It’s like overnight, the world has turned to chaos. COVID-19 has taken the nation by storm and sent us all into a tailspin. In some places, schools have been closed, restaurant dining areas have been closed, people have been asked to work from home, and collectively we’ve all been asked to stay at home and quarantine. It’s a reality I never thought I’d see. Seriously, my anxiety-ridden brain has come up with some doozies to worry about, but this wasn’t even on my radar.
Though we might be hunkering down and staying in because of a pandemic (words I never expected to hear myself say), we’ve all found ourselves home ridden a time or two before. Whether it’s after just having a baby or during those long winter months, the big question is 'how can we make the best of being stuck inside?'
Now, I am no expert, but the best way I’ve found to keep my sanity amid this whirlwind is by making and keeping a routine. Wake up with intention; just because we don’t have anywhere to be, doesn’t mean we don’t have a purpose for our day. Set your priorities in place; whether that’s school for kids, working from home for yourself, or filling your day with enough entertainment for your toddlers. Base your day around what is most important. Make time for meals and tidying up--whatever it is that gives your day normalcy. Our kids are smart, and even young children can tell when things are off, so try and keep some type of consistency to your day. And don’t forget to get outside every day (that you can), Vitamin D literally does our souls and body so much good!
Less Stress is Best
We are in survival mode mamas. No one expects you to conquer this time with all the finesse and grace of Audrey Hepburn. Your sanity is important, so if letting your kids have some TV time helps you get some work done or gives you the much-needed break you need, then do it! If giving in to that one-more-cookie request, keeps you from battling a fight you just don’t have in you, then give them that dang cookie! We’re not trying to win awards here.
Play to your strengths. I can tell you right now, teaching my kids is not one of my strengths. If I was asked to homeschool my kids, I would do a real bad job. Do your best given your available resources, phone a friend, or just do what we all do and use Google. If you’re asked to do something out of your comfort zone, give it a shot but don’t feel bad if you fail. Remember; survival mode.
Finally, get creative with ways of socializing. FaceTime, Marco Polo, a good old fashion phone call: all these things can bring faces and light back into your life when you’re feeling isolated. I’ve never been mad when a friend chose to FaceTime me instead of text. Don’t forget about your friends, check in on them often, and they’ll check in on you, too.
Just Keep Swimming
If we’re going to be here, we might as well make the most of it. Of course, you could always find things to fill the gaps, that you “never have time to do”. I’m talking; clean the garage, patch up the holes in the wall, pull the weeds, or finally hang those family pictures. You know, that list.
But remember, this family time you’ve got on your hands can be time never forgotten: make some time to build a blanket fort, read some books together, do a puzzle, or bake some cookies. Get quality time in that will have your kids saying, “remember when we were stuck inside and we ...” Also, just because you’re homebound, doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night. An after-bedtime-date night may be just what you need. Simple and sweet, you won’t regret giving your partner that much needed one-on-one time!