I am unofficially on lockdown for a month and officially on the mandated lockdown for 3 weeks. It certainly isn't easy, and I know that anxiety, overwhelm and fear is high. Communities are in chaos as they try to comprehend the implications of this lockdown, as the end of the month draws closer with no possibility of income. Infection numbers are reported everyday and our senses are constantly assaulted with images from countries abroad, struggling to cope with their fast growing ICU cases, with the number of deaths escalating daily. All of this while being on lockdown can really be a recipe for alarm and panic, with many other socio economic factors adding fuel to the fire.
I have been taking lockdown in my stride, I am content, despite having my business and income ground to a total halt; and instead I prefer to keep focusing on how fortunate I am. I am trying to use what I DO have, what I have control over and plan for when we do resume trading again InshaAllah. I have found that placing my faith in the Almighty, that He will get me (and the world) through this, and managing what I am able to do to help those less fortunate, has been really therapeutic for me.
These are some of my tips for managing the kids and staying contained and safe during lockdown:
- I maintain my routine, as mentioned in my previous post. I wake up at the same time each day, shower and get dressed as if I were going into the office. My weekdays are distinctly different to my weekends. I have still had to work (following up on cancellations and postponed trips), fulfilling financial and marketing functions; and Zoom meetings which keep my days full and 'normal'. I schedule any home school assistance in between and we set the times each morning.
- I do the same with the family routine, we continue with our family dinners each evening around the same time as before, Ihsaan is awakened early on 'school days' and starts with work as if he was at school. His weekends and public holidays are days off as would have been the case outside of lockdown. His bedtime is also maintained on school nights, of course relative to what is appropriate for a 16 year old.
- On school days no Playstation games allowed; when he's done with school work, he has a break and we have some constructive time, where he will read for leisure, we'll play a game of chess or cook/bake.
- It has been an adjustment getting into the swing of homeschooling, however one of the home schooling families from our school community shared some great tips when lockdown started. We read it in conjunction with Ihsaan, who told me what he can handle, what he feels comfortable with and what he would need assistance with. His schedule was then formulated together.
- What has helped is having a resident math and physics tutor in the form of his older brother, I assist with English and Afrikaans (especially literature) and Ihsaan manages his other subjects independently.
- Since the boys were little our home has been one of routine and as a result, even the two young adults in the home instinctively fall into a routine. They have each implemented their own routine, which suits their individual workload and much needed downtime.
- Since we find ourselves in unprecedented times, and there is really no right or wrong way to manage the impact of this lockdown, I am also fully aware of how my own reactions, behaviour, anxiety and fears affect every one in my home. I therefore need to be very clear in how I manage myself; and whilst I do have my down days, we will discuss it as a family, how we're feeling about the situation and what we see in the news each day.
- I understand that each of my kids are very different and therefore deal with their emotions and anxiety in their own way. So being aware of this, I try not to cloud the home atmosphere with my own stuff. I merely assure my family that I'm feeling a particular way (whether its worried, anxious or just low) and that they don't feel confused or the need to cheer me up. I can manage my own self.
- I am thankful that even though we have been cooped up at home for more than a month, that the sibling fighting has been minimal; and we have decided to focus on what we can do from the comfort of our homes to assist the underprivileged. My boys have decided to donate cash from their allowance towards charity organisations, was a way of making a contribution.
- Since mosques are closed, we have our own Friday prayer ceremony. Every Friday we shower, prepare for 'Jumuah', get dressed and by 12:30 we're seated on our prayer mats together. We listen to the lecture on the radio before performing midday salaah, followed by our usual Jumuah lunch, which is a norm outside of lockdown as well.
The above tips work for me and my family, and routine has always been respected, no questions asked from a very young age. In fact, I do believe that it has provided an element of safety and stability for the boys as they grew up. So through modeling I have maintained my own routine in this difficult time. They know that my mornings in the garden is my quiet time and that it recharges my soul to be around nature and hear the chirping birds over the unusual silence of the neighbourhood. In the same way, I know what each individual member of my home needs to get through this; the rule in our home is to make allowance for that space. Our ethos is to be tolerant with each other, even though it may be difficult at times; the fundamental thing is to know that we each have our own behaviours which requires tolerance from the rest of the home.
If things feel as if it is spiralling out of control at home, take a step back and consider what you may be feeling which could be contributing to this situation. Examine whether you are enabling this and affecting everyone else in the home, as children take their cue from us as the adults and role models. Know that they see, hear and feel everything; even if it is not spoken about. It is also ok to let them know if you do not know how to deal with a situation, or that you're struggling with lockdown; you're human and allowed to err. They will then feel less pressured when they see your behaviours, and understand that as the adult you too are trying to make sense of our new reality.
Wishing you all good health and a relatively easy remaining two weeks of lockdown.
Some of my lockdown images...
|Ihsaan's choc chip cookies|
|All dressed up and with make up in the home office for a Zoom meeting|
|I enjoy my garden and the time I am able to spend in it|
|Games night has been one of our favourite family activites|
Please STAY HOME, STAY SAFE and STAY HEALTHY.
Caio for now,