I had the thought to write this post at the beginning of the week. It would be full of tips and thoughts to help get through this time of social distancing. But in reality I have 10 kids around me all day every day, which really I don’t mind. I love my children and love when we’re all home together, it just takes a lot mentally to be exposed to so much for so long and trying to manage said chaos and adding school work on top is exhausting. Good but exhausting, but I digress. The moral of this paragraph is: I wanted to write what is helping us in case it helps someone else but I don’t have a lot of time, so we’re going to get bullet points instead of paragraphs.
- Look at the food in your pantry, fridge, freezer and write down all the meals you can make with it. Then write it in a calendar so you know what to have and have less to think about when dinner comes around and your kids are at your feet starving. You can print the calendar template I made here.
- Have set eating times and eat at the table when doing so. Before my kids were more grazers and ate their snacks on the go, but having them sit and eat the snacks eliminates mess and grazing. A win win in our house right now.
- Have a flexible schedule. In your mind, or written down, create a schedule that fits into the natural flow of your family. For example after breakfast my kids play for a bit while I get myself ready and do some cleaning, unload the dishwasher and dryer, then we start school work about 10. If weather permits we have lunch outside before quiet time, momma needs a nap and time to herself! Then we have the afternoon to play games, go for a walk, snuggle and watch a movie… This morning I was writing this post so we didn’t get to school work until well past 10:30, but we were flexible and resumed what we needed to do after quiet time and snuggling while watching Hook. We have a lose schedule but don’t worry of it doesn’t go as planned.
- Try to get outside every day, the fresh air does wonders for moods and if you can get your body moving at the same time, it’s an extra bonus!
- Make time for yourself. My kids watch an hour of TV in the morning so I can meditate, read scriptures, and take a walk before meeting the demands on me. And I take an hour during the day to nap or just relax by myself. If my cup is full, or full-ish, then I’m able to give to my loved ones more and handle the unknown before us better.
I also wanted to share this read-a-thon sheet I made for my family, in case it will help yours! We decided to see how many books we could read while social distancing ourselves, and made rewards for the goals we set. We made goals like going to the children’s museum, getting milk shakes, and going to the movie theater for 25, 50, and 100 books. All fun things we can do when the world goes back to normal, or at least our new normal! We’ve done it for a few days and are realizing we will far surpass our goals, which is great! I’ll just print out more sheets and we’ll see how far we can go! Maybe we’ll even make a bigger goal if we need more motivation, but so far so good! Click here for a copy for your family.
Above all remember that no one is crushing this time in our lives. Everyone is uncertain and stumbling around trying to do the best they can. No one expects you to be perfect. No one expects this to be easy. And everyone is just trying to do their best, which might look very different from your best. And that’s ok too. It’s ok to just be doing ok. And it’s ok to be enjoying this time with your loved ones. Just remember that you are enough exactly the way you are!