We are a few months into quarantine, and I wish I could say that we have completely settled into our routine. News flash, we have not! Adjusting to our new normal has definitely been “interesting” and if I have learned anything in these past few months, it is to prioritize and to lower my standards!
Now when I say lower my standards, I don’t mean totally giving up and shouting at my kids all day (which I have done). I’m also not suggesting that you should let your work, your kids school work, life or the laundry pile up. I’m just saying give yourself some grace and a whole lot of patience during quarantine! No one expects you to perform at your usual levels during this period of social-distancing. So stop putting so much pressure on yourself! You will lose it, you will feel overwhelmed and you will feel anxious. But you will also feel JOY! I promise! Just remember to take a moment to experience the joy with your kiddos, your spouse and even experience it alone!!
I do have a few tips and tricks that have been very helpful for my family during quarantine. They have saved my sanity more than once, and we are making memories in the process. My tricks are nothing you don’t already know, but the reminders will hopefully help to you to manage the chaos and find the JOY.
Finding Joy in Quarantine
1. Get Outside! Fresh air is like a reset button for me and my kids! Go on Scavenger Hunts, play on your swing set or trampoline, create an obstacle course, find a local beach, go on a bike ride or a simple walk around the block could be all you need. Also embrace sensory play and the mess, you are outside! My girls could play for hours in our mud kitchen, and they love our water table and any kind of sensory play- it’s a lot less “scary” when we are outdoors! This is the perfect quarantine break!
2. When You’ve Got a Crab Throw Them in the Water – A good friend once gave me the best parenting advice ever! When my girls are crabby, it is off to the bubble bath we go! There is something so soothing about pouring water in different cups and playing tea party in the tub! Your kids will be happy, they are getting clean and you can enjoy a cup of coffee while overseeing spa time =)
3. Make “I’m Bored Baskets”– I created an inside and an outside basket for my kiddos so the minute I hear “I’m Bored” I point them to the baskets. They have been a life saver for us. My girls aren’t bored, they just need ideas. The Inside Basket has bracelet making supplies, Aqua beads, puzzles, activity books, paint supplies, etc. and the Outside Basket has water beads, sensory bin/water table activities, chalk, bubbles, etc.)
4. Use Technology to Keep in Touch– Yes, I said use technology! Now more then ever it is SO important for us to keep in touch with the people we love! So plan those Zoom calls with extended family. Utilize FaceTime and download FB Messenger to help your kids to keep in touch. My oldest has been having virtual dance parties with her friends and story time with the grandparents is another favorite.
5. Be Silly With Your Kids!– This is my final tip for quarantine! It is so easy for me to get caught up in ALL the things that “I have to do” that I admittedly often forget to just have fun and be silly. Try to remember that sometimes the chores, and even dinner can wait. Go ahead and let your guard down and be silly with your kids. Have a dance party, build a fort, create a marching band out of pots and pans, or play hide and seek and “the Floor is Lava”. Your kids will remember the fun and there will be JOY in quarantine!