This article was contributed to us by Julia Chan. Information and views shared in this article are based on her own personal experience.
Working mums are amazing. They take care of the family while taking care of things at work. With the many demands on their time and perhaps money, it might be challenging balancing both work and family duties.
To ease our financial burden, these are some great resources I found immensely useful as a working mum myself. Best of all? They’re all free!
#1 Jobs Support from NTUC and e2i
As a mum who lost her job before, having jobs support is very important to me.
That’s why I was very happy to hear about the new Jobs Security Council announced by NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng.
One way Jobs Security Council helps mums get jobs support is for NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to match retrenched workers to vacancies in 4,000 companies. Some examples are MNCs such as Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation, and SMEs like Swee Heng Bakery. Mums can easily make an appointment with e2i to see a career coach, no fees.
This reminds me of an old story I heard some years back. At regular meetings, unions in a certain industry will come together to discuss the trends and happenings in their industry. They will also exchange information on retrenched workers’ CVs and companies which are hiring, to help jobless find new jobs.
The Jobs Security Council is similar, except it is a bigger Singapore-wide ecosystem across industries and will also look at helping workers get future skills to move into new jobs.
#2 Free Events For Parents And Kids
I don’t buy tickets to theme parks or kid playgrounds, because there are an amazing variety of free events for parents and kids in Singapore.
For example, Supreme Parents has regular events that parents with children aged 2 years old and above can sign up for free.
Besides curating fun events for families, Supreme Parents also hires stay-at-home mothers and youths to learn new skill sets on a freelance basis at their events.
#3 Free Career And Networking For Working Mums
Working mums who are looking for career opportunities and networking support can explore these resources.
Mums@Work provides mums with the support, assistance and advice when choosing flexi-time options or when starting a small Mumpreneur business. We can sign up for free membership and receive notifications of events, jobs and tips for working mums.
Besides free career coaching, the Employment & Employability Institute (e2i) under NTUC has free workshops such as the Career Navigator to help Singaporeans figure out which career options suit our personality. e2i’s free ULeap app has bite-sized courses we can view to understand trending topics and industries.
Careermums is a portal listing mainly part-time jobs, freelance, flexible hours and other non-traditional full time employment opportunities for working PME mothers in Singapore. Working mums and back-to-work mums can read useful blog tips on being a working mum too.
#4 Free Tools For Working Mums
Working mums juggle their time among many responsibilities, so how can we manage different tasks and stay sane?
Here are some free tools I use to save time and yet stay on top (more or less) on things.
Famcal (PlayStore and AppStore): My family uses this app to keep track of multiple schedules (where we can choose to upload specific events from multiple calendars onto one app), important dates and coordinate shopping lists, birthdays and to-do lists. It can be downloaded onto multiple devices such as your husband’s and parents’ so everyone can view the family schedule.
Telegram has channels we can join to see the latest discount codes, travel offers and local events so we don’t need to google.
My Calendar (PlayStore and AppStore) period tracker helps working mums record past cycles and predicts future cycles, ovulation dates and tracks your chances of getting pregnant. This is useful if we’re planning travel dates to coincide outside our period days and forecasting heavy days where we may want to schedule fewer meetings.
Travel apps such as SGBusLeh, Google Maps and CityMapper help me navigate between meeting venues and predict travel times, so I know if I have time to visit the restroom or I need to run before the bus or train arrives.
#5 Free Self-Care Resources For Working Mums
As a working mum myself, I sometimes neglect my own health when looking after the family. I baulk at paying for expensive gym memberships, spas, facials, massages and other costs associated with self-care.
These are some resources I use to look after my health.
Healthy365 app helps me track my steps, earn points for buying healthy food and drinks, and redeem points for e-vouchers. We can also attend free workout sessions and scan using our app for extra points!
ActiveSG has free $100 credits that working mums can use to visit swimming pools, gyms and fitness classes at our nearby sports centre.
YouTube is a great resource for exercise videos where we can choose many options from kickboxing, yoga, HIIT, bodyweight and hip-hop. For working mums who only have free time to exercise at home after the kids go to sleep, this is an amazing resource to use in a small space.
SoundCloud is my replacement for Spotify (which has irritating ads and limitations of skipping songs) where I can choose different genres to play while writing an article, doing laundry or meditating before sleep.
Family Five is one of my latest discoveries where I can pick and choose different activities to bond with my family based on family goals we want to achieve. This is great as I don’t have to think so hard on what to do to engage my family after a long day of work.
Ultimately, there are many free resources available to us working mums, we just have to pick and choose carefully which ones suit our needs and lifestyle.
Julia Chan is a working mother who intends to survive till she can retire and travel around the world. She likes to explore diverse perspectives and uncover hidden treasures on her blog Jules the Traveller.