I thought of writing this post while I’m sitting in the living room on my couch and finally have some time to relax. My husband just left to the shop to buy some necessities and my daughter is fast asleep. That’s when the words went through my head…. “How to Adapt As A Family During Lockdown”
For many of us this pandemic came very fast and unforseen. It took us all by surprise and many of us were thrown into situations that we never dealt with before. Situations in fact that we maybe hoped will never happen.
“I just finished a cup of coffee and will be baking some cupcakes later. Yummy! It’s quiet and peaceful and I enjoy having the time to be just by myself and not having to stress about anyone or anything. I deserve this break.”
The past couple of weeks were extremely draining. In fact it was so stressful that I got a pimple breakout which I haven’t had in 2 years. But it can also be all the sweet stuff that I’m eating… For those of you that know me, I am a call centre agent at a well-known bank. My job starts at 7 o’clock in the morning and ends at 5pm in the evening. Those of you that are familiar with such an environment will know that it is a profession that requires you to work hard in order to deliver only the best and quality service to clients.
Currently both me and my husband are fortunate enough to still have our jobs and are working from home. My husband’s job is a bit different than mine and less stressful, however he also receives incoming calls. Besides a delay in network issues some days depending on the weather, we both are coping with our work and we get things done during working hours.
Now as the schools and daycares are closed we have our 1 year old daughter with us throughout the day. She is still too young to understand the concept that mommy and daddy needs to work in order to bring food home. Besides the fact that I absolutely love being around my daughter, every single day is stressful. Both me and my husband will sit in front of our laptops and our daughter is constantly demanding attention. Does this sound familiar? I’m pretty sure that most of you already felt like pulling out all of your hair. Other than the whining there’s the personality change that I’ve noticed since the start of the pandemic.
All of this is perfectly normal. As much as we as adults are worried, confused of stressed so are our children. Remember the pandemic is an unknown space to all of us and we do not know for how long still we need to continue living this way. We miss our friends, family and social gatherings and our children miss school and their friends. So to make things lighter in our households we need to think of ways that will make our household lighter so that we can all live in harmony with eachother.
Here are a couple of things that will help you cope as a family :
1. Set Up A Daily Routine
Children and many adults thrive on routine. I myself am a big fan of routine and I follow one daily. Many children in fact need a consistent routine in order to be happy and to learn certain responsibilities. They like to know what is expected of them and what will happen next. For example, my 1 year old daughter loves a specific story book and she will have me or my husband read it to her numerous times throughout the day with a smile. She doesn’t care if it’s the same story.
She also has her times when she needs to eat and drink and then bath and go to sleep at night. We didn’t change her schedule since being at home. Just as difficult as it is for some of us grown-ups to adjust to new routines, so it is for them and we want to keep things as stress-free and easy for them as possible. Me and my husband decided that both of us will have a specific time during the day where we will spend some time with our daughter while the other one is focussing on getting their work done. It works wonderfully.
2. Bring In Some Fun Activities
Activities are important for both your mind and body. Every day we will go outside and play. We take the picnic blanket and throw it open on the grass and enjoy the fresh air and sun. It is so nice and relaxing. We also take our daughter’s ball with us and the three of us will run around outside on the grass chasing eachother and throwing and catching the ball.
Seeing that our daughter is still young and can’t yet participate in a huge variety of acitivies, we sit and play with her on the ground, build puzzles, read books etc. From time to time when things are really hectic we will let her watch her favourite tv show, but no longer than an hour at a time and it is an educational tv show. There are plenty if fun activities to enjoy together as a family such as playing board games, telling jokes, spending time outside in the garden, exercising together, reading a book etc…
3. Respect One Another
We are all different and we all react to things differently. Respect the other person if he or she doesn’t agree with something that is done or said and don’t get angry or upset. What is funny to one person might be sad to another. Family is important and we need each other, especially now during this crisis time when we need to stay indoors. To get along as a family try to be as respective as possible and be nice.
4. Practice Hygiene
Now is the time to be more hygienic than ever before. Sanitize your hands and wash it with water and soap whenever possible. Whenever you have to leave your house to buy essentials wear your mask and gloves if you have. Not all masks are the same but they do help you from touching your face with contaminated hands. The Corona virus spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing and physical contact. The rule is to keep a distance of as least one meter between yourself and another person. Avoid touching your face and sneeze into your elbow.
Another thing that you can do if you have small children is to leave your shoes at the front door when you return home from the shops. Small children spend a lot of time on the ground and their hands are constantly in their faces and mouths. Also spray your shoe soles and keys with sanitizer.
5. Support Eachother Emotionally
Staying indoors for weeks after being told to avoid the public is not nice. Many people love to socialize and spend time outdoors and with their friends and now they are stuck between four walls. I love my house, but I miss the weekends spending time in the mall with my mom so I can only imagine how a “social butterfly” must feel. Some of us can’t even see our loved one’s that stay in another country. It gets frustrating and lonely home.
Take the time and ask the other person if they are doing alright and coping and support them emotionally. Listen to what they have to say and make sure that they know that you are there for them when they need a shoulder to cry on. Focus on yourself too as take breaks often just to find yourself again or to rest. Small children can’t say that they are lonely so they will start to whine and become frustrated and angry. Spend plenty of quality time with your children and make sure that they know that they are loved and that everything is going to be alright.
Together we can get through this pandemic and get together again, we just need to stay strong and be safe.
Thank you for reading my story.