Finding the silver lining as a parent during lockdown


Perfection is unrealistic. There is no right way. You’ve got this!

2020 has proven to be quite prosperous thus far. With the March calendar filling up fast and workshops to coordinate, I was in my element. And then overnight, a decision to self-isolate, social distancing and then lockdown.

It all happened so quickly and even though drastic, it was a necessary one for the safety and protection of the country and its people.

The thought of being isolated for 21 days with my 4 boys was daunting. A shutdown from normality, no school obligations and certainly no routine. Not to mention, no domestic worker to help. The world in complete crisis with panic and uncertainty hanging over us like a dark cloud. And my home-life feeling just the same!

The first 3 days were a sheer novelty- late nights and even later mornings, staying in pyjamas for most of the day and binge-watching our favourite shows. Then through the side of my eye, I noticed the laundry pile up and empty mugs lying around the house. This is when I realized I needed to adult again. I woke up the next morning with much vigor and enthusiasm to put a plan into action.

“Many hands make light work” The mantra propelled me to push forward. There were lists to be made, discussions to be had and work to be done. The idea was to place my career on the back burner until the home was functioning like a well-oiled machine. Or so I thought…. It has been a week and I am still wrangling in the troops and working a system. I now know that it is an ongoing process. I have made peace with that and am grateful for the growth in it all.

The most surprising aspect has been my kids and their enthusiasm to participate. I could attest that to the screen time reward system I have going. An incentive scheme of a sort. With all this time and very few constructive activities to choose from, I had to be creative.

My plan was simple. List chores and assign each person within their capacity to perform it. Include fun interactive and creative skill development activities. With technology at my fingertips, ideas were in abundance.

I especially love seeing my boys take up the challenges of baking and sweeping, those typically designated to females. It is heartwarming having them help lighten my burden of household chores and workload. It has given me the freedom of enjoying quality time playing games and doing fun activities with them which are quite out of the ordinary.

We’ve had more conversation, deeper connections and a lot less stress and anger. I have been forced to slow down and be patient in this teaching and learning process. To stop the rushing and to pause and enjoy each meal, each moment and each child.

If I’ve learned anything from this lockdown, it is that as parents we just try our best with what we have. We will fail, struggle and get overwhelmed many a time, however, the most important is to be there for our kids. Being present and involved.

During any uncertainty or change, we need to above all provide love, stability, and comfort to our little ones. That is all they expect from us, need from us and hope to have. Perfection is unrealistic. There is no right way. You’ve got this!

Shahista Thokan has always had an immense passion for people and their holistic wellbeing; she is the founder of Silver Lining Workshop Facilitation and is a Transformational coach. Shahista’s true calling was always in educating where she felt she could assist in positively impacting young minds. She has taught at both secondary and tertiary institutions for over a decade and holds three tertiary qualifications herself in different fields of interest and is also a school counselor and an Internationally accredited NLP Life Coach and certified marriage counselor which extended her reach to assist more than just her learners.

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