Covid19 has changed everything in the world so hastily. I did not grasp straight away that it would be that swift. Like everybody else, I thought it was just a mere virus and you do not have to worry too much if you build up your immune system. But like most people, I was wrong. Covid19, according to World Health Organization (WHO), is a virus that is only transmitted through droplets that are coughed or sneezed out – either directly or on objects. More studies being done to prove if it is airborne or not. Medicines and vaccines are not yet invented. This makes the implementation of “Community Quarantine” as the only solution to minimize the virus from spreading.
It was on March 16 when the Philippine President declared the entire Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). As a parent, a lot of thoughts immediately ran in my mind after hearing this shocking news.
To be honest, when you are a mother, especially staying at home or working from home (even before ECQ), you will know that nothing’s new about being just at home with kids all day. However, with the Quarantine thing due to Covid19, there will be added stress, worries, and frustrations, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You think of things such as Every tomorrow is uncertain. You always worry about your family’s health. Each sore throat, coughing and sneezing make you paranoid. Questions run in your mind such as What will happen if a family member gets sick? Is it safe to shop for food? Are all loved ones safe? And in my case, I can’t stop thinking about my husband who is away in an also lockdown country because of work.
This makes it so difficult to keep a good spirit at home while in quarantine.
Trying to be a good parent is challenging. Every day with kids is an experiment. What more when your family is under home quarantine?
Before Quarantine, every time I feel pissed, stressed or overwhelmed with strong emotions, I would leave the kids to my husband and I step out of the house to breathe fresh air. After like 30 minutes of my time alone, I would then regain my coolness. But this time, I am stuck inside the house. And so, I have read inspirational articles that lead me to writing this blog.
How to be a good parent during Quarantine?
1. Always Meditate. Reflect. Pray.
Let me reveal to you my weakness. My negative side should I say. – I am grumpy. And it is a bad thing because an undesirable mood (being “Busit”) can be contagious. I get frustrated when my plans don’t transpire. My to-do-list is never-ending. And as a mom of two toddlers, there are a lot of hindrances to be productive as my energy and attention always go to attending my children’s needs. And that makes me so difficult to be with when I am in that mood. Does this sound familiar, mums? Here’s what I do… I meditate, reflect and pray. I sometimes cry all my frustrations when I pray. And in this time of Quarantine, the times I cried my worries in prayers are countless. It is a big help that I got a family who prays with me. I proudly share that my Aguas clan has been practicing an online devotion every night since this pandemic covid19 started. Release your emotions. Pray to God and meditate. Reflect and open your eyes to see a beautiful message this crisis is trying to convey in your life. It will help you keep calm and carry on.
2. Eat healthy and try to get enough sleep.
Speaking of grumpiness which I mentioned above, I have read that our energy level can affect our mood. Like for example, whenever I am exhausted and famished, it triggers my crankiness and agitation to arise quickly. While I know that for others, the Quarantine period means more time to sleep or rest, mothers, on the other hand, have to work double-time. So, parents, whenever you get your opportunity to rest, please do so. Also, eat healthy to keep your sanity. Everyone in the house will suffer if one is always angry.
3. Recognize your emotions.
Where is your anger,worry, sadness, and stress coming from? If you can distinguish the reasons why and how you are starting to feel bad, stressed, angry or sad, you can then know how to avoid having these negative emotions. Reciprocate your negative mood by recognizing it and then come up with a solution. If you do not acknowledge your emotions, you will end up carrying a heavy load or burden that will damage your health, which can then be a bigger problem. Take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale. Do this three times or more. Give your kids a tight hug. This will surely help recapture your calmness and coolness.
4. Give yourself Positive Affirmation Daily.
This is where my favorite motto comes in: “Always look at the positive side in life.” As parents, our days get unbelievably busy as soon as we get out of bed. For us moms, even when our eyes are already shut, our minds never stop working and thinking about the next things to do. I always feel like there’s a lot of things to do but there is so little time. So, this quarantine, instead of stressing yourself with the long to-do-list, remind yourself with positive affirmation daily. Look at yourself in the mirror and say the following:
- I cherish the extra time I now have with my family.
- I am blessed because I have food to cook that we can eat together.
- I will focus on the opportunities over obstacles.
- I have natural gifts and talents that can blossom this quarantine.
5. Try a new bonding you have not done before.
Since Covid19 Quarantine, some of the new activities I have done with my kids are:
- Playing the Uno Cards
- Attending Online Church Service every Sunday
- Cutting of Kids’ Hair
- Online (Virtual) Pretend Graduation program for Lexi – done with my family
- Making new meals or drinks together.
I must say that doing these things with my kids this quarantine gives us enjoyment that will be forever treasured. We have to remember that our kids will remember the days we made it fun. This quarantine, I have also discovered a lot of skills of my kids such as dancing, mathematical and analytical abilities. What a fun time to be creative and be happy together!
6. Listen to your child.
Being with our kids 24/7 can sometimes be annoying. Unlike before Quarantine, I get time away from both kids because my daughter goes to school. And I could leave my son to my house help so I could do errands. But now, we are stuck with each other which makes every day a test of patience, not to mention the non-stop talking of my toddler. But you know what? Make things less complicated. Just simply listen. Be a good listener to your children. Do not always conclude that what they’re saying is nonsense. Try to have a peaceful, constructive and understanding conversation. Let them take their right to have their emotions too. Do not be selfish. By listening to your child, you will surprisingly feel good too. Explain to your child about the crisis that is happening. However do not make it complicated. Inspire them that you can deal with things positively so they don’t absorb your stress. My daughter always surprises me with her insights. Just LISTEN.
7. Value yourself.
To be a good parent, look after yourself as well. Give importance to your health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Ask for help if you need it. Don’t pressure yourself with the things that need to be done. Take a rest if you feel like it. It’s also okay not to do anything and just relax. Value and love yourself.
Parenting is never easy but you are doing great, moms and dads. You deserve a pat on the back!
Keep your head up. Do not lose faith. This too shall pass.
Stay safe and stay home.
Some of our photos at home during ECQ: