5. Involve your children in your planning
Don’t underestimate your children – they’re way smarter than we sometimes give them credit! Explain to them what commitments you have and show that you have work responsibilities too. Bottom line, you will be building children who understand, appreciate and look up to their mothers and will do the same with their future wives in a decade or two. You’ll also be sharing a very valuable lesson - that life doesn’t only revolve around them so they shouldn’t feel entitled. Create a solid routine which also includes time for their free play, where they can be independent while you work. When it’s time for them – switch off all devices and focus on your child completely. We’re not saying this is easy especially in the beginning, we’re just encouraging you to give it a shot.
And that’s a wrap!
Our interview ended exactly where we began, reminding everyone on the importance of quality time, creating moments which are memorable for our children, dedicating time for our kids were are our exclusive focus is them. Once again, we left the studios thinking how wonderful it is to be part of such a wonderful TV show. Thanks to all ‘Dak li Jghodd’
viewers who are joining the JosforMumsMalta.com community. Rest assured we are here to support, encourage and motivate you to get back into the working world and make us proud.