I’d really hoped to share a big adventure with you guys this week because we’ve managed to stay busy thus far through all the COVID-19 madness, but instead, I wanted to step back, breathe, and address the bigger picture at hand. I’ll admit that I was among the disbelievers at first. I thought it was a blown out of proportion, and I will still say that I believe the media is perpetuating panic at an extreme level, but I get it. This is serious. This is something we all have to play our part in mitigating and, as such, we’re adapting. As schools, sports, restaurants, and more close, we’re doing our best to help flatten the curve. So begins our tale of social distancing, parenting & how to make it work.
Social Distancing, Parenting & How to Make it Work
Create a Schedule That Works for You
If you’re like me, you’ve seen all the homeschool/home play schedules floating around. Truth be told, these schedules are not one-size-fits-all, especially with different age ranges, different work scenarios, and more. Find what works for you. For some, that might mean school in the morning, center time in the afternoon, screen time while a parent takes calls or works, lunch, etc. It is okay to be flexible, and it is okay that not every schedule will work for your situation. Right now, we still have daycare, and I’m still employed for the time being. But I’m being smart. While taking calls, I’m cleaning. I’m prepping school practice books. I’m planning reading time in the evening. Find your schedule and adapt as needed.
Get Some Fresh Air
I can’t stress this one enough. While I don’t recommend playground play and a mingling, I do recommend taking advantage of sunshine and warmer temperatures. If you can go on a local solitary hike, do it. If you can jump on your trampoline, or have a picnic in the backyard, do it. One of my dear friends took the time to create a scavenger hunt for her kiddos outside, perfectly merging school and play into that “unschooling” vibe, offering the best of both worlds. I’ve mentioned it before, but I believe the great outdoors cures all. Find time to breathe it in.
Practice Social Distancing Within Reason
It’s a natural reaction for your immediate reaction to social distancing to err on the side of anxiety and fear. But it’s important to note that social distancing and isolation are two different things. Social distancing is defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance from others whenever possible.” Isolation and quarantine are specifically designated to separate those who are sick from those who aren’t. We are embracing social distancing, but not taking non-essential trips, being mindful about outside contact, and not partaking in voluntary activities that might expose us and others – further. We are not isolating ourselves. We see our neighbors, we walk the neighborhoods, etc., we are just being proactive and smart.
Take Breaks, Have Fun & Set Boundaries
Throughout this time, it’s important to know that, like the aforementioned schedules, things will have to adapt. There will be an ebb and flow. Find what works for you. If your nerves are frayed. Take a step back. Take a break. Refocus. Set healthy boundaries to avoid boredom and monotony, create personal space. Find a new normal that works for you. There can be fun amidst the chaos, and I’m doing my best to embrace the idea of being a backyard tourist – and can’t wait to share our little local adventure tomorrow.
I hope that wherever you are in the world, you’re staying safe, healthy, and smart through all of this chaos – because I do believe the upswing will come soon. In the meantime, focus on what you can control. Instead of panicking, try praying. Instead of hoarding, try helping. Instead of bemoaning, try being the good. This, too, shall pass, my friends.