Stay calm; there’s no power

‘You gotta be kidding’ you say as you throw up your hands in frustration. But wait; there’s more to this ludicrous statement!

Power outages are becoming the norm in the lives of South Africans and with us heading into colder spells; it’s not going to help our situation as we draw more power from our already drained supply.  While we appreciate that Eskom has ‘possibly’ decided to start these outages from approximately 4pm to avoid affecting normal daily business, our daily job of parenting gets very busy between the hours of 5 and 8pm.

It was while rushing around preparing for the inevitable late one afternoon with my mood deteriorating by the minute and bad words flying around that I knew little ears should not hear, that I suddenly realised something had to change.  Firstly I would be red-faced when my toddler repeated any of my choice vocab, which of course they love to do at most inopportune moments like at grandma’s house, or I was going to affect our happy family dynamics by my negativity.

So I sat down to see how I could turn this daily dilemma that we are faced with into something positive and these are some of the points that I came up with; it’s sort of like camping in your own home.

  1. I can get out of cooking, a chore I don’t exactly relish. Dad will have to braai or weber and on the odd evening we would resort to take-outs.
  1. Get out the camping gear if you don’t already have a gas hob. This way water can be boiled for bottles or that much needed hot drink.  There are also meals that can be prepared in this way without the use of an oven.
  1. Bath time can become fun time by using candles. Be sure to place these well out of the reach of children. If your scheduled outage occurs after the kids are in bed, what a perfect opportunity to relax blissfully in a bubble bath with candle light dancing on the ceiling.
  1. Toddlers and older children love torches. Make sure that each member of the family has his or her own torch. This will make them feel empowered and assist at dispelling any fears of the dark.
  1. No telly for those hours is sometimes the perfect opportunity to enjoy family time and unwind while listening to stories of the day’s activities.
  1. For the times that you are stuck in the traffic, road rage may certainly take over, so ensure that you have some enjoyable CD’s at hand. If the children are with you, they can enjoy their nursery rhyme or story CD’s.
  1. Charge your cell phone while driving home using a car charger. No one wants to be stuck in the dark with a flat battery.
  1. And when running out of time to do homework, what a perfect excuse for the homework book…..’So sorry but we had no power’!

So while things are not always as we planned, we have to be accommodating and set a good example to all the ‘little eyes’ that are on us.


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