SAHMs do not have to be engaged in home stuff and kids stuff 100% of their time. To make your life more interesting and balance, you should try to engage in non-housework related stuff. E.g. take up a hobby, sign up for some classes or even be a volunteer in your local community or religious organisation. it also helps to widen your social circle.
I like to call these activities our ECAs (Extra-Curriculum Activities). The beauty of it is that it can be anything. Some ladies like to just have regular girl-friend meetings, or shopping rendezvous. Other’s may take up a part-time job that does not take them away from their families for too many hours. They can even be family-related (but still out of normal family routine) e.g. set up your family website. ECAs can be anything. The only catch is that usually, we are too engrossed in our “Home-Work” that we forget that we need ‘ECA points’ too!
I used to have a lot of ECAs due to my *ahem* wide-ranging interests. The problem with me is that I jump from activity to activity so much that often times, eh..none really get completed in one go. Some examples : my eShop, sewing things (once in a while), researching on the net (latest topics include preschool education), setting up websites, cooking, reading, learning Japanese (now at Advance level but barely scrapping by), fix up complicated but cool web stuff, etc, etc, etc. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
If you are tired of the usual shopping and eating, and are running out of ideas what to do, here are some things for your consideration. Some may seem really tough to you but getting your hands dirty and your mind boggled while sorting out all these difficult stuff is really part of the fun.
1. Learn First Aid
Seriously, you should consider this. Take up First Aid lessons, especially things like performing CPR on a baby. Skills like this is really useful with children at home. If one day, you decide to become a nanny, or a baby sitter, or even a childcare teacher, this would be a good skill to add to your resume.
Birth and Beyond at Tanglin Mall has Parent First Aid Classes. They are rather pricey though. You can also check with KKH. They do have classes now and then.
2. Take up a course
This can be anything! Do something you are interested in. It can be dancing (good couple activity you can do with your hubby), cooking, even computer courses, or preschool education courses, language courses, adult piano courses, etc. Do note that if you intend to get some form of certification for future career advancement (assuming that you will later on return to the workforce), the courses you enroll in must be recognised. And take note also that usually these courses come with their fair share of homework, exams and pressure. Courses like cooking and dancing are really more for fun.
3. Start your own playgroup
No, I am not referring to starting your playgroup business, although you can do that of course, if you have the time, qualification, money, etc. I am referring to getting a few mothers that you know who have children who are around the same age as your own children and organise your own playgroup activities among yourselves. You can do it with your neighbours, for instance. Set up regular time to meet, take turns to plan the activities. Make sure that it is a fruitful session, like how a real playgroup will be like, and not a mothers-get-together session. Organise mothers-get-together sessions separately.
4. Set up your website
How about designing a personal webpage, blog or a family webpage, or even your children’s webpage, your baby’s online baby book, etc? You get a great sense of satisfaction when you see your own production on the world wide web, plus you can share with your friends. For more information on this, please see “Storing Up the Memories”.
5. Research on Parenting Information, etc
There is a wealth of information out there on parenting, early childhood education, etc. All these information are useful and relevant to a SAHM. Internet surfing can be time-wasting but you can make it useful by researching on things that are useful for your work. Being a SAHM is not a brainless job. I would like to say that it is also a knowledge-based work. If you do not know where to start researching, start with something that interest you now. E.g. if your child is starting solids soon, you can start finding out more information on this issue. Usually, one thing leads to another, and soon, you will find yourself led to another topic later on. You can learn about childcare, about education, about nutrition, about cooking, about sewing, practically everything under the sun.
6. Be a Volunteer
If you can spare the time and commitment, why not consider becoming a volunteer? It need not have to be dealing with the old, the poor or the troubled, if you are uncomfortable with it. You can volunteer your service at the Library by becoming a Friend of the Library. Or you can serve in your church or religious organisation or clan associations. You can, of course, volunteer at your child’s school and I am sure the principal will love you for it.
7. Make Things for Your Child
If you can make things like toys or educational stuff for your child. It can be a lot of fun for you and your child. It makes learning more fun for as well. For instance, instead of just telling stories from a story book, you can make felt boards to illustrate the story. Or you can create your own tee shirts by using iron-on transfers or fabric paint. Surf the net for more ideas.