Everyone across the world is learning to be resilient and to adapt to the new reality these days. But for parents of young kids, these strange times have added an extra challenge do their daily lives. We asked Maha Gorton to share how she navigates the current situation as a mother and business owner.
Maha is the founder of the kids wear brand Little Farasha, she is also a writer and a brand ambassador. She has 3 children: her daughter is 11 and her twin boys are 9. We find her creativity as a mother very inspiring as she always tries to think outside the box and create unique experiences to entertain her children.
This week she tells us how she is keeping her children engaged but also how she is handling work and practicing self-care.
Now that homeschooling is finished can you share your tips on how to entertain the kids at home?
Although distance learning was challenging, it gave the days some structure, so I have created a structure for the summer, which is something that the boys need especially and that makes sure there’s a limit on screen time. There is brain time where they’ll do a problem solving activity like a puzzle or some holiday homework, move time when they need to do something active such as an age appropriate workout or play football. This can even be anything that gets them moving - the boys current favourite is the floor is lava and the living room gets turned into an obstacle course. I always insist on reading time, when we all curl up on my bed and read together. Sometimes they’ll help me cook or research and film their own news broadcast for their private YouTube channel!
We have enjoyed discovering new places and venturing out of the city. Instead of going to our local beach, we went on a road trip to Khor Fakkan. It was lovely to see a different part of the country, get out of the city and it felt like an adventure. A few weeks ago we discovered OKA Ceramics and did a hand building class together. I have tried to plan a few outings to places like art galleries so they start getting used to being out and about with masks on, to prepare them for going back to school.
Given the heat at the moment however, a lot of time is spent in the pool… and thankfully the novelty of watching the giant ice blocks melt around them to cool the water hasn’t worn off yet!
How do you manage your work schedule and kids schedule?
By giving the children a schedule, I create windows of time for myself, when I can work but often end up getting most of my work done in the evening when they are in bed. I started Little Farasha when the twins were 6 months old and I had 3 kids under 3, so it wasn’t long before I realized that in reality, there really isn’t a work – life balance. Sometimes I can take the whole day off to go on a road trip with the kids and other days I have a deadline so they get some extra screen time. It is really just about deciding what the priority is in that moment and now that they’re older, they are more independent.
How do you practice self-care?
This is something I have only realized the importance of recently. I practice meditation at the start of every day and try to exercise daily. I love to read so I make sure that I schedule that into my day. Most importantly I’m learning to listen to what my body or mind needs and give myself permission to act on it.