It isn’t even day 1 of our self-quarantine days and already many of us are panicked. Children are home for 3 weeks. All sports, extra-curricular activities are cancelled. Vacations are cancelled. No play dates (remember social distancing!).
“Remember, this is not a vacation,” my kids were told that Friday on that last day of school.
Jokes are already going around about who will survive whom at the end of the three weeks. Some of us have scheduled virtual brunches with friends to keep sane. We’ve considered starting a run club but everyone has to maintain a 6-ft distance when they run.
And then of course — the school work is promised to come.
But let’s face it — we all know that the situation different. And kids — as much as they need free time — they need some form of structure too (which is why they’re in school half their waking time in the first place).
I know the other reason I put my kids in school is because I can’t homeschool them. Day in and day out — I love them with all my heart and soul, and I would do anything for them… but I just know we’re going to drive each other nuts. I have utmost respect for the parents that DO homeschool their kids and choose to do so… day in, and day out.
And yet — here we are, most of us are left with no choice, all in thanks to this coronavirus scare.
I’ve been practicing the art of positivity and gratitude lately (Thank you Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi) — but that is for a different time and a different post. I tell you though, it’s worked for me.
In anticipation of this closure, I’ve done a couple of things for myself and for my kids, to help us ride out this 3-week self-quarantine at home. We are after all, making sure we do our part.
I decided and committed — I’d make the most out of it.
Sometimes just the way we see things makes all the difference. Who am I kidding — it’s everything.
I could choose to see it as an inconvenience: I JUST started my business, and it’s beginning to take off… how on earth do I manage my kids’ schedule and mine on top of it all for three weeks with no break?!
Or, I just see it for what it is.
I am a mom first. They are my WHY, so my kids’ needs take precedence over all else. Thankfully (THANKFULLY) we are all healthy and safe — but yes, they are still young and we need to keep up with their learning. So I will do the best that I can.
Is it an interruption of my daily routine? Yes it is. But at this point, there’s not much more to do that to make the best out of the situation, which in reality is not so bad — all things considered.
From that commitment, I’ve worked to set up the following:
A physical space for each of us to work.
All of us at home now have a physical space (desk/chair/office) that is separate from each other. Noise is limited by headphone / earpod use (because really not all of us have hallways and rooms of space). The rule is, if you are there, you are meant to work with minimal to no interruptions. Mom included.
Individual planners — to manage their schedule and follow it.
Yes, my girls are old enough that I can task them with this responsibility. But what if your child isn’t?
I know a couple of parents who’ve gotten creative. White boards with stickers and schedules for the family to follow, check off, erase, and the like.
Alexa, alarm clocks and time timers are all great tools to help keep time and keep kids on track. We moms say it the most — DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
Befriend technology and social media.
Okay. We’ve all heard the horrors of too much technology and too much social media access for kids, teens and tweens. I get it. BUT! In times like these — let’s choose to see technology as our friend. Why?
There are a lot of resources that will help us pass the time. Did you see the one about the virtual museum tours around the world? There you are — field trips at your fingertips.
What about the one by Oceans Initiative, offering online marine biology camps — this is perfect for my budding scientist, and it’s only one example of so many other groups that are doing similar things like it to help parents and kids with their learning at home.
And hey, if moms can do virtual brunches — how about virtual meet-ups for the kids? Virtual study groups? For as long as there’s an adult present in the room guiding the kids through their tasks, then it could work. There are so many online meeting rooms now with Zoom, Webex, Go To Meeting, Google Hangouts and the like.
Personally, I would still watch the amount of usage of gadgets on non-essentials like games and shows though.
Incorporate physical activity as family togetherness time.
Kids still need physical activity. It will help them focus better. And we need it too — trust me we do. Find ways to exercise together. You Tube has a lot of 30 minute workouts that you can follow. Or have each family member take charge of the day’s work-out and follow their routine.
Learn something new everyday — together.
My daughter came home and said, “mom, my teacher said we should make everyday an adventure. How do we do that?”
An adventure doesn’t necessarily need to be a trip out or something big. It could just be doing something different at home — like chores. Kids can learn chores and have fun with it too. Or everyone learns a new dance move and creates a new dance move. Try a new recipe — everyone has to eat it… oooh. Have family book club night!
So many new things can come out of the current situation we’re in. And while we probably never would’ve asked for this self-quarantine to happen, we’re in the thick of it now. And if all else fails, I can only see my family becoming closer and more resilient towards any other crisis that we’re put through.