By Analytikal Mama, mother of 4 beautiful children, wife and co-chef to a braaimaster. She loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, and is endlessly curious about religion, parenting and the culinary world.
Yes, load shedding can be a blessing for both parents and children, If we make the most of the space it creates in our lives. Let’s change our mindsets from one of wasting our time complaining about Eskom and the country, to actually using this opportunity to play and connect.
On the bright side of load shedding
Load shedding is a good chance to:
- show your kids how to plan head
- give them your undivided attention for 4 hours!
- play games with them
- show them how to do things differently
Getting involved in Planning Ahead
No one likes surprises – especially if it’s a power cut in the midst of a FIFA game, the equivalent of which is a half baked pie in the oven for Mum! Get your kids to download the free EskomSEPush app, to be sure of the next load shedding, then get them to plan ahead with you. Example, you will do meal preps, or catch up with work whilst they can watch TV, and make sure all devices and especially lights etc are charged. Then, when the powers out, everyone will be less panic-stricken, and ready for unplugged activities. This planning process, in itself, is a great life skill no textbook can teach.
Getting Mum (and Dad) to unplug!
Save battery folks. Forget the pot on the stove, the email on your desktop, checking your Whatsapp messages, Instagram and Facebook feeds. Load shedding is the ideal time to catch up with the kids and spend some quality family time. This is a time to actually unplug from your world, and be present in your kids lives. Use the time to chat about their day, to spring clean cupboards and school bags, to dream and laugh and play and just be a kid again. Tune in to their latest whim , tell ghost tales in the dark, or make shadow animations that will keep them guessing and giggling for hours.
It’s game time
Wipe the dust off all the board games. The Eskom genie has granted your wish. Now your kid can have a childhood just like yours:
- playing on the streets,
- calling the neighbourhood kids to join in a game of Monopoly,
- memory games or
- even making paper boats.
Load shedding by day can be full of social fun, where kids meet in person , and not via whatsapp or playstation! Load shedding by night, can include adults. Moreover, if you have been smart enough to charge some lamps, you can even have a picnic braai in the yard!
Do things differently
Undoubtedly, theres a solution to every problem.
- So what if we have cold sandwiches for supper, or do a handwritten assignment?
- And so what if we can’t use the electric mixer, but can whisk a cake mix by hand and bake a cake in a pot on the gas stove?
- So what if today we cut the grass with garden schears and not the electric lawnmower?
- Why do we have to have dinner before 7pm? So what if we eat after 8?
- So what if we go out for breakfast in the middle of the week?
- Why can’t we make up our own movie story line or musical tunes, or listen to the cricket scores and news on the car radio instead of watching sky news?
So what? In life, there will always be a time when we have to adjust our routine, and habitual thinking. And, load shedding may be the best time to initiate creative thinking as well as problem solving skills in our kids.
Use the time to be thankful for what we do have, to educate our future leaders, and to get in touch. Load shedding is not all doom and gloom. Let’s look on the brighter side. It’s here to stay, so gear up, make a mind shift and just get on with life.