Quarantine Diaries: How Moms and Dads Are Coping Through Hobbies

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The perennial difference between men and women have been in debate topics since time immemorial. This includes how they deal with the worries of life, especially now that we are in the time of a pandemic, and going back into Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, or MECQ. 

Dads and moms are no strangers to this great “divide” — but one of the amazing things this lockdown has done is to blur the lines between what moms do and what dads do. Because they are coping with the strains of the lockdown and have more time in their hands than they know what to do with, interests and hobbies are somehow intersecting. 

Jong Arcano and the harvest from his vegetable garden

Rekindling Forgotten hobbies. The available time working parents have at home gives them the opportunity to rekindle or revive forgotten hobbies. Editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Motoring and Inquirer Golf, Jong Arcano, who had a knack for vegetable gardening finally made his own vegetable garden in his backyard. “It’s all about that proverb ‘you reap what you sow.’ When we plant happiness, we get back happiness. Do the things that make you happy and life will be a lot better,” he quipped.

Frank and Nikki Garcia, husband and wife, now workout buddies

Adrenaline pumping As a way to release stress and to stay fit, moms and dads are working out together at home.  In a recent survey done by ecommercenext.org, in the Philippines alone there was a significant rise in sales of of gym equipment such as dumbbells, treadmills, exercise bikes, etc. in March 2020 as compared to two months prior. According to the survey, search engine activities for “dumbbells” and “workout routines” also increased by 80% in the second half of March. One of my favorite workout couples on Instagram is Frank and Nikki Garcia (@tuyoandeggs and @nikkimbento).

New ventures.Business ideas have also turned into pet projects for moms and dads these days, some have created livelihoods out of it. This evens the playing field as to who brings home the bacon. The pandemic has made everyone more innovative and creative about  how else to bring in extra income for the family. Mike Canlas, creative director and owner of an events company established a food business with his wife, Lucci, to supplement his income since the events industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Despite everything, he is getting busy and generating sales and profit. “Good stress is better than just stressed,” said Mike.

Yvette Manale’s pork belly and lechon family recipes are now available for purchase. Visit Exal’s on Facebook.

Cooking prowess. The time of COVID-19 will also be known as the time when everyone’s kitchen skills were unlocked. It has brought out concealed, lost, underutilized and unknown chefs and bakers in most parents from all walks of life — sometimes a little too much, but it’s all good! Yvette Manale is guilty of this. A seasoned flight attendant instructor, she was always so busy and never really got around to spending time with her kids. Today, not only does she cook up a storm for her family, she also turned a couple of heirloom recipes passed down from her grandmother, into a business. 

Rommel and Nikko Saludez have been busy with DIY projects and refurbishing furniture in their home during the quarantine

Home improvement.  Nothing is more satisfying than staying in a house that smells and looks good and clean, from the inside out. Aside from newly painted walls and organised closets, parents went to town with redecorating, installing indoor plant jungles, backyard pools and DIY projects left and right. We never truly saw what needed to be worked on in our homes until we were forced to stay in it. What a stress-reliever indeed.

Coping mechanisms come in all shapes and forms. Men and women handle them differently and that’s okay. But when push came to shove and when life had to be more simplified, this pandemic and the lockdown proved that there are far less complicated differences between moms and dads. And that’s great news. 

Photos c/o owners.