As they say, home is where the heart is! I believe home is where the soul is. Home is the place where you unwind, at ease, comfortable and uninhibited. A place to dream and act freely !
If we go by definition, a home may be a constructed house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. It’s a place where you come back to. It’s a place where you pack your bag to travel and when you come back, you feel the most comfortable here .
Before the Covid pandemic, people used to spend half of their day out of homes thus giving space and privacy to all family members.
I belong to the retired people category so staying at home was a routine. We are four people of three generations living under one roof.
My 89 years old dad has not stepped out of home since last 3 years on his own. He spends most of his time in his room, though mobile and independent for his age. He keeps himself busy in his meditation , watching his favourite shows/ movies on TV and dozing off and on in between .
Me and RB had decided to be out of the active work force since mid 2018. I was a freelancer content developer and RB was a practicing CA when we hanged our boots to live a more relaxed life.
My software engineer son is doing consultancy with different companies in different countries and has been working from home for around three years before it became a covid forced norm last year.
So, even before the pandemic, all of us are used to of spending most of our time at home. The pandemic brought lockdowns and restrictions which curbed the freedom to go out or get food delivered at home or go out dining, off line shopping, movies, plays, outings with friends and long drives etc.
My first Covid casualty was my early morning yoga class, which I used to love a lot as it was a perfect start of the day. The yoga class had since been started in online mode and I am finding it better than the offline class.
It also gave house helpers much needed paid breaks. It was tough at the onset as I have made myself too much dependent on her. But I am always eager to find ways to solve the issues rather than crib about them.
The maids were banned by society management as per the government guidlines. But three of us have shared the household work and taken the responsibilities / accountabilties of specific household work. All SOPs were in place and thus daily running of house became well oiled .
My kitchen had always been a gender free space since long time now as both my sons along with their dad RB makes a good cooking team. Cooking is a life skill and all three ( sons and RB) knows enough to fill their tummies when need be. My sons had studied abroad after their 12th class and are well versed in cooking and planning a meal. Cooking for them is a stress buster activity.
As pandemic started and with no kitchen help, it was too much for me to handle all the three meals. This leaves me with no time to do my kind of things. So we divided the work. Now, dinners are organised and cooked by son – dady duo. In my family, breakfast and dinners are major meals while lunch is mostly non cooking options of fruits and salads, leftovers or bread kind of assortments. I had the responsibility of laying a full breakfast on table. I am a morning person, so breakfast is my favourite meal and I enjoy cooking it too.
The routine cleaning is also done with every one’s help. Let me be very clear about it, with no helping hand, we could only manage to do the basics and all other household works have been on hold. My household help rejoined in May 2020 and it was a day to rejoice. She has again been asked to go on leave with the commencement of second wave.
I had started going out for late night walk with my son around 10 in the night as there were lesser number of people so less interactions and more distances. Yeh kahan aa gaye hum ….
I have added some gadgets to help me in managing the essential household jobs. I have a dishwasher since a decade and it has proved to be a great boon in these times. A robotic vaccum cleaner brooms the house and a smart spinning mop proved great help in mopping the whole household. Washing machine has also become the basic necessity now.
Dusting is something which I have not done since long time now but forced to do in the absence of dear Kokilaben, my helper. I will not tell lies— I avoid doing it many a times. 😛
I find atta kneading very boring so I had added an atta kneader . No one in the family knows this art. Thus, house hold jobs are taken care of with the help of gadgets and division of work.
Another addition to my gadget galore is foot and leg massager as it really helps to warm up calf and foot muscles which are underused. 🙂
Not going out and being at home 24×7 puts lots of mental pressures on every one. We have dealt with it by dividing our personal and family time. This freedom to be your own self helps in keeping mental peace. Keeping in touch with extended family and friends also helps. One of the family activity is gardening. Besides, we have a daily session of cards after dinner and a long session of scrabble on Sundays.
With time, every one in the family has set up a routine. Every one has found a favourite corner too to do his/ her things. Though there are times when it feels suffocating to be at home and we just go out for a drive when the sun is still shining. Since I live in the outskirts of the city, there are still many vast fields and green areas around. Driving through nature relieves tension and opens up mind.
I miss the human interactions, dressing up and a well kept home everything which we used to take for granted !
Who knows, when will the life will come back to normal? But hoping the next year will be like 2019… open, free and full of sunshine!