Parenting young children with your spouse during this coronavirus pandemic can be a bit of a stressful task in itself, as your kids have no other outlet to their undying energy and imagination except the four walls of your home (and maybe the society!). You have to constantly come up with ways to keep them entertained and occupied, as well as ensuring that they are able to fulfil their academic requirements.
Imagine doing this without a partner to help out! In case you’re wondering how separated or divorced parents are caring for their kids during the lockdown, Sussanne Khan, daughter of Sanjay Khan, has weighed in with her experience of co-parenting her two sons with ex-husband Hrithik Roshan.
Sussanne and Hrithik separated in November 2014, ending a 13-year long marriage and a childhood companionship of 17 years. However, both of them have maintained that they are still close friends, are respectful towards each other, and are very committed to the parenting of their sons, putting their needs and interests above all else.
This sweet post by Hrithik in November 2018 talks about his relationship with Sussanne, and what they hope to teach their sons.
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Here is Sussanne , my closest friend ( also my ex wife) capturing a moment with me and our boys. . A moment in itself. . It tells a story to our kids. That in a world separated by lines and ideas , it is still possible to be united. And that you can want different things as people and yet stay undivided. . Here’s to a more united, tolerant, brave, open and loving world. It all starts at home. . #beOpen #bebrave #artoflove #tolerance #courage #abundance #loveisgreaterthanfear #explorersforever #childrenarethefuture #harmony
In a recent interview with Vogue India, Sussanne opened up about the co-parenting strategies that the duo follow. Firstly, they decided to live together under the same roof. Sussanne moved into Hrithik’s home for the duration of the lockdown, so that she could be present for their two sons, Hrehaan, aged 14, and Hridhaan, aged 12.
“When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the news was out that a lockdown would be imperative, Hrithik and I decided that staying together in the same home would be the intelligent and soulful decision for our sons, and for us,” she said.
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. It is unimaginable for me, as a parent, to think of having to be separated from my children at a time when the country is practicing lockdowns. . It is heartwarming to see the world come together as one in this time of deep uncertainty and possibility of months of social distancing and potential lockdowns for several weeks perhaps . . While the world talks about humanity coming together, I think it represents more than just an idea especially for parents sharing custody of their kids. How to keep their kids close to them without infringing on the right of the other who also has an equal right to be with his/her children. . This is a picture of dear Sussanne (my ex wife) , who has graciously volunteered to temporarily move out of her home so that our children are not disconnected indefinitely from either one of us. . Thank you Sussanne for being so supportive and understanding in our journey of co-parenting. . Our children will tell the story we create for them. . I hope and pray that in order to safeguard the health of ourselves and our loved ones, we all find our way to express love, empathy, courage, strength with an open heart ❤️. . #beopen #bekind #bebrave #responsibility #coexist #empathy #strength #courage #oneworld #humanity #wecanfighththis #loveoverfear
She then talked about sitting together as a family and making a list of activities (that they aptly named ‘quarantivities’ – how cute!) that they can do each day. The idea behind doing this, she said, was to find ways to keep their minds nurtured, their bodies strong, and their hearts warm.
For example, one of these ideas, thought up by Hrithik, is to have 1 hour of quiet reading time for at least 5 days of the week. Sussanne loves this hour they spend as a family, with each person reading their own book, sitting quietly around the room, nurturing their brains.
Another such idea is their 6 p.m. workout sessions, led by someone who, according to Sussanne, is ‘the best trainer on the planet’ – Hrithik himself!
“Some days we focus on core training, other days on functional training or cardio. We earnestly follow the sets he gives us and the burst of endorphins post these sessions has helped us greatly to not just stay healthy, but happy as well,” she said.
Another aspect of life that Sussanne Khan has found joy in is getting to work with her hands again. Having had very little time to do so before the lockdown, she now enjoys doing household chores – something that she finds very therapeutic, she says – as well as gardening, baking, chopping vegetables, kneading dough, and cooking and experimenting with new recipes.
“Everyday activities force us to acknowledge and appreciate what we have—from laying the dining table for lunch and dinner, to washing your own clothes, gardening on your terrace or sketching, drawing and painting,” she observed. “I hope to include some of this in my schedule even when there is no lockdown.” We hope so, too!
Sussanne also gushed about her two sons and their achievements, of which she is evidently very proud. Both boys are very inclined towards music, and father Hrithik Roshan has given them wonderful opportunities to pursue their interest. Both Hrehaan (14) and Hridhaan (12) are at Level Four in Guitar from Trinity College London. Hrehaan even has a band, called Bandaid, with his school friends, and they have regular online jam sessions with their guitar teacher. The brothers are also learning to play the piano by themselves through online apps.
Hridhaan, Sussanne said, is an artist, with “this unique talent of drawing incredible doodles and anime. He is so detailed and focused that it never fails to amaze us. Watching him draw soothes my mind.”
It is quite evident that Sussanne and Hrithik are very proud of their children, and are doing their best to provide for them, protect them, and be attentive, loving parents. Talking about what lies ahead, for them as well as the general world around them, Sussanne thinks that life will be different and the world will have changed. She believes that people and families will want to be closer. But, we must continue to do our duty and contribute to society.
“The best teacher is experience; our boys are becoming more aware of this too. In the meantime, we will continue to stay home and try to be better while doing our best work,” she said.
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What is this life, so full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And ask with love, about the ‘why’s’ and ‘ how’s’ So stop awhile and do enjoy that stare, Take it in.. absorb as we all are moving.. even though we don’t know where. There is, this amazing thing called ‘Life’…. as the ultimate dare. Stay Home, Stay strong and full of care. Inserts taken from the poem Leisure by William Henry Davies. #SHHH #stopandstare #the-philosophers #RyeRayRidz #designyourthoughts #summeroflockdown2020 #quarantivities #notestoself 🤍💙💛 p.s the app used for the moving clouds is called Pixaloop. 😊
So, to all separated parents out there, we believe that you can make it work, if you put your children’s needs above all else! Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but your loving little one can make it feel like the easiest. Don’t worry – you’ve got this!