'Mum, What’s an adverb'
By Happiness and Neemayani Kaduma on 06 May 2020Parenting
Me: What do you think it is? Haven’t you learnt about that before?
Her: Yes, I have but I don’t remember… That’s why I'm asking...
Happiness: Mum, “Do you remember when you learnt about genetics”?
Happiness: “Well, there’s a question in my biology class about chromosomes and I need help”
Other child: “Mum, is lovely an adverb?
Then dada comes: “Leo tupike nini?”
Before I respond, something clicks in my mind, it’s 11:58 am and I have to log into a Google Meet call in 2 minutes!
This has been our daily life for what feels like months now! Provided we wake up around the same time, the routine is the same. I therefore started waking up much earlier so that I can have some hours of silence with no questions around homework. My younger daughter however figured that she should also wake up early so that she can get an extra hour on WiFi..(because I have set a time limit on her device). Homework and WiFi issues aside, I have also discovered other things during the “working and studying from home” period. We all favour the same spot to do our work and therefore there is a race in the morning. We clearly have few power sockets as we have to take turns to charge our devices and it gets more interesting when Tanesco decides to do their thing.
As hectic as that may sound, we have been able to manage, no; survive during this difficult and bizarre time. Although constantly staying in doors has its problems, it has definitely taught us many things.
Firstly, we should never take for granted the things we are privileged to have. This includes the ability to actually work from home, all the teachers who are working so hard and adjusting to run online classrooms, wi fi and food in the fridge without forgetting the ginger, lemons and other spices we have all stocked up on. We should always remember that there are other people in worse situations. It is easy to complain about what is not working and focusing on what we do not have or what we have been deprived of during this period. But lets stop for a minute and think of those who have to get out of their homes everyday to put food on the table for that day whilst also taking care of a child who is now at home with possibly no one to look after and no school work assigned to them for such a prolonged period.
The second thing we have learned during this period is: spend some more quality time with, not only your family, but yourself! Your mental health is rather important during these times and having those 10 minutes between your Google meets to take a stroll outside or make yourself a cup of coffee, is a good way to wind yourself down and wind yourself back up again. Yes, you are tired and you don’t have time for yourself; yes, your google meet actually started 5 minutes ago and you’re late because your internet was lagging nonetheless, having a little ‘me time’ in those 5 minutes is good for you. You should also find time to exercise as this has helped us to reboost our energy to keep working and studying. There are days where online schooling and working from home is a lot more demanding than what we previously experienced and your therefore need the energy to keep you going. You can also add to this the ‘art’ of having to juggle work and responding to a gazillion questions around homework and why something isn’t connecting as it should!
Lastly, we should never take ‘being bored’ as an excuse to make an unnecessary trips to the kitchen to indulge in the koroshos, biscuits and left overs! This is so tempting now because there are times we find ourselves having nothing to do! (this is coming from my kids!). Instead, this should be a good time to eat healthy, yes all the oranges and fruits for that matter and veggies. Let’s not forget many sips of “corona juice” as all these will save you from the doctor!
So, we hope these times of ‘working and studying from home’ have opened your eyes and taught your family something. We hope that you are more appreciative of the things you have, keep staying fit (just because your colleagues aren’t physically seeing you everyday, doesn’t give a reason for your neck to physically not be seen!) And, be keen on your mental health as well as the ones around you!
By Happiness Kaduma and her Mother Neemayani Kaduma