Co parenting in a pandemic

Published On: 2016-03-14

Author: unknown

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Exclusive: Sussanne Khan opens up about co-parenting with ex-husband Hrithik Roshan during the pandemic

Source: Vogue India
Date: 11 MAY 2020
By: Sussanne Khan
As told to Sheree Gomes Gupta

“When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the news was out that a lockdown would be imperative, Hrithik and I decided that staying together in the same home would be the intelligent and soulful decision for our sons, and for us,” says Sussanne Khan, in an exclusive for Vogue India's digital-only May 2020 issue

They say, ‘The best work you will ever do will be within the walls of your home.’ Like any doting parent, I believe the most important work we do is the way we bring up our children. Hrithik and I have always taken pride in being diligent parents to our two boys, aged 14 [Hrehaan Roshan] and 12 [Hridaan Roshan]. We’re constantly thinking about what we can do to nurture sensitive and caring individuals who will contribute their share as human beings in this unpredictable world.

Apart but together
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and the news was out that a lockdown would be imperative, Hrithik and I decided that staying together in the same home would be the more intelligent and soulful decision for our sons, and for us. We realised early on that the days ahead would require us to regroup our energies towards creating serenity for one another. With that thought in mind, and a heap full of love, we started on our lockdown adventure.

So here we are, in lockdown for more than 45 days, living through an unusual time that we have never experienced before in our lifetimes. On the first day itself, we sat together and created a list of ‘quarantivities’ (activities to do as a family in quarantine). The idea was to structure our days in such a way that we grow our minds, warm our hearts and keep our bodies fit and strong—where we have no option but to use a little creativity and innovation to enjoy our days without a sense of monotony seeping through.

What I enjoy the most is the one hour reading time we’ve set aside for ourselves. It was Hrithik’s idea that we should do this, sit together silently in the same room and read our individual books, at least five times a week. It’s wholesome bonding time with the boys that enriches our hearts along with our brains.

Keeping busy
By the grace of God, our boys have been inclined towards music from a young age. Hrithik has been instrumental in giving them that kick-start towards this. As of today, both have reached level four in guitar from Trinity College London. Hrehaan, our older son, has a band with a few of his school friends, called Bandaid. Their tutor Kunal, an extremely committed guitar teacher, has been shaping their talent. The band has regular one-and-a-half-hour jam sessions online with Kunal. The boys then record songs in their own homes.

Hridaan, my younger son, has this unique talent of drawing incredible doodles and anime. Watching him draw soothes my mind. He is so detailed and focused that it never fails to amaze us. In his head, I know, he is already an artist with his own individual drawing style. Seeing that makes us so very proud as parents. In addition, both boys are also teaching themselves to play the piano through certain online apps.

Around 6pm each day, we have our innovative workout sessions, all planned skilfully by the best trainer on the planet—Hrithik! Some days we focus on core training, other days on functional training or cardio. We earnestly follow the sets he gives us and the burst of endorphins post these sessions has helped us greatly to not just stay healthy, but happy as well.

Making memories
This period has made me more introspective. It’s a wake-up call for all of us to learn from, as well as an awakening to look at things from a different point of view. To cherish the bond that we share with our loved ones and work colleagues. To strive to be in service of people when and where we can, and to practice selfless and random acts of kindness, and to be more mindful of those around us. And to give more time to making beautiful memories.

Working with my hands, something I’ve not had much time to do before the lockdown, has helped keep me in a happy state of mind. Doing household chores is very therapeutic, whether it is kneading your own dough, chopping vegetables, baking or experimenting with new recipes and cooking up your own concoctions. Everyday activities force us to acknowledge and appreciate what we have—from laying the dining table for lunch and dinner, to washing your own clothes, gardening on your terrace or sketching, drawing and painting. I hope to include some of this in my schedule even when there is no lockdown.

Going forward, life will definitely be different. Families will spend more time discovering one another and people, in general, will want to be closer. And yes, the world will change. We will all have to continue to do our bit and contribute. The best teacher is experience; our boys are becoming more aware of this too. In the meantime, we will continue to stay home and try to be better while doing our best work.