With families being locked down together in these uncertain times, it can be extremely hard for many of us to adapt easily to the sudden and abrupt changes that have recently occurred. It is also natural to feel anxious specifically because we are trespassing an unknown territory. Moreover, being stuck together for a long time could become frustrating and conflicts will surly escalate among the members of the family every now and then. Mind you though that even such tiring moments can become good learning opportunities where individuals can acquire more patience, gratitude and empathy.
Personally, being a mom of five children, the first week of lockdown was quiet challenging. I felt overwhelmed and unable to effectively manage my children’s new e-learning experience, my active work schedule, and the regular household routine.
I quickly realized that all this fret and worry will simply add fire to the commotion where a proper and consistent organization is required. It did not take us long to adapt to our new lifestyle where our main concern was shifted on how to keep our family together during this global crisis and make the best out of this tough experience.
Below is what we have been exercising for the past sixty days:
- Loosen Up:
Even though we have established a new routine, as I strongly believe in the importance of creating a positive structured outline to follow, I have loosened up on many things I would not have considered before the lockdown. For example, accepting that the children watch a movie at six o’clock in the evening during the week is something I do not usually concede to. During our so called ‘regular’ busy working and school days, the TV was rarely turned on. However, I know that setting too many limits on our children in this period would eventually backfire! Hence, I will not be serving any of us correctly.
One of our biggest achievements, as a family, is always having open conversations where we have been discussing with our children several life concerns with consistence. This lock down has offered us more time to manifest in important topics which we might have missed on due to our back to back and hectic schedules.
- Physical Exercise:
We do not need someone to remind us about the importance of exercise and the long term benefits it has on our physical and mental health. I have been enjoying some You Tube fitness classes along with my children. The funny thing is that they keep a watchful eye on me trying to challenge me into finishing one tough exercise after the other. Simultaneously, they even encouraged their dad to join them on a morning run before homeschooling. The best part is that we are not only training all together, but we are also building memorable moments where special stories are created, and which our children will fondly recall years later ‘in the time of quarantine’.
- Quality Time:
Ever since I have become a mother, playing with my children has been and still is one of my biggest joys. I strongly believe that this passion has been passed over to me from both my grandmother and my mother. Any simple game could be a pleasure for us, be it a game board, reading a book, constructing a puzzle, or even baking stuff together. All of this implicitly tells my children that I enjoy spending time with them, and their company matters a lot to me. Naturally, during these moments we continue doing more of these activities together.
- Mindfulness/Me time:
As this is a very isolating time, it is particularly important to look after our physical well-being and emotional health. Any five-minute meditation exercise can make a huge difference in our perception and attitude throughout the day. Fortunately, my husband and I are working on instilling these skills within our children at a young age. This provides all of us with the unique opportunity to appreciate the little things we have taken for granted, the perfection of how mother nature functions, and the harmony we are able to observe daily.
I have also been able to provide myself with a weekly proper skin and hair care which I have not had the chance to do for some years now. Moreover, I am taking the time to keep up with my daily reading habits and to share any new learned notion with my family.
- Virtual Socializing:
Thanks to technology and the endless social media applications, we can regularly connect with our loved ones and dear friends. We have been virtually celebrating birthdays and other special occasions. We even had virtual simple dinners where we would relish eating along with friends, just like the old days, but this time, we are enjoying it through a screen.
- Positive Attitude:
I admit that it is challenging to feel positive all the time, but we try to focus more on the effort each one of us at home is exhibiting during these hard moments. A gentle tap on the back, a hug, and a warm smile can make drastic changes in our everyday lives. We remind ourselves that we are the ones who are in control of our thoughts and change comes always from within. Setting a good example in front of our children is fundamental - now more than ever. Otherwise, this lockdown would become immensely suffocating!
In conclusion, one of the best parenting tips which I have ever read is, “When it rains, play in the rain.” I do realize that COVID 19 has robbed us from what we call our ‘normal life’ and mugged away our liberty of movement. Globally, it has also resulted in drastic economic and financial crisis in many aspects. At the same time, it has offered us the gift of presence where we can enhance our perception towards each other as humans, in specific, and towards life in general - in the hope that this change in perception would result in a better future for everyone out there.
Rania Hussant - thehelicoptermommy - is a mom of five children, an educator and an aspiring writer - definitely a Mom it all!
Through her platform she shares her personal experience as a mother with a positive lookout at the challenges of parenting.