I can't even begin to imagine what life is like for some of you. There you were, making gains at work. Climbing ladders and generally being the Queen everyone else wished they could be. Snap. Just like that, the life you had built was turned upside down. Those babies that you wept over leaving as tiny squishes are now under your feet all day while you do your best to keep grinding that stone. You are half loving getting to see more of them, and half exhausted, and half as productive, and half a step away from losing your mind. Entirely aware that 4 halves equal two of you. And as much as you try, you can not be two of you at the same time. Oh, Momma. My heart is aching for those of you now trying to juggle so many breakable glass balls.
So how are you going to do it? How are you going to be Mom and colleague at the same time? How do you survive quarantine with small children? Here in our relaxed homeschool environment, we have some things that regularly fill our days. I hope they help you through this time.
Start keeping every single box Amazon delivers. Throw them in a corner of your house that can coexist with crayons, construction paper, and STICKERS!!! Really all the school supplies. Kids with free access to materials can be amazingly creative! Now shut the bedroom door. Drink your coffee.
Look around your kitchen for stuff you would just as soon throw out. Do you have Tupperware with no lid? Check. Non-stick pans that are starting to scratch and need to be replaced? Check. Silverware that doesn't match the rest of the group? Where do those spoons even come from???? Check. Clean tin cans from last night's beans? Throw those in a spot in the backyard that doesn't need to be cleaned up at the end of the day. Now. Go to your pile of mismatched socks. Take them all and dump them in the backyard with the mismatched kitchen supplies. Don't ask why. Just try it. Kids are weird. Then fill up a bucket kind of like this one and leave the hose in there on a slow stream. Leave out a bunch of bananas and lock the door. Hungry? Great! Point to the bananas through the window and get back to work. Thirsty? That hose is a time honored tradition. Relax. This class is called American History 101, kids.
#3 Sidewalk chalk, shaving cream and dry erase markers
Handwriting is far more entertaining when you are using a dry erase marker in the bath tub. (CAREFUL! Check your tub, tile and walls first. Don't find a spot that is tricky to clean after the kids have covered it in ABC's.) Spelling is far more entertaining in shaving cream on the tile floor, and math problems in the sunshine with sidewalk chalk can be a beautiful memory made during this crazy time. #3 is less about these three materials and more about the uniqueness of the experience. Reading again? Try it in a fort this time, or in the bathtub with blankets and pillows, or in a corner in Mom's closet.
Food happens all day long. Allowing them face to face, special time while doing this necessary function will not just teach them essential skills, it will feed their attention bucket too. A child with a full belly and a full attention bucket is a much more pleasant beast.
Okay. I know what you're thinking. "This is suppose to be making my life easier!" Stay with me. Grab yourself one of those picnic table cloths and spread it out on your table first. They already ate bananas, so stick a bag of mandarin oranges in the middle of the table this time. Solve the hungry problem before they complain. Keeping blood sugar levels from crashing goes a long way toward keeping a house with kids in it pleasant.
Now is the absolute perfect time to teach your kiddo to ride a bike! The weather is perfect and the parks are closed. So get that kid out of the house and walk around the block with them. Those walls are sure to be closing in on you too! Sunshine will help everyone's mood. I wrote a while ago about teaching your young child to ride a bike. Hop on over and give it a read if it this your first time with this wonderful experience.
Hopefully this list of go-to's is helpful... I've thrown some links down here in case there was anything that sparked an idea for you. I am praying for you and yours, Mommas. You can do this! You can survive quarantine with small children! Stay safe. #Quaranteam
I hope our experiences inspire your own,
Blessings to you all,
Buckets and Berries