Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to find time for your kids

Taking some time off over the primary school registration... :)  This is one interesting article that I chanced upon. Happy reading.
Our time now has seen more convenience technology (think microwave oven and washing machines) but somehow we ended up with less time. We want to be more dedicated as a parent but couldn't find the time to do so. Well, at least one parent said it's possible. Here's how the conversation went:
Q: How do you homeschool all 5 of your kids with just 2 hours a day while holding down a full time job?
A: Why not? It's easy. You come home from work, and just spend 2 hours with your kids.
Q: How do you do your washing?
A: I put it into the washing machine once a week and then put it into the dryer. I don't know what you all do. Do you still handwash?
Q: What time do you get home?
A: I leave work at 6, even when I was running a large company.
After a few more questions, it finally dawned on her what is the real question. The real question is a question of priority. The audience roared with laughter after she said:
If you prioritise dust over education, then I cannot help you.
Maybe it is a disease of our time to not be able to leave work on time. Maybe last time it was easier. They certainly didn't have Candy Crush to occupy their time...
The fact is, we have something in common with all the great people who seemed to achieve the impossible - all of us have the same 24 hours a day. How do you choose to spend yours?
  • Do you spend it on cleaning up your house?
  • Do you spend it on working overtime at work?
  • Do you spend it in meetings?
  • Do you spend it on reading story books to your child?
We are not saying that you should spend every waking moment with your child and ignore work that puts food on the table or not do household chores. As long as you prioritise other things over the education of your child, you will find it hard to find time.
Do you know what do you value?
Find the time to list it down. Think about the decisions you have to make everytime you have a demand on your time, which do you choose? For example, what is your decision when:
  • there is laundry to be done
  • there is a meeting set at 5.30pm
  • there is a social event which you have to go to this evening
  • the floor/kitchen/toilet looks like it can be cleaner
  • facebook is calling out for you
Once you know what your priorities are, reorder the list to the one you actually want. Do not underestimate the power of this simple exercise. This may be the first time that you see what you actually prioritise in life in a concrete manner. You may not be able to change your decision making the next time there is a demand on your time, but you will now be aware that you need to change, and you will start to design your life around this change.

The conversation above is an excerpt from the talk by Pamela Lim. Pamela Lim is an entrepreneur, having led her own company from a small operation of 3 to a company listed in both Singapore and the United States. Having failed to find reliable help for her children, she stepped away from the entrepreneurial world and became an educator. As a mother of 5, she battled with the school system to find suitable education for her children. Her journey has brought her to many interesting options and discoveries. She writes her findings and her struggles at You can find out more information about her here.

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