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Sahar B. contemplates on how we can make our life a bit more easier and manageable in these unprecedented times.

Over three weeks have passed since Australians are working and studying from home and socially isolating. Times are tough and at times, undoubtedly, to the parents it would seem like that their children are bouncing off the walls! It might seem hard but it will get easier as we all adjust and adapt. These times should be appreciated for the familial bonding opportunities they are providing – and, for the chance to slow down.

Here are a few ideas to give you optimism and confidence to get you through these unusual times, with serenity and ease.

Pray Remember that Allah the Almighty is the only being that can provide you solace and keep you and your family safe from any harm. Be sure to use these opportunities to pray together in congregation and remind your children to pray for all in these tough times, too. May Allah the Almighty grant this world peace from this pandemic. Assign responsibility of young boys at home to perform Adhan at times of prayer. They can set alarms of the namaz times, in their watches or a mobile phone. By doing so, it will also cultivate a sense of ownership in children and they will feel satisfied in being responsible for a duty in the household.

Family Time Pray together, but also play together! Spend some time every day with your children playing board games, creating craft items, baking, cooking or sharing moral stories. There are many ideas that allow you to spend some time with your children, that you would not have normally done before because of other commitments! Remember, these are “once in a lifetime” circumstances. You and your child will remember this year and the circumstances – make some happy memories.

Routine Ensure that there is a flexible consistent routine, taking into account schoolwork (when doing homeschooling).  Make a routine chart, with the input of your children and ensure that it is placed where it is visible at all times. Remember, the routines do not have to be rigid and should also allow for some free activity time. By allowing the children to share and contribute in their part of the scheduling, the children will feel responsible of their own actions and duties. It will also enhance their sense of achievement.

Exemplify Model Behavior Remember that if you are working from home and your child is also homeschooling, then he has you and only you as their mentor. Therefore, be a model for your child and show exemplary practices in good hygiene, such as those recommended by World Health Organisation, and show compassion for others. Remember the poor, the needy and the elderly in these tough times. Pray for all human race that this calamity passes and may Allah ease hardships for all.

Be Grateful Create a family gratitude board. Allow yourself and your children to contemplate on the positives of being stuck at home, if not daily, then every few days. Write the good things on a board and put it up somewhere visible. This will also allow you the opportunity to be grateful of the blessings of Allah the Almighty. Perhaps, you finally found the time to take up the hobby you wanted to! Alhamdolillah! At the end of the day, you can also have a discussion with your children on the highlight of their day, i.e. the best thing that happened to them or what did they feel grateful about that day. However, keeping a visible record, allows appreciation and positivity on a more frequent basis.

Write to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih (aba) Write letters of prayers to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) regularly, and if old enough, the children should also write to Huzoor (May Allah be his helper). This will grant you a feeling of peace and you will also be at the receiving end of the prayers of the Khalifatul Masih (May Allah be his helper).

Communicate Even preschoolers at this stage realise that the world has changed. Talk to your children and provide them assurance that they will be safe, in following the guidelines of the authorities and praying to Allah the Almighty for His Beneficence. If the children are not comfortable enough or too confused in opening up to adults, allow them opportunities to draw or write “diary entries” of their feelings. Use these opportunities to assess their feelings and talking about it.

Self-care And…Exercise! Self-care is very important, especially nowadays. Mothers seem to be doing double the domestic load, with chores increasing due to increased home activity. Do not neglect in these times, to have some time out for yourself. Take few minutes to do a pampering activity for yourself – it can be a beauty pampering routine or solving a crossword puzzle and also, incorporate an exercise routine. Perhaps, do a yoga workout and get your young children involved, too – so, they join you instead of disrupting you! While children are playing outside, perhaps, do some gardening. Did you know weeding is actually therapeutic?!

Be Positive Every day is a new day! Don’t pull yourself down. If today was hard, tomorrow is a brand new start! Be kind to yourself. Seek patience with prayer and forgive yourself, too. Do not indulge in mother’s guilt. Let the power of prayer lead the way.

You might normally do some of these things discussed already or thought of them but never enacted them – in any case, let this be an opportunity to motivate and encourage you. Things can be hard at times, but they could have been worse. Be positive.

May Allah the Almighty ease all our hardships and decrease our burdens, because indeed, He is All-Forgiving and the Ultimate Source of Peace. Ameen.