When you think of an orphan, you immediately think of loneliness, abandonment, or suffering. Can you imagine those characteristics in a child who has parents and a home? Well, it is happening, more than you imagine.
What do you remember when you came home from school? Was someone there to greet you? Was it your mother or some other relative? Was there hot food waiting for you? Did you talk to someone? Did you play with your brothers or friends in the street? Who did your homework with you?
Most of us, or those over thirty, still had to get home and be greeted by someone: there was food ready, homework was done and there was gambling in the street. All generally under the “watchful eye” of a mother. But things were changing: the next generation of mothers began to work and the children were left under the care of their grandmother, their aunt, their neighbor, a nanny, the cleaning lady or – in the worst case – a charge of the older brother and television, until one day they were alone.
Food was transformed too: it went from hot food to reheated, frozen, canned, to junk. The children got fat, because they could no longer go out to play or have friends outside of school hours. Cell phones, the Internet, computers and tablets appeared, and at the end of the day the children were simply left alone from a very young age.
What can we do to avoid this spiral of family disintegration and social destruction?
1. Organize your time
The family agenda is essential. Share a calendar where everyone can know personal and family activities, as well as how to tie transfers, meals, meetings and verify that children spend the least time alone, without work or supervision.
Relee: I would like to spend more time with you.
2. Stay connected
Take advantage of technology: keep in touch with your children from work, as much as possible. Send notes, messages, call, stay in touch through social networks. Establish a channel of communication with teachers, parents of other classmates and friends.
3. Make yourself present
Find your child when you arrive and take a few minutes to find out about their day and activities. Talk to him about yours, hug him and send him to sleep with the certainty of knowing that you love and care about him.
Show up at school for no reason, come pick him up, buy him some ice cream on the way home, check to make sure he stays safe, and then run back to the office. Do everything, indeed, everything to attend his school events and other meetings important to him.
Relee: A mother seeking a balance between home and work.
4. Dialogue, delegate and trust
Something that has worked for us at home is to meet once a week, to have dinner together and organize the activities for the following week. We make the family agenda, we discuss the family’s problems. We agree and then assign tasks and responsibilities to help each other with household duties, little siblings, and meal preparation throughout the week.
Then throughout the week we keep in touch and monitor the assignments given. It is not a foolproof system, but it has worked for us at home. Surely you will develop better ways and methods of organizing the family, so that the children do not feel alone or develop emotional problems because they do not feel loved and important.
The time that we had to live as mothers is not easy, as women we are required too much and our children have been imposed heavy burdens from a very young age. Always identify what is most important and then act. You are doing it very well!
Reread: 5 actions to avoid becoming an absent mother.