1. Being a homemaker is tough and under appreciated
I’ve seen it everywhere around me, that homemakers don’t get close to as much appreciation as he/she should. That we as fellow family members should be more thankful and vocal about our gratitude towards them, but we simply fail to do so.
During the last 6 weeks, while the entire country was in lockdown and all sorts of services were put on a halt, one service that affected every other household in India was the unavailability of househelp, maids, etc.
These are the people who did all of the most basic chores of our household like cleaning, washing, etc. While everyone in my house shared these chores amongst ourselves, I realised how much work my mother put in despite all the help she got. It was only when I started helping her in her chores that I realised how exhausting it was.
I always knew a homemaker’s job was thankless, but I had no idea it was that difficult as well. We’ve got to do better than just be appreciative.
2. Cooking is the easy part
Let’s face it. Dicing vegetables and cooking with precise ingredients and recipes isn’t easy. However, if there is anything more taxing than cooking good food and enjoying it, it is to go back to your sink and clean your mess on a full stomach when you’re feeling the laziest you could ever feel during the day.
3. Thank god for modern technology and appliances
We simply don’t talk about these enough cause they’ve become such an organic part of our daily livelihood. The washing machines, steam irons, every kitchen appliance that exists, a hoover and even something as basic as a spinning mop. Imagine spending an hour to wash clothes by hand, requiring all the upper body strength that it does and then moving on to do all the other chores in the house.
Now I am privileged to the point where my family owns a dishwasher too, amongst all these appliances and I have to admit it, I am so thankful. Doing the dishes was a part of my chores and 4 days in, I already had my skin peeling off and other cuts.
A little ironic isn’t it?
These hands can lift a 100 kilos easily, but 4 days of doing dishes and its blister season!
4. Privileges of a big home
I as a member of this family, am extremely privileged to live in a home that is big enough to have a separate room for all the people living under it. We can easily walk into our rooms when we need our own space and enjoy each other’s company during other hours.
It was only after listening to a few other people and discussing this at length with my folks did it dawn on me that the average size of a house in India is 494 sq-ft. while it is close to 125 sq-ft in a slum area and these homes house an equivalent number or more members than living in my home. These people have nowhere to go except out of their houses which is impossible during this period.
5. You don’t need a gym to workout
I have always been a strong advocate of bodyweight exercises. They are more than sufficient for a person to get fitter and healthier and help avoid a great deal of risk and injury. You can find a list of benefits of a body weight workout on this page : Benefits of a body-weight workout .
More so, they don’t require you to spend any money on buying any sort of equipment or later finding space to store those equipments. They may not be enough if you want to beef up or become a professional body builder, but otherwise they’re as good as it gets. Calisthenics is a serious form of fitness that focuses simply on body weight workouts and is followed by thousands of individuals.
A simple and very effective body weight routine can be found here : Full Body Workout At Home – No Equipment .
6. Chores are a workout in itself
In its traditional form, sweeping and traditional forms of mopping or swabbing require a lot of physical effort and work almost every major muscle in your body. Take modern machines away and washing clothes by hand is also a great test of your shoulders and arm strength and overall a good test of your cardiovascular health.
Take something like a lift away and carrying your groceries to your home over a flight of stairs could be more taxing than you could’ve ever imagined.
With the unavailability of maids and other househelp, as well as the onus of working from home, it became increasingly important for us to plan our day. With the few hours I’d need for work, I also needed a few hours to carry out my share of chores and additionally, I’d decided to atleast spend an hour for my health. This made it very important for me to plan my day and be efficient, so as to not defer my tasks or be unproductive.
I could not have imagined I’d get lessons on efficiency within the 4 walls of my own home.
8. Decision making and planning
With the lockdown procedures in place as well as some other additional lockdown procedures in our apartment building, we only had 2 out of 7 days (Monday and Tuesday) to step out and get groceries or get done with other tasks. We couldn’t step out otherwise and neither did we wish to unless there were some extraordinary circumstances. Social distancing and safety will always be a bigger priority.
Hence it became imperative for us to list all the groceries and essentials that we’d need and plan our grocery runs accordingly and make a list of all of our tasks, so as to not get stuck or seek special permissions to get our tasks done.
9. What’s your excuse now?
I have always wanted to learn new skills, read more books, rehearse my guitar lessons, etc etc. For the longest time, I told myself it’s very difficult and I am not able to do it because I have a very busy schedule and work kept me occupied; that I was too tired after work to workout and too mentally exhausted to read something new.
What I’ve realized now is that work was just an excuse for me to get out of these things. I haven’t read for more than an hour a day during a time when I am sitting on a chair 12 hours a day, when I have nothing better to do than watch some television and do some chores. I could’ve also taken up online lessons, but I never got around to doing it either.
The lesson I learnt is, if I really wanted to do those things, I would’ve found a way to do them anyway. Maybe not dedicate a lot of time to it, but begin somewhere. This lockdown has given me a big reality check and has been a real eye opener.
10. Learning is Ageless
To be fair, it’s not just little children who pick up new hobbies and stumble onto previously undiscovered skills. Single, married, kids, no kids, whatever your age … learning is for all. Now, more than ever, we have time to watch webinars and pursue online classes, and take up fitness challenges or journaling.
My father has been the closest example of this. He’s now taking cooking lessons from my mother while also going through recipes online to mix things up and add some spice to a boring day.
11. Money matters and Financial Literacy
In these torrid times when there’s a global economic slowdown, huge conglomerates are filing for bankruptcy leading to job cuts going all around, it is very important that each person understands the importance of financial literacy, which means personal finance as well as family finances.
Calculating inflows and making subsequent budgets are the need of the hour. The importance of financial discipline can be highlighted now more than ever.
12. Relationships take more than love and communication is very important
COVID19 has forced almost the entire planet to be in quarantine for extended periods at some point or the other. Countries like Italy, Spain, India, etc. announced a mandatory complete lockdown for 6 weeks or longer to ensure safety of it’s citizens. In these circumstances, every relationship is practically thrown into being long-distance because you simply cannot see your partner for atleast this period if not more.
It is during this period that you begin to realize the little holes in your relationships. Things that got mitigated and overlooked during those coffee meets and movie dates and intimate moments.
13. Community sharing is the need of the hour
Be it sharing of knowledge, financial help or other intangibles; it is our duty as humans and participants of a community to help others who are not as fortunate and struggling in their fight for survival. Humanity right now demands nothing more than selflessness and empathy from us. Every person amongst us should find a way to contribute in whatever little way we can. That is the only way forward.