LIFE IS A BALANCE
This quarantine has been more difficult for us mothers, than anyone else. Those hours when the kids were at school and husbands at work, was our ME TIME and that has been taken away.
Everyone else is getting used to being lazy, but we are still overworked!
- Be it the stress of rationing or
- Virtual class homeworks or
- Managing without staff along with keeping the super energised kids occupied during the day with flexible timings.
However, in all of this, Please dont forget yourself!
I am a mother of two beautiful kids...who I find most beautiful when asleep! It is actually not easy to keep siblings apart or even together. As a mother, I try to balance my hours with both of them.
Sharing a few tips which might be useful:
a) Try and work out activities of their interest.
My son is an avenger addict and my daughter loves art and craft. Being such contrasting interests, I try to give individual activity hours interesting them. Like I would do an Avenger treasure hunt with my son where he would have to hunt the avengers hiding in his room with hints given in small chits. Or give a 'make your own storybook' recycling old sheets to my daughter as an activity. This keeps them interested and equally involved in the activity.
Activity sets from Ori Ori and creative ideas from Japna Sodhi also contribute in chalking my games with my little ones.
b) Take turns
Being blessed with a supportive husband is actually a boon in this quarantine. Take turns to be with your children. My husband enjoys his sport hour in the afternoon with both the kids, giving me that post lunch time to take a quick nap for myself. Evenings, i time myself with them.
c) Time to go Old School
Take this as a beautiful opportunity to bond with your children and family. Introducing them to sports we grew up playing is the best gift you can give to this technology driven generation. Being in a Joint family setup, The entire family occupies the kids with activities like Chess, Tambola/Bingo, Treasure hunt, Blindfold catching, hide and seek, carom, Ludo, Monopoly, Uno or Memory games.
We also enjoy alot of outdoor games like Badminton, Kite Flying, cricket, skipping, Pithu, cycling and running. This keeps them excited about learning a new activity everyday.
d) Involve them in house chores
Being exposed to Montessori methods of learning, I try to involve my kids in basic house chores as activities for them. I try to develop this like a game for them, where they are rewarded with money/coins for their piggy bank after completion of each task.
Be it sanitising door handles, wiping wet plates, dusting chairs and tables or sorting fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. This excites them to be a happy helper, develops a sense of responsibility and also creates healthy competition where one wants to do more tasks than the other to add extra money in his/her piggy bank.
My children love to explore flameless cooking. Be it mixing dressing in my salad, making lemonade for their grandmom or cutting cheese in different shapes for their sandwich. They truly enjoy being little chefs. Simran Tandon from Baked Happily ever after has some fabulous ideas of cooking and plating. My kids love how she adds edible flowers to the crackers and truly enjoyed doing that. Now they want to put them in almost everything they serve me.
e) Relive your childhood with them
I know we all are desperate for this lockdown to open and once it does, we will all be busy again. It is often said to us that 'cherish each moment with your child', but as mothers we have so much on our plate that we are often present for our children in attendance but don't end up enjoying that moment with them as we have 10 different things running in our head. So let's take this time to do things we always wanted to do with them.
Being an Arya samaji, I wanted to introduce my children to the basics of Arya samaj, the mantras and havana, which i couldn't do due to my hectic work hours. This quarantine, I made them learn Havana each day and introduced them to basic mantras.
Try reading fun mythology books or show them fun storytelling videos by Neil jarial, the magic of books. I love how she depicts the importance of each indian festival with mythology and links them beautifully to illustrated books.
f) Sing through the day
Children respond to music beautifully. And I owe it to Sonam from Mozartsy academy for making me understand this effortlessly.
This quarantine we sang poems they had learnt from Ken Nesbitt and Roald Dahl, narrations from Dr. Suess. Songs I grew up singing from Louis Armstrong to Michael Jackson, from Beetles to Britney spears. Made them experience the magic of Backstreet boys and all time favourite Macarena.
They enjoyed the Earth song by Michael Jackson on earth day and shared it with their teachers too! Generally the singing shifts to a chat show with the mics, and I end up being their quiz master asking them fun questions and simple math riddles.
It's surprising to see how this generation is witnessing too much too soon, but are adapting to everything so positively.
Having said that, don't give your complete day with focussing only on them.
Give yourself time, give your marriage time!
Plan the next movie on Netflix, with your husband, thankfully IPL stands cancelled, so you can have your way! or plan a dinner date on your dining table next. I love doing that and trust me you end up conversing about things you wouldn't have. Setting up the table excites me so much!
Being a designer, I always loved doing watercolor painting, but due to my erratic work hours, I ended up only looking at that paint bar.I try to pull out that hour to myself where I explore watercolors. I have realised, it is so engaging and therapeutic that it completely works as a stress buster.
Cook healthy | Eat healthy | Love yourself | Cherish this time as you will miss it once its over.
Owner/Creative Head NITYABIRLA