Unlocking lockdown

by | Aug 13, 2020

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Lockdown doesn’t have to be a disaster – with some clever thinking you can turn it around, writes dad Kresan Munian.

What do you think of when you hear the word “lockdown”? If we’re alike, you’d probably start to mentally forecast the emotional stresses that would result from this season, followed by a plethora of thoughts about plans to not fall behind on the work front, while being at home learning to compromise on which partner’s meeting is more important and scheduling chores with baby duties.

I’ve realised that life under lockdown can become an absolute nightmare if we choose to travel the mass-followed route that highlights all of its negatives. But what could this season bring if we took a detour to believe otherwise? What if this lockdown is our season to become better at what we do, and the greatest dads in history??

If you’re interested in taking the detour, here are a couple of significant keys picked up during my detoured journey. Hopefully they can help to unlocking the lockdown for you, so you can make the most of work life, home life and dad life.

Family first, work second

The most important key I’ve picked up is “Family first, work second.” As a dad, I quickly learned how important it is to reflect that with my lockdown crew. In a world filled with career-driven worker bees, lockdown has taught me that anyone can be dismissed at their work roles. I have realised how much more vital my role as dad and husband are instead of ‘employee of the month’.

In applying this key I’ve realised that people pay for productivity in the workplace instead of hours spent behind the work desk. With this said, there are always new innovative apps available that help us schedule, track and accomplish our work goals in record time (allowing for more available hours in the day for the real MVPs [Most Valuable Players]).

 Take regular breaks

After almost experiencing mental burnout, I stumbled across the next key, which is “Take strategic breaks”. Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean doing absolutely nothing – it’s about getting away from your usual workspace to draw in inspiration, motivation, and energy to get back in the zone and meet those deadlines.

Personally, the most rewarding breaks have been taking 15-20 minutes to hang out with my son or enjoy a good cup of coffee (between work shifts) with my wife, or even to check off something small that needed to be done at home like taking out the trash or watering the garden.

This is a great way to break down big objectives into manageable tasks, as well as maintain laser focus with strategic breaks. You may even score a few brownie points by tending to the minor needs on the family front. Talk about a win-win! 

Finding the fun

In the repetitive, isolated daily cycle of life in lockdown, the next key presented itself: “Being normal is boring”. It reminded me that I can have fun in everything I do – all I need to do is look for the fun in the mundane!

This key unlocked the thought that, “This season is not something we have to endure, it’s something we can enjoy.” From personal application of this, I realise that playtime with my son can be a great way to get my blood pumping – by jumping squatting and crawling around. Nappy changes turn into entertaining dance routines and mini concerts, meals in front of the TV turn into lounge picnics and festive table sit-downs, bathtimes turn into water wars and the bonus is that bedtime becomes much easier with a fun, eventful day.

 A kids point of view

The last thing I picked in my journey wasn’t really a key – it was more like a pair of kid’s sunglasses that allowed me to view lockdown through my child’s perspective. For our kids, life under lockdown can be one of the most significant moments in their life. This is where they find out how their dad responds under pressure and reacts when happy or sad.

These are the moments they observe and learn from, that shape them, and show them their own value and importance. This lockdown provides us with a great opportunity to bond with our kids and explore what drives them. It’s our best opportunity to love them and instil good values in them that secure their identity and empower them to go out into our new world confidently, valuing others and creating the better future we dreamed of. In lockdown, moms and dads can actually change the world!

We’re only a few months into this lockdown, so I’m sure we will encounter new struggles, but with that also many more keys, to help us win on all fronts. The detour less travelled may feel longer as the world goes one way, but keep walking. It’s not a race to the end of lockdown, it’s about enjoying the journey along the way and improving the way we navigate it.