These are stressful, scary, and strange times. As parents we are facing the overwhelming news of the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, which has led us all to self-isolate, practice social distancing, and quarantine with our kids. As a mom of two I’ve found the balance of staying informed without freaking myself out difficult, as I seek to entertain and enjoy my time with my kids at home. I think we are all probably experiencing similar things and maybe writing about it will help me and you too.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 I went to a doctor’s checkup and bought groceries for the next two weeks, and we’ve been isolated at home every since then without any in-person socialization. My husband and I decided to isolate ourselves because we had been exposed to large crowds of people the preceding Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. (We were having a busy week.) Plus, my daughter had a cough and low grade fever for a day, which is why she didn’t attend school on Thursday or Friday (she had Wednesday off).
So, as a precaution, we’ve been staying in and not seeing anyone. We’ve gone outside in the backyard and for walks on our street when it’s not raining (our streets are empty with no people), but it’s been hard to not see anyone or socialize at all. Normally, I do not mind taking time at home, but I think it’s the fear of getting people sick or becoming more ill that is scary. My daughter has since passed her cough to my husband and I, but neither of us has a fever. Is it just a regular cold or is it something more? These are the thoughts that freak me out.
Given all of this, I’ve noticed that my own stress levels about the growing epidemic and our health as a family (immediate and extended) directly affects my kids’ behavior and moods. I’m a pretty chill person, but I feel like their feeding off of my vibe, for lack of a better term. Haha.
I’m a very social person and while I love spending time with my girls and husband, I do miss talking and seeing friends and family, and having the freedom to workout and be out in the world. Texting and phone calls has helped a lot, but given how overwhelming the situation is with the spread of the virus, I definitely needed some new coping mechanisms. So I’m going to share them.
In our school district, we were told that we would receive some distance learning education materials. Unfortunately, that did not happen, but if any of you know me, I love school and working with kids, so I’ve taken this as an opportunity to have Mommy School. Each day I focus on a letter of the alphabet and plan lessons around it that bridge different subjects like math, reading, history, science, technology, art, geography, and music.
A little background… I’m not a professional teacher, just a writer and editor, but both of my girls attended cooperative preschools and I’ve worked as a tutor and school volunteer in the past, so I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from my own schooling experiences as well as those of my daughters. I also like crafts. 🙂
Anyway, planning my daughters’ education and maintaining a routine has been beneficial for all of us. It gives our days structure and we have a nice list of activities and things to talk about to enjoy together.
Having the alphabet theme guides me and makes things simple for my younger daughter who is four years old. The theme also works for my kindergartener because she likes finding connections between ideas and has been learning a similar method with the reading program at school. I’ve just taken it to apply to all of the subjects and have them intertwine a bit.
Over the weeks that we are home with the kids I plan to share what I’m doing with you. Four of my five aunts are teachers and the fifth one is home with her two girls too. They’ve been sending me resources that I’ll share with you all.
I’ll also be sharing what I’m doing for self-care. I’ve made it my mission over the last few months to take better care of myself, so I can’t let this upheaval of normalcy change that course.
I hope you find this to be a fun way to connect with me and inspire you if you need it. It’s brought some brightness and creativity to my time when the kids are asleep too. I tend to feel anxious at night and have a hard time sleeping due to worrying about family and friends becoming ill, but lesson planning helps distract me a bit.
Stay healthy, stay calm, and be creative!