Valuable parenting lessons Lesego-Tshepang Mokoena's learnt during lockdown
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In celebration of Mother's Day, Lesego-Tshepang Mokoena, wife of actor and Volvo SA brand ambassador Thapelo Mokoena, shares what's she truly grateful for.
I read this recently from @thepantiles Instagram page …. “Would you like to know how it feels like to be in hospitality during this coronavirus pandemic? Remember when the Titanic was sinking and the band continued to play? Well.... we are the band.”
That is an apt description of what parenting under lockdown has felt like…..the show must simply go on. We the parents ( especially mothers), are the band in
I have been enviously scrolling through my single and childless friends and family’s Instagram and Facebook posts and can’t help but think “ aah they must have it so easy”. I mean, if I had had all this time to myself I would certainly be into mindfulness, self reflection, reading, writing and exercising with no time constraints.
Basically I would be the poster child of self love and care…. You know, the “you can’t pour from an empty cup” type of girl. That would be me!
But then I had to be truly honest with myself…. would I really though? Fhathuwani Mukheli said “ Honesty is like the cardio of the soul”. So, honest, I must be. I remember being childless and single, and to be quite honest I spent most of my free time socialising, sleeping and watching movies. I can’t recall that I learnt a mind blowing life-skill or competed with Deeprak Chopra in accessing my “deeper and higher sense of being”.
So that helped me get things into perspective. That is that no one is necessarily having it easier than anyone else. Everything is relative to their circumstances. We are all trying to do the best we can with the hand that we have been dealt.
I then moved from SBWLing (envy) to gratitude. This time has allowed me to spend an extraordinary amount of time with my sons and it has been beautiful to experience. They amaze me everyday. They oscillate between being diligent helpers to comedians to drill sergeants, right down to the most loving souls all in one day. They don’t really understand what is going on, so for them its been a joy to have their parents present all day as we are both working parents.
This profound gratitude has also extended to the appreciation of our domestic help, nannies and teachers. Keeping a house clean, kids fed and teaching them is truly challenging and requires an enormous amount of patience. I must also add, when the wheels came off ( and boy did they come off!), it was when I was doing the above tasks. It was sheer hard work. Singing "Humpty Dumpty" every morning to my five-year-old to revise rhyming words is honestly a skill left best to the professionals.
I saw a meme the other day where a teacher asked: “Parents, how is home schooling going? The parent retorted…… You lied , my kids are not a joy to have in the class.” Of all the skills that I thought I would add to my resume in 2020, teacher was definitely not on the list! But here we are....in the abyss of the greatest unknown of our time.
As we begin to approach our new normal post lockdown, I must admit that I will miss some aspects of lockdown. The invaluable family time, cooked meals three times a day and the downtime - even "Humty Dumpty"!