In pre-lockdown days, when people said motherhood is tough, they didn’t imagine how much more challenging it would be if you throw in days without social support and limited entertainment options. Add in anxiety and strained nerves, the extra pressures of maintaining a household while working – and possibly homeschooling – and it’s easy to see why many moms feel like someone is taking a very fine grater to their last nerve. (The fact that, by now, most of us have reached the end of our wine stocks certainly doesn’t help either!)
We know that self-care is particularly important during this time, because if we’re not looking after ourselves it’s impossible to look after others, but how are other moms managing to keep their equilibrium?
I take time out for myself
“I’ve maintained an online workout regime since the beginning of lockdown, and those 30 minutes to myself are absolutely sacred. I would be far more tense and anxious without them! I am also trying to be a little more forgiving of myself. I do tend to freak out, especially when the girls are trying to get my attention while I work, and then I feel very guilty afterwards. So, I remind myself that this isn’t the best situation, and that it’s perfectly normal to lose my temper every now and then, but that I’ll do better tomorrow.” – Anita
I’m enjoying this time-out with my little one
“We have our moments, but for the most part I am enjoying this unrushed, un-busy time with my kids. Granted, I only have a 4-year-old to home school, and it’s a bit of a juggle looking after 3 children without a nanny while my husband is at work, but I feel like I get more time to be with them while doing the daily the chores and to play.” – Megan
I let the kids get bored, so their imaginations can work
“We decided to lockdown at our holiday home which, luckily, has a big tarred area behind the house so they can ride their bikes. I have 2 boys, aged 3 and 4, but being pregnant with my third, I don’t have much energy to play actively with them. In the morning we have a fixed routine (which keeps me sane) and they love it. In the afternoon, I actually let them get bored and it’s then that they come up with their own games. A child’s imagination is amazing! I now realise just how much entertainment (with toys or input from adults) they had prior to lockdown – I’m sure it stunts their ability to be creative and creates a sense of entitlement.” – Lauren
Routine works for us
“My kids are aged 2 and 5. I find they need a bit of routine and like to know what’s coming, so mornings are fairly structured. Dad does an outside cycle/walk (now that we can); then between 9am and 10.30am, we do school videos/worksheets. They spend the next hour in free play in the garden (usually in their sandpit or the Wendy house); then it’s time for an inside activity like crafting, baking or drawing. After that they eat and the little one has a snooze while the big one does his school app on my iPad. Afternoon is free play with 1-2 hours of TV included. Sometimes, as a special treat, we have tea on the roof and chat to the neighbours. At 5pm my older son joins in his Dad’s 5pm workout while I bath with junior. I think it must be really tough to be single parent during this time!” – Alice
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.