We’ve made it through the 1st month of 2019 and we should be well into our routines by now. We caught up with busy millennial mothers, Buhle Mabanga and Keabetswe on how they managed to get their children back to school ready and how they make motherhood work in their lives.
Buhle Mabanga, children’s fashion designer and entrepreneur says her getting back to school routine is always an exciting task for her and her three children, Lukhona, Lilitha and Lolo.
Buhle emphasizes the importance of monitoring and reducing screen time as much as possible; “this is very important to us because it’s been proven that children that are overexposed to television score much lower at school than children that watch less television. The maximum screen time for children between ages 2 and 5 is 1 hour. We also go through the previous year’s reports as a reminder of where we should improve in the new year,” she says.
Buhle credits a very simple routine for getting her children during the school term; “the first thing that we do every morning, this is new, is to mention 5 things that we are grateful for and tell the universe/God in detail how we want our day to go. This is so much fun. It brings so much positive energy in the house and it also teaches kids to be happy with what they have instead of always wanting more. Breakfast is very important because we get to connect briefly before we go our separate ways. My husband usually takes our eldest son Lukhona and I drop Lilitha and Lolo off at pre-primary school.”
Buhle says the afternoon routine is all about homework, reading and a few house chores such as washing dishes and watering the plants. Once the children have completed their necessary tasks, the family enjoys unwinding at the park, if there are no extramural activities. In the evening things begin to slow down in the Mabanga household as the children bathe whilst Buhle prepares dinner, followed by a good bedtime story and prayer. The house is usually quite at about 20:00 pm.
Buhle says proper communication skills is the key to children to cope with their routine; “kids don’t respond very well to demands and last minute requests. I always tell my kids in good time about each step of the routine. It gives them time to process it, and if you get this right, your kids will respond gracefully. A good night sleep for parent/s and child is also key. There’s nothing worse than trying to get the day started with a tired mind and body.”
The mom of three says balancing her schedule and her children’s is very simple, actually as she works from home, allowing her to work around their schedule. “I push as much work as possible before lunch so that I can be fully present when they come back from home.”
Entrepreneur and scholar, Keabetswe says she does not have an elaborate plan for getting her two toddlers Jordan and Jasmine ready for the school term except for putting them to sleep early and getting them excited about going to school.
“My son is turning 5 and daughter 2, there’s really no major preparations to do. I must say that it was a bit tricky when they initially started school but this is a space they are familiar with so it’s really like “oh we back here, cool”
Kea and her bambino’s day begins at 07:00. The mama of two prepares their lunch while they have their breakfast and makes sure that by 07:50 they are out of the house, as school starts at 08:00, but at least it’s only 5 minutes away.