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Real Advice from Moms for Moms during Lockdown

These are unprecedented times. We all are feeling overwhelmed but so few are talking about how hard it is for us. As always, we internalize and try to hide behind our schedules, kids, commitments and need to stand brave. It’s so important to share what we are going through and what’s working for our benefit. Here are some moms talking about what helps them through their struggles.

The New Normal

Something that helped my mental state enormously & came from a licensed psychologist:

Act as if THIS is the new normal. Make all your plans based upon the way things are, right now. That way, if plans are able to change when things open back up, that’s a great plan to have, but you’re not constantly dealing with disappointmnets. Put things on the calendar like you would if we were going out – family game night! Buy a special game or two but don’t open it until that planned day – same with a family movie night.

I changed my mindset to this, and I brokethrough the ambiguity freeze I was in. My anxiety has settled a good bit. I’m finally able to work again.

Ronda Bowen

Small Changes Help

I have introduced my elder daughter to my complex art materials, which I earlier didn’t because they needed more care. This way I have managed to trigger curiosity in her to paint more often, learn new art forms and also become responsible at the same time as I am sharing my precious collection with her. This way I’m also reiterating the importance of sharing and entrusting trust. She has become more warm towards her younger sister now. We both have been creating lot of art stuff at home and out of waste materials like boxes, cartons, aluminum foils and even toys that they don’t play with anymore. This way she is learning to look at any waste material as potential raw material to create something unique. I enjoy her ideas now where she comes up with fun projects.

Recently, we have been improving our home decor by making small changes with the help of the little one. We ask her for decorating ideas so that way she gets involved and also learns to organize things. There is never a right or wrong age to learn the importance of decluttering and that’s what I have been trying to do these days with my little ones.

My daughter loves to dance and due to the lockdown she isn’t going for her ballet classes. We discussed with her teacher to send dance videos for the students to practice at home. We try and emulate the steps along with her so that she remains motivated to dance. Honestly, I love looking silly in front of her because I can never move like she does. To see her giggle under such stressful times is heartening ♥️.

Leena Asnanie

Ease Up on Technology for Homeschooling

Here’s my opinion on homeschooling.. Yes no one’s asking, but am saying it anyway.. NO.. just NO.

With a toddler screaming his head off because I wouldn’t let him tear his brother’s schoolwork and a pre-tween (an 8 yr old who thinks he’s a teen in making with all the cool attitudes and slangs, hi fives his dad but still wants to snuggle and likes sloppy kisses from his mom), I would rather sit down and watch Karan Johar movies over and over (pun intended). Homeschooling and getting schooled (on EVERY single thing!) was not on my mind when the lockdown started. I genuinely believed, I would impart my worldly knowledge to my beloved son and may be bring enlightenment. How naive was I? Which planet was I in, when all these apps were created?

For someone who had not held an iPad, not had a Twitter or Instagram account, relied on a single baby app, spoke only through Facebook and Whatsapp before lockdown, it was a technology shock!

Here I was, learning to navigate through Popplet to Kahoot to class dojo with the help of my son, how ironic! With the constant trivias on technology and new techniques and his questions that always start with “Did you know?”, made me wonder truly, I really didn’t know!!

Don’t get me started on SIRI, she replaced me slowly and steadily with her ever ready enthusiasm and vast knowledge. My trump card…SNACK!! ( very mom’s mind voice!!).

Mathangi Murali

Take Time to Relax EVERY Day

If we get time to relax a bit at regular intervals, we can even work for 12 hours on a stretch. Trust me on this. Working women might agree that taking 2 coffee/tea breaks in working hours and chatting with colleagues will boost their productivity. If you are a stay at home parent, I agree that there is one or the other task which keeps cropping up always but take a 15-minute break just to sit and watch TV or to read a book or to take a power nap. This keeps you active for the remaining time of the day.

Any creative art can de-stress our brain. So try any creative art that you enjoy at least once a week like painting, singing, dancing etc. Even playing sudoku or singing karaoke with friends is a fun way to de-stress. Many women feel relaxed by cooking and decorating their houses. Crochet, quilling, photography, craft making etc. – there is a lot to research on. Whatever it is that makes you relaxed, try it and implement it.

More tips on productivity by Mahathi Ramya here.

Unplug to Ditch the Judgemental Jerries in Your Life

We all know them. The people who have opinions about everyone and try to force them on others. Sometimes ‘Judgemental Jerry’ is a family member or a coworker.

Adjusting to this new normal is stressful enough without the input from others, who are not trying to help or be positive. Every mom needs to cut negativity out of her life.

Listen, social media is a great way to connect with friends and family as well as just chill and laugh. But sometimes it can be toxic. It can feed your fear and anxiety, and it can cause people to argue back and forth with each other.

If you feel like social media is not serving you in a positive way, it may be time to take a break or get off all together. And that unfollow button is there for a reason – I’ve used it quite a bit these days.

Every mom needs to unplug from people and things that don’t lift her up.

This and more things Every Mom Should Avoid During Lockdown by Diedry Anothony

Get the Kids Involved and Helping!

Speaking of variety, give kids options to choose from. As I have mentioned in my book multiple times, we want to encourage our children to become problem solvers and good decision makers. How will they do so, if we do not give them the room to make the decisions.

The options can range from what topic would you like to study to book to read or thing to do or board game to play. Kids need options to choose from.

Which brings me to making sure your kids are helping around the house. Yes, it is hard to do and be consistent but it is very important for their overall development and your own sanity. Have a family meeting and decide what each child can and will be doing. Take turns, pick your own thing to do, get incentivized. But make sure you delegate jobs around the house.

More tips for staying positive and organized by Aditi Wardhan Singh

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

To say that my son is a perfectionist would be a huge understatement. He does not like making mistakes. And the idea of doing something wrong paralyzes him so much that he won’t even try something unless he knows that he can do it.

So I do what every mom is supposed to do, keep reminding him that it’s OK to make mistakes and that learning from our mistakes helps us all grow our brain power.

On one such day of advice-giving, he looks up at me and says, “If I make a mistake, you get angry.” That was the day that I realized that his extreme reactions came from my unrealistic expectations.

That was also the day I understood that Moms can and often make mistakes.

The Beauty of Recognizing Our Mistakes as Parents

Observe Yourself

So I started observing my behavior around my son. Every time he made a mistake, frown lines would appear on my face as if by magic. If the mistakes continued despite repeated instructions, my soft voice got louder. In a few days, I observed myself losing control more often than I would have liked. It felt as if someone else resided in me and she would take charge every once in a while.

Then, I had to follow up with the real work of catching myself while making those mistakes. It is so much easier to catch something once it has already been done. After-all, hindsight is always 20/20. The real challenge was to identify it right before it started.

So, every time that I felt I was losing control, I would count to ten, or start chanting Om. I also kept reminding myself that I was dealing with another human being, a little one who had his own share of feelings and emotions. And the little child’s expressions as he looked at my face was a bit too much to bear.

Shift Your Perspective

It took all my positive spirit to make myself understand that making mistakes was not the end of the world. I kept reminding myself and forgiving myself every time I lost control of my emotions. It took quite a bit of self-talk to come to terms with this side of me.

I even compared myself to the great Kramer in one episode of Seinfeld, where he decides not to talk. The guy would start talking and then in the middle of his speech, remember his oath, and state, “And it starts now!” That became my catch-phrase, my new mantra …It starts now!

But the most important thing that I did was to make a point of sharing with my son that getting angry over making mistakes was a huge blunder in itself. He had a huge grin on his face when he understood that I was the one in trouble for a change and that he got to “forgive” me.

And they live happily-ever-after

The day finally came, when both of our hard work gave us some tangible result. My son and I were singing a song at a pitch of G sharp.

As the song progressed, my son shook his head from time to time, even as he continued to sing. By the end of the song, I caught on to the fact that we were both singing in different pitches. I had gone down to F sharp which was not how we started the song.

I knew that all my efforts to teach him the value of making mistakes were not wasted when my little one waited for the song to get over, each of us singing in different pitches, and then exclaimed, “Mom you made a mistake … but that’s alright, you still sang well!”

Change in our children begins with us.