Find out more about our Incredible Women: Jo Tekapaiwaho
30 Mar 2016 3 Minute Read
Jo Tekapaiwaho has been described as your typical Kiwi Wonder Woman – and it’s easy to see why.
With a total of seven children to wrangle and a part-time role in her husband’s business to contend with, Jo also manages to squeeze in volunteer work for the Salvation Army.
This quintessential multi-tasking mum has been described as kind, generous – and amazingly organised!
But with days that invariably start before 6am and don’t finish until 11pm, Jo’s friends and family have noticed that, like many Kiwi women, she prioritises others’ wellbeing ahead of her own. Now they’re helping to get that balance back in check.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Our days always start early (usually with one of our little people sneaking into our room for a cuddle) and go from busy to busier until everyone is back in bed! We don’t really have a typical day but they all involve organising 5 kids to school, preschool or organised activities from the beginning of the day until the end of the evening. All of the children are very busy and all of them do at least 2 activities other than school/preschool. I also volunteer 3 half days per week, organise everyones schedules, make sure everyone has all the gear they need for their school/work day and sport/activities, supervise homework, help with our small business and try to keep the house in some sort of order.
Do you see yourself as the “Wonder Woman” your friends and family describe?
Not really, I realise I probably seem a bit crazy at times when Im trying to juggle too many things but most of the time I feel like I am just trying to keep up. I don’t have time to look fabulous and save lives like Wonder Woman!
How did it feel hearing those friends and family say they wished for more balance in your day-to-day life?
I have heard them say it before, so I wasn’t shocked but I took more notice this time, in part because they all said it at the same time.
What practical strategies, if any, have you since put in place to try and get some balance back, with some “me” time every now and then?
Firstly, I really had to think what balance was. I have so many things to do each day and I thought I was balancing them really well so a lot of thinking had to be done. I now try to spread the load a little more and get the family to organise as much as they can the night before rather than me doing it all on my own. Our kids are really pretty good and when they eat well and get enough rest, they are happy to help. For me, I tried the 14 day Symbio Challenge. I had a yoghurt each day, which was challenging as I was so used to just drinking coffee but after the first week it just started to become part of my routine. It was surprising how much better I felt during the morning and how much more I got done. I have also started running once a day, usually late at night when the babies are in bed and I think that starting my day well with a good breakfast and trying to keep eating well all day has really helped improve my ability to stay fit and healthy which in turn means I am better equiped to meet all my day to day activities. My running time is my ‘me time’ and I hope to eventually be fit enough to do some fun runs and maybe even a half marathon one day but Im in no hurry and am hoping my family will join me when it is time.
Now that you’ve had the chance to really see how busy you are and how important it is to take better care of yourself, what one tip or piece of advice would you offer to all the other incredible Kiwi women out there, busy putting everyone else first?
Someone once told me that life isnt a race to the end and the journey is the fun part so sit back and enjoy it every now and then. My family dont care how many loads of washing I do they want me to stop and spend some time enjoying their journey too. Meal times are an easy way to get everyone together, so sometimes I don’t do the dishes as they happen, I let them pile up high and sit and enjoy my food and watch my family eat, talk and laugh together.