I AM AN ADULT!
My nieces and nephews are growing big. I’m now an adult! Wow! This thought often makes us analyze our past and future. In thirties, there are many scenarios. Let’s see one by one.
- You’re still a student, doing your masters or Ph.D or post doc., medical or MBA
Few of your friends are already married and have children. It seems that the grass on the other side is green and you’re slogging for a good highly paid job. You also would like to meet someone to start a life, sharing your interests and emotions. Everything in life has to start with a contact and then blooms into a beautiful flower, a wonderful relationship. Doesn’t happen overnight. If you didn’t meet anyone, try not to feel bad, insecure or useless. Try not to compare yourself with anyone. Stay focused on your personal growth while you also join groups, clubs, associations, NGOs if interested and meet a wide variety of people. We all have different paths. Believe in yourself, your competency and your ability to face life. Project confidence and willingness to adapt to changes.
2. You’re employed and single – This is best time to accomplish lot more than you think. Set goals, have directions, create a plan of action, and start the process in bits. An inch by inch, everything is a cinch! When you’re employed and single, try to save twenty percent of your income. Your funds should multiply while you’re sleeping. Upgrade your skills by taking classes, courses, workshops and seminars. Take your parents out, make it a memorable time for the loved ones. Buying gifts might feel like nice gesture but quality time makes it a lifelong memory. You have plenty of time, use it wisely, to learn grow and contribute to the family, community & nation.
3. You’re employed, married with no children yet – This feels like heaven. You have wonderful life partner, away from parents sometimes feels good that you escaped their ‘Do’s & don’ts’, sometimes you miss them, especially your mom’s wonderful cooking, your dad’s caring love.
A new relationship to work with, his parents and family are very different than you’re used to, could be challenging. This sudden change in life sometimes seems beautiful other times scary. Hang in there! Try to understand people by looking into why they do what they do.
If they hurt you in any way, emotionally or physically, speak up for yourself. Share with your parents. You are not alone but don’t quit yet! Keep them in the loop and work getting better by taking on responsibilities at home. When you think and feel you cannot handle it anymore, always voice your thought with effective communication, first to your husband then to others who are involved.
If your spouse is not supportive, then you need to be alert. Don’t let anyone pull you down. Stand up for yourself when someone is abusive. It takes a year to two, to adjust when uprooted but it definitely needs both of your thoughts, emotions to make it happen.
It’s normal to have differences but it’s also important to compromise.
You should know when to forgive and forget and when to demand your expectations. Don’t let anyone take you for a ride. You’re the lady of the house, need to be respected as an individual (not a paid maid who also deserves respect) but realize that it doesn’t mean you get to boss around! Don’t allow anyone to boss you around, you’re not hired.
Be respectful of elders, family members, by doing the right thing. Follow your inner guidance, if it feels right do it, else don’t do it. That’s the innate ability that we often ignore. You don’t need a certificate from anyone, you don’t need to please anyone, but just please yourself for the common good. ‘Common good’ is the key here.
Avoid being selfish, marriage is an opportunity to give and take, share. You have the power to make it or break it. Realize no two person are the same, no two families are the same. Try not to blow up any situation. You need to know when to let go of certain negative comments and behavior. Look at the bigger picture. People change overtime. You get what you give. The outer world reflects you. It’s a fine line between the self respect & compromise. Learn to balance it well.
When not possible, consider options. You don’t want to regret later. Take your time, you both together, need to make the decisions together, try not to get influenced by others. Even parents are outsiders after marriage. Your life is in your hands. Sometimes the the grass on the other side looks green but the owner watered it and nurtured it. We forget to see what’s behind that green grass.
If you experience physical abuse, you need to look for alternatives. Approach friends, families or NGOs. That’s why it’s important to have financial independence.
4. You’re employed, married, have little children – This is a very demanding phase of your life. Challenging but not impossible. Your partner wants your attention, you’d want to spend quality time with him and children but your career also requires equal priority. You feel the tension and stressed. Apart from time, your financial need increases, causing you to overwork compromising your time at home with family.
Balancing is the key!
How do you do that? First take a deep breath & remember that the previous generations have all done what you’re doing now. Plan your day, everyday. Having a routine helps you to manage your time. Time is more precious than anything else. Everyone has only 24 hours, so try not to say, ‘I don’t have time’. That’s simply an excuse!
Make a list of everything that you want to do, make it at night before you go to bed. Prioritize that list. What needs to be done, must be done, stays in the top. It’s all pretty much every woman knows. This is only a reminder. Adjust according to your situation. Let the least priorities overflow to the next day.
Yours could be a long list.. this is just an example…
- Cook, clean – delegate or find ways to make it quicker. Make necessary pastes one day, have someone cut veggies. Try to do it in an hour. There’s no point in using the blender to grind and wash it everyday when you can make a lot more paste and save it in the freezer for three more days of cooking. Similarly have your dough ready in the fridge. Hire someone if possible & if necessary to make different types of doughs and save them in the fridge. Consume accordingly so the first made, gets used first. They last for a week. Kitchen should not take more than one hour, if you plan it right! It gets emptied in ten minutes, why would you spend more than an hour?
- Drop kids in school – either hire someone, take the help of family or friends, carpool so you can drop few kids twice a week and other parents can do it twice a week. It’s a win-win for everyone. You get extra few hours on those days. Participate in school activities, at least once a month, if you’re employed.
- Get ready, go to work or work at home..if you’re ‘work from home’ person that helps to plan better. You can work at night or early morning at your optimum performance time. If you need to go to work, make sure every week, you set your clothes & accessories ready for the whole week in hangers for you & kids. It’s so much faster.
- Doctors appt. for your mother, or similar ..set in such a way that it’s just before work or on ‘work from home day’, take two hours off or take turns with siblings.
- PTA (Parent/teacher association) meeting for the child..generally you’re allowed for two hours a month to attend this. Check with your HR dept. it’s definitely worth it to attend and understand your child’s growth in school. Volunteering in school activities is another way to build relationships with school staff and parents. This will help you assess who your kids friends are!
- Guests for dinner..order from outside, take your partner’s help. Speed up the process by planning ahead. Choose easy dishes, make it simple or try to arrange it on weekends or take out according to your family’s convenience. Make this once a month, maybe as a potluck. This will bring friends together. Take turns so you can visit others too!
- Complete work project, deadline next day. Prioritize as desired…Set time to focus on work demands for few hours, undisturbed. Either early in the morning, late at night, or when children are in school.
In all these areas, learn to delegate, focus on the result not on the process with helpers, domestic help, cook, driver, neighbors and other parents. Respect them, trust them, thank them and you’ll see them do lot more than you expected. Every human needs recognition and appreciation. Thereby you become an effective leader and building a team. It’s said that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.
5. You’re a homemaker, not employed for a paycheck
You’re not working based on a variety of family situations and reasons. It’s okay to be home. That does not mean you’re not working but it simply means you’re not working for a paycheck. Make sure everyone around you is clear on that. Feel proud of your contribution to the family. You’re your own boss. You make it or break it!
You’re at your peak performance during this period, live in the present, doing your best everyday for the common good of the family. If you think, it’s a chore, it is, but if you think you’re the creator of a masterpiece of this beautiful family, you are!
You still need to be multitasking, set priorities and meet deadlines to accomplish all your tasks. Your perception of yourself is more important in this role. Be proud of yourself. As a homemaker, you manage purchasing, inventory, finance, accounts payable, receivables, marketing & transportation. You’re the CEO of your home. Remember you’re the ultimate boss and no one can fire you. Voice it whenever necessary.
Be open to learn from your children. Due to technological development and globalization, the generation gap is huge now. They’re exposed to lot more reality of life and to lot more people than you were at their age. They may be young but they have tremendous knowledge and information so they are shrewd in making appropriate sound decisions. When in doubt, ask them for their criteria in making their decisions. You’ll be surprised how they looked at the situation from multiple angles. Parents can limit their technological use from 30 min to two hours a day but cannot and should not eliminate from their days. That would cripple them as we’re in technological age. Make it all educational..
Each of us have different needs, wants, ambitions, goals and methods to achieve our goals. There’s no right or wrong, but do whatever works for you. Efficiency and time management are the most important ones. Stay positive for you’re capable of handling anything that’s thrown at you in every phase of life. You’re a bundle of power! Choose your path!
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