If you’re quarantined at home with kids right now, you’re probably starting to feel the pressure! No matter where you are in the world these days, you’re probably practicing some type of social distancing because of the Corona Virus or COVID-19. Your normal routine is probably all out of order, your kids are looking for ways to spend their energy, and you’re managing work and bills on top of all that. No, just me? Well I was not fine a week ago when everything really started to change! But now I’ve figured out some tricks to being home 24/7 with the kids. I am learning to share my space with these tiny humans that I apparently created. The thing is, they each have their own personalities and needs so these tips have been key to my survival!
Survival Tips to Social Distancing
Wake up early before everybody else to allow yourself some alone time. Do a workout or yoga on YouTube, make yourself breakfast, grab a cup of tea in front of the TV – whatever works for you.
Please, be patient with yourself! After the kids have breakfast, I allow TV time now. I usually set limits during the week of how much TV the kids can watch, but this is a special situation. Keeping the kids busy is important to managing your stress levels while quarantined.
Wear the kids OUT! Play hide-and-seek; run around the house; read books; do puzzles; dress up; or find some educational apps. Some of our favorite apps right now are Hooked on Phonics and ABC Mouse. This allows Diari to have screen time but also learn something.
Mandatory naps! These are for the kids but for parents too. Around 12pm every day, I feed the kids lunch and they each go to their room. If you have older kids that don’t necessarily want to sleep, that’s fine. This can be their “quiet time.” They can go in their rooms (no books, no screens, no toys). Diari gets one stuffed animal and a hug and it’s off to bed.
Take advantage of nap time! Use the peace and tranquility to do something you want. Have lunch, drink tea (I’m always drinking tea because it calms me), watch TV for you, do your skincare routine, or take a nap too! This is also a good time to get work done if you need to. I’ve actually been really productive even though I’m quarantined with these kids.
Snack time is sacred! After nap time, I bring the girls to my bed with me for a little while because they’re usually cranky. This allows us to spend some peaceful quality time together. Then, we go downstairs. Some snacks ideas: mandarin oranges, croissants, yogurt, applesauce.
Read books together. I don’t think parents should necessarily feel pressured to create whole lesson plans right now, but you can do little things. Make learning a part of hanging out by having story time and making it interactive.
Early bedtimes are a must. By 7pm, Fatima is usually down for the night anyway. But I let Diari stay up until about 9pm. Thankfully, my husband is hands-on with the girls. Although he’s still working, when he comes home, he takes over and plays with Diari until she goes to bed. Then when Fatima wakes up, he changes her diapers and gives her a bottle before putting her back to sleep. The fact that we have this agreement of support between us, it allows me to get some rest and keep sane since I’m the one quarantined with the kids during the daytime.
Separate weekdays from weekends. When you’re home all the time, it feels like the days blend together. So all the chores I usually do on the weekends, I did them as always. I meal prepped, did laundry, and cleaned the house on the weekend instead of blending it together with our weekdays. Even though I cook light meals during the week, it helps to have the big stuff like rice and the kids’ meals done on Sundays.
Quarantined with Kids?
Most importantly, try not to freak out! Don’t let the pressure get to you. This is a unique and stressful situation and it’s not your fault. So you don’t all-of-a-sudden have to be a professional homeschooler, a home chef, or your kids’ 24-7 entertainment system. It’s better for them and for you if you set structure and manage your stress levels. Remember, we’re all struggling and we’re all in this together! You are not alone, so reach out for virtual help if you need it. How are you surviving COVID-19 quarantine with or without kids?