Momming in lockdown is not easy says Olwethu Leshabane

During a Zoom ‘parenting therapy’ session with Mandy Wiener, mom and Womenomics Founder and blogger Olwethu Leshabane admitted that navigating the parenting scene during the COVID-19 pandemic is a tough gig. “I’m not coping at all – but I’m surviving,” she said.

“You have to make sure you’re on top of homeschooling, stay on top of work and meet deadlines – with a 2, 7 and 8-year-old it’s hard.”

Olwethu says she had a schedule worked out for everything in the beginning of lockdown – from screen time, school time and play time to work time for her. But we’ve been in lockdown for 4 months and that schedule just flew out the window (like most of our schedules and well-planned activities to keep kids stimulated and entertained). “There are moments when I have depressive dips about this – but my husband and I get through it. If my 2-year-old wants to take his spade and bucket and dig up my veggie patch – that’s okay – he can do that. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves the space to flow and realise that everything is not perfect,” she says.

ALSO SEE: 5 everyday activities to stimulate your toddler during lockdown

“There are no boundaries or lines – I’m negotiating and bribing to get moments to have that relaxing bath. I literally have to bribe them to get out of my room to finish deadlines for work,” says Olwethu.

She says women don’t have that ability to compartmentalise like men – you can’t go to the office to work now – the kids are at the office and they’re all over the place. “My husband has got the compartmentalising technique down to a T. He says he’s closing the door to work now when he’s working from home, but I feel guilty for doing that. Surely the noises are everyday home noises – it should be fine if I work with the door open?” It’s not says Olwethu.

ALSO SEE: Moms aren’t coping with the new normal and that’s okay

Her advice for parents navigating parenting during a pandemic

“It’s okay to take time out from your kids. It’s okay to feel frustrated – scream into your pillow. Take 10 – 15 minutes for yourself to process the feelings you are feeling. We’re human and we’ve never had to raise kids in a pandemic – so it’s okay to do what you need to do to survive,” she says.

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