NYC just determined that schools were going to be closed at least until April 20th and possibly through the end of the year! If nothing else about the corona virus caused an uproar, this is the thing sending parents into a panic! What do you mean, our kids will be home all day, everyday? What do you mean, we have to keep them occupied 24/7 without going crazy ourselves? If you’re certain you’re going to turn certifiable trying to act like your child’s (un)certified teacher, read on for my top tips for staying calm during the corona virus self-quarantine
Stay positive and at least for the 1st couple of weeks try and treat the period as a staycation. With all this anxiety surrounding the daily news, it’s important to let yourself decompress anyways. Find ways to take a breather from the stressful news for a bit, and you might realize: how much you still have to be thankful for, enjoy family time and that going back to the simple life is not so bad. Who knows, you might find yourself enjoying getting to spend the whole day in PJs without a single place to struggle to be on time for. I know I have!
Plus, it’s hitting spring break period for us here in NYC and though many of us have had to cancel travel plans, we were already planning to spend quality time with the family, right? Try your best to focus on being grateful for this unusual bonding time. It’s really not so bad having to make memories at home. You still have internet after all haha. Generations before us had to stop life and go to war. We can certainly Netflix and chill and escape through Instagram for a bit. What I highly recommend though is to get offline and get those board games out! Here are our favorite games to play with a 4-7 year old!
Knockout that household to do list.
For a lot of us, work will have slowed down which means we can devote more time towards tasks that were on our to do list at home – you know, the ones we normally neglect and don’t have time for? Organize that medicine cabinet, clean out those drawers, edit your closet, disinfect that fridge and feel your stress level dissipate with each task crossed off the list. Aim to tackle one household todo item off the list each day and and that simple achievement will set such a satisfactory tone to the rest of your day. Trust me, I couldn’t be happier right now about possibly facing armageddon with the most organized underwear drawer you have ever seen!
3. Make fun plans! The best way to deal with the disappointment of having to cancel plans is by making new ones! Sure you may be self-isolating and sure social distancing is necessary but you can still plan for fun. This is important because half the fun of experiences is anticipating and planning for them! So get your family involved in brainstorming ideas on everything from what dessert to bake, what game you’ll play next, and what movie you’ll watch. Additionally, I’ve started theme days! I customize my 7 year old’s activities, homeschooling, art, craft and cooking lessons according to the chosen theme. Each day gives us something new to look forward to and makes the same categories of activities seem fresh and new. This weekend, for “cookie day”, we crafted the cutest kawaii cookies out of clay with our Klutz kits. Then we baked chocolate chip cookies from scratch and ate them while watching my daughter’s movie of choice. For spa day, we used our Klutz nail art kit for crazy cute manis (I even did mine all cartoonish cuz heck who am I gonna see this week?) I also trimmed J’s bangs, lounged in robes while listening to spa music, enjoyed an Orbeez foot spa, and had a self-care Sunday with our masks. For spa day, we also practiced our drawing skills by googling spa illustration and each did our best rendition of the woman with a towel turban, with candle and flowers nearby.
- Figure out a new routine. Whether this means consulting your family and creating a new hourly schedule or whether it means simply starting new morning, afternoon and evening routines to replace school/daycare/and normal extra-curriculars- set some sort of flexible structure in place. This will help normalize each day and keep kids on track with their learning goals and virtual classrooms.
- Prepare enough indoor silent activities to keep the kids occupied while you work, meal prep or need some alone time. Cuz Lord knows us parents will need a time out too! Every morning when J wakes up (which is always earlier than I’d like to be woken up), she now knows she will have her journal and chapter book waiting for her at the dining table. She understands she is to write in her journal about the past day and silently read before waking mommy up. When finished, she can play quietly until she is hungry for breakfast. This buys me about an hour each morning to sleep in! Am I genius or what? lol See below for additional silent activities that young ones will love and not need assistance with!
- Have an arsenal of simple outdoor activities throughout each day that allows them to play individually or with a sibling. Since playgrounds are to be avoided, it’s time to think ahead and stock up on outdoor play options. Think bubbles and sidewalk chalk, relay races and ball games. Here are some great options to have readily available for fun outdoor (or indoor) play!
- Have them help you with the chores. Ever since J turned 6 she has been helping fold laundry -gotta love this kid. But even when she was younger she helped do all my laundry sorting. I’m all for child labor as you can tell. No, but really, I have found that she loves getting to help mommy with all sorts of adult chores. Vacuuming, cleaning (unbreakable) dishes and silverware, helping to set the table, or washing plastic toys are all activities that help mom while teaching kids life skills. And we all need to pitch in when we are all home!Prompt clean-up is a rule around our house too. Before bringing out a new set of toys or activities, the first set of stuff must be put away. This will help you control the inevitable kid messes and help you stress less.
Lots of luck to you all in keeping a new sense of order and calmness! It’s likely to be a long, unpredictable road ahead of us! Let me know in the comments what your favorite tip was. And/or feel free to add yours in too in the comments below! I’d love to hear how you’re planning to best cope with the kids running amok at home!
God bless us all!
More Corona Virus Related Posts From Fellow Mom Friends
The stay at home survival guide by The New York Stylist
For a list of 5 things you can do at home while quarantined (all brainstormed by a couple of my favorite twin 9 year olds along with links for their favorite learning apps, see Twindollicious!)
For a curated corona virus shopping list with everything you need to stock up on, click through to The Very Best Baby Stuff’ !
Whether it’s virtual museum tours, music, events, films, Broadway or Netflix, the Average Socialite has listed the best ways to entertain yourself during this quarantine!
100 quarantine-friendly meal ideas from the Mom Uptown!