If there’s one hashtag that’s trending right now, it’s #wereinthistogether. But are we all ‘in this together’? Sure, most of us are self-isolating, staying indoors, but that doesn’t mean we’re all having the same experience. For some, isolation at home might seem like a welcome opportunity to de-stress. For others, ‘The Shining’ is becoming far too relatable.
Lockdown with Kids… Never Gonna Be Easy
If you’re a couple in lockdown, there’s one factor that can make a major difference: kids. If you have kids, then lockdown entails a number of extra burdens and responsibilities. Parents who work at home are finding themselves having to juggle their career with being both teachers and activity planners. It could be tempting for mums and dads to stick their sprong in front of a screen all day, but we all know that’s hardly ideal.
Proper Planning is Key
Melanie Kelly explained to us how she was receiving loads of work from each subject everyday which seemed extremely overwhelming to balance especially with a son who is easily distracted.
“To prevent them from becoming sofa-zombies or throwing tantrums, their day needs to be planned out otherwise her kid would play on his playstation from morning till night. Timetables drawn, and stuck to. Educational resources researched. This is time-consuming stuff. It’s especially hard if the child has special requirements, whether it’s dyslexia, autism, or any number of challenges.”
Although Ian from Gadgets doesn’t seem to have it so hard, as his kid is only 3 (so homework with him is fairly manageable), he also recommends a proper plan
“Plan your day, change things around. It’s a different world so change your routine accordingly, time for work, school, yourself. TIme is a different story now, find the time to get things done”.
Ian is enjoying life more in a weird way – less hours of work. This opened new doors for him which he is appreciating.
Nonetheless, taking care of these kids can be a full time job in itself. Nakita from the Mama Manual who is self employed has to wake up earlier than before to be able to get her work done and continue working once the kids are in bed. However this seems to be growing on the mother of two and finding the early morning peace and quiet a blessing where she can get solid work done without distractions and cries for attention. Her tip for all mothers out there struggling is…
“The more you keep yourself occupied and doing things you are happy doing the better it is, think of future projects you can do in the house and doing things the kids never did.”
Life Without Kids is Not a Walk in the Park Either
For parents, the idea of being a couple without kids must seem like a breeze. And that, it must be said, is true…these couples have far more time to themselves. They get to have the peace they need to work. They can dedicate all their time and resources to themselves. And, crucially, they can get to relax in the evening and watch whatever they like, rather than the same animated movie for the upteenth time.
Xarabank personality Mark Lawrence Zammit is glad to not have kids for the time being. He understands and sympathises with parents who must be having a tough time keeping kids entertained and being their educators too.
John Bundy doesn’t have this problem as his daughter is now married, however, he fully appreciates the role teachers have in our society. Both Mark and John believe that these strange times will be remembered fondly by kids and parents should try to make the most of these moments however tough it may get.
“10 years from now, the kids today will remember these difficult times. So make it worth remembering.’’
That’s not to say there are no issues for non-parent couples in the coronavirus. There’s an old saying that goes ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. Lockdown may be the perfect social experiment to see if that’s true. Because, seeing your partner day-in, day-out without break may really highlight each-others differences. Innocuous things can start to irritate. The irritating things start to drive you crazy. At least, if you’re parents, you’re united with the same challenge. You’re team-mates, and can focus your attention on the kid rather than nitpicking each other.
Remember to Enjoy This Weird Era – We Might Miss It One Day
It may sound ironic, the coronavirus period might just be the perfect time to be a parent. While it might appear like an uphill struggle, COVID-19 has given parents the time with their kids that they’d never thought possible before. Appreciate the time you have together as a family, because only a few months ago, it may have been in short supply.
Our very own Rachel CEO of Gadgets tried to balance education with fun and feels that in an ideal world that’s the way education should be – fun.
However Rachel’s daughter is still young so does not require serious homework as of yet so she feels sympathetic to parents who need to balance their kids homework with their work and house chores on top of everything else –
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are not failing if you are not managing to do everything, or if you don’t always have control on the kids. It’s better to do something that both parents and kids enjoy doing together rather than yell and shout to get homework done. The situation we are going through is not normal, adapting will take time and that’s okay. Just try your best as you are already doing. Parenting is already not easy as it is, and it will never be perfect. Accept that we cannot be perfect.”
Whether you’re parents or non parents, the Coronavirus is a matter of perspective. If you focus on the difficulties, it’s going to be a very long lockdown. But if you look at the positives, at the time together as a blessing, then this will be a period you’ll remember with great fondness.