Estimated read time : 4 minutes
These are tough times for not just for the economies worldwide but also for mothers out there just like me. There is so much to juggle – work, household chores and managing the little ones. Mind you, our little ones are equally perplexed about this whole situation. Children staying at home means we make sure they are engaged while you are working, ensure they do not get more screen time than required, getting meals ready and making sure they sleep on time. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Trust me when I say this but my son is just like any other demanding child who expects me to hear him the first time, answer all his queries, play with him round the clock and even run around the house pretending to be a thief!
Quarantine times have connected me to some old mates who have children the same age as my son and we often discuss coping strategies. While a few are blowing off steam with baking yoga, others are still trying to figure it out. One of my friends was guilty saying she feels frustrated around her children after a day packed with client calls. She also happens to be on my Instagram and recently asked me what was I doing to I get time to cook different cuisines, bake cakes, enroll in a free online course at Yale and put on hair masks while giving time to my son besides working from home.
I share my response to her with you all. Of course, I won’t take all the credit. It’s hard to do that when my husband shares the household chores and my organisation understands the situation we are all in and functions accordingly.
There are 3 hacks that have helped keep my son and me sane during this lockdown phase:
I try to follow a routine with my son as much as possible. My son, who has just started to read time, knows when he is expected to do what and surprisingly keeps me on toes as well. Consciously, the routine and meal timings are the same as what was followed at school. Morning activities are usually things that he can do himself and post 5 pm activities are where I get along with him like writing practice, playing hide and seek etc. Interestingly, I have noticed when I tell him the next days plan before he goes to bed, our mornings the next day are very smooth. He knows what all he has to do and feels in control of his day. It could be anything – writing practice or helping me do the dishes put his clothes for washing, read a story by himself or do a puzzle.
Children definitely sense the anxiety that we are going through. Hence, I take some time to talk to my son about some good deeds that are being done during COVID-19. I talk about how doctors, nurses, policemen, grocery vendors are helping the society and us. I also make it a point to appreciate him and tell him how proud he makes us by staying indoors and by helping us with doing simple things for us. He does respond to these talks, and I am hence assured that he feels positive every day.
There are times when I want to shout, express my anger, and I do lose it. Trust me, it is the worst feeling ever! I make sure I take 3 deep breaths when I know I am upset about something and make sure to take it slow. Once things settle down, I talk to my family about why I got upset and what could have been done better.
During these past couples of months, I have learnt to deal with situations with patience and light-heartedness. I keep thinking that ‘this too shall pass’. For things that are positive, enjoy them till they last and or things that are not favourable, know that with time they will go. Just take 3 deep breaths and tread!