Except for when mom guilt has completely overtaken me, on a good day I would consider myself a super mom. You know, the one who more or less has managed to cope with the kid, work, household, spouse, life. The lesson I have recently learnt, however, is that the real challenge begins not when the day is normal. But rather when we have to spend a long time at home with our loved ones. These are my tips how to survive the quarantine with the kids & the spouse and stay sane.
# 1 “ZONE” THE FLAT
Since last week, my husband and I have been working from home. This experience has often been interrupted by some occasional noises. For instance when the beloved kiddo’s voice soars happily while watching “Peppa Pig”, snoring happily and giggling to tears after that… Or when she does her taekwondo exercises leaping with the heavy step of Yeti on the verge of triggering an earthquake leading to a new “Big Bang”. Well, that is about time to sit down as a family and draw a plan of how to urvive the quarantine together. You can start by defining imaginary zones at home for various activities.
For example, there are several existential zones in our place and everyone has made a promise to respect them. If the promise is broken, the offender will be tickled by the two victims. Thus, our “zoning” consists of the following: a work zone, a sleep zone, a snack area, a play area, and an exercising area.
Of course, for each parent, the toilet remains an unconditional oasis, in which an incidental conversation could be held without the sound of a herd of antelopes crossing the living room. No need to say the importance of having a key on the door. At home, alas, the key (God knows why) is missing and the oasis is often unexpectedly invaded. However, extreme circumstances call for extreme conversations, long negotiations and multiple explanations with the wee ones why this should NOT happen again. Now, I realize that this applies for kids at the age of 3+. If your kiddo is younger, I can only send you a virtual salute and wish you strong nervous system and a clear mind.
# 2 ENTERTAINMENT FOR KIDS
Two of the major challenges of surviving the quarantine are (1) staying sane and (2) in good relationships with the other family members. So plan different activities in advance to keep your kids engaged for at least a fraction of the day. This can be:
- painting and coloring
- arranging puzzles
- building with Lego and MegaBlocks
- active books with letters/words and numbers
- Netflix with educational movies
- creating a castle from some cardbox long forgotten in the closet
- arranging toys and leaving aside those with whom the child decides not to play anymore (because they are for younger children or are no longer of interest to them)
- a virtual tour of some of the most magnificent museums in the world
- making homemade playdough and slime and playign with them
- carrying out science experiments with things you have at home
(it is advisable for you to participate too)
decorating for Easter (12 April – UK; 19 April – Bulgaria)
making cards for Mother’s Day (March 22)
# 3 ENTERTAINMENT FOR ADULTS
Do you remember all the things you dreamt about while you were at work, but somehow there was never time left for them? Now is the time to indulge in home comfort and unfulfilled desires. You can start with some of the following:
- Read the book you have started at least 3 times in the last month
- Enroll in an online course at one of the top universities in the world for FREE
- Indulge in common activities with the family – conversations, games, cooking, movie nights
- Arrange the cabinets
- Clean the apartment
- Take a nap
- Arrange the wardrobe and make new outfit sets for the days following the quarantine
- Learn to draw with YouTube lessons
# 4 ONLINE TRAINING
If you manage to get more sleep than you usually get in the non-quarantine daily routine , I promise that your soul will scream for movement. Do not panic – online training comes to the rescue. This is your star moment to rediscover an old favorite sport, get to know a new one, or even progress in training and reach new heights.
My husband and I often train at home together and sometimes even our 4 year old daughter joins us. Get family workouts with mini races and impromptu rewards. This will bring tone and color to your daily routine.
# 5 VIRTUAL SOCIAL CONTACTS
Another critical component of having a good mental state is staying connected to human beyond those in your home. This is where technology comes to the rescue.vCall old friends and loved ones who you otherwise rarely talk to and see.
Children, as one of the most active social beings, will need the same. Let them be more active in the social networks – inspire them to create content on Instagram or Snapchat sharing their experiences and tips with friends. Younger children may be included in video conversations with friends and family.