Ever got caught up on an office call and your toddler demands his favourite TV time, or your spouse is on a video call, and your little munchkin gives a cute pose in his diaper for the camera. I have, and I am sure many working parents would have faced this situation. But how do we manage this?
Do we sometimes end up giving our children our mobile phones to play with or see a video when we are unable to pay the attention they seek? And, feeling guilty later thinking about how much screen time is good or bad?
Let’s talk about some dilemmas and situations that have increased exponentially, especially while working from home.
1. When you are on screen, they are on screen.
My son was 18 months when the lockdown happened. He was growing watching us working from home on our laptops for at least 8 hrs a day, taking indefinite calls, thanks to my husbands consulting job. I feel, by the time he turned two, he started feeling it’s fine to look at the screen for when you are awake and during the day, all the time and every time.
So he started asking for more TV and more mobile games, and honestly, it’s not his mistake.
We would mostly assign TV time, mobile time for maximum an hour and a half a day, and split the rest of the day between reading time, drawing time, playtime, etc. and he started enjoying them equally.
2. Healthy food or junk munching!
While we were working from home and stayed locked in, we had to take care of all the fancy food cravings. We started baking more often and frying also at home. There were more pasta and cakes and chholebhature. We gained a lot of weight and didn’t realise that our kid was also craving for such food.
Finally, we had to detox, so we observed Navratri and went on a gluten-free Navratri diet for nine days. We made buckwheat muffins, carrot muffins and used more fruits in our diet. Later on, we started including more raw and fresh food instead of frying, and reduced sugar intake and kept baking only to special occasions.
3. More video calls and less meaningful talks.
While we both were busy working, we thought talking to grandparents is a great way of increasing social skills as well as learning. But we realised after a few months that the kid started taking video calls for granted, and would be very moody. He would consider it as work, something like we do on our screens. Lol!
So we started normal calling, and that gave him the opportunity to listen more and talk more instead of just flaunting and showing off his dancing skills every day.
4. Should we hire help or not?
When this covid situation hit all of us, we were glad that we would be able to spend more time with our son and witness all the major milestones, but we forgot that we were working after all and we may not be able to give him much of quality time during the day. That made us think of hiring help for him, but we would beat ourselves for having this thought, considering it as a lost opportunity.
We tackled this situation by talking to someone at home and requesting some of our close family and cousins who were relatively free to spend some time with us so we would also be sure of someone we know is taking care of our child. It was a win-win situation.
I hope many of you can relate to this. If you have also tackled such situations in creative ways, I will love to know them.
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