With lockdowns happening pretty much everywhere, how do you survive a family quarantine?
This year it’s the coronavirus but who knows what the future holds. If you have kids, this can be an especially harried time for you. My kids will fight from the time they get into the car at pick up until they fall asleep snuggled next to each other. Handling this for a couple hours is hard but all day because of a family quarantine? Yeesh.
The lockdown has already happened where we live and I knew that it was just a matter of time after the stats for the coronavirus kept going higher. While no one under 18 is dying, kids are the carriers of germs so it’s scary if you’re an immunocompromised parent or grandparent–your kids could literally be the carriers of germs that could harm you. Because of this, I’m 100% here for the family quarantine–let me keep my babies home to make sure that they aren’t being exposed to anymore germs than necessary!
But let’s be real here: having children home all day everyday for a non-distinct amount of time can be overwhelming. As I read the memo cancelling our schools, I slightly freaked out. Yes, I know that it wasn’t that long ago that we were homeschooling and rocking it. But it was also not that long ago that we stopped homeschooling because I needed more balance in my life. Instead of freaking out, I came up with a plan.
How To Survive A Family Quarantine
Be Real With Your Kids
Depending on how old your kids are, they may already know about the coronavirus. Just because they know doesn’t mean the conversation shouldn’t be had. Give them the facts about what’s happening, how it can affect them and share your feelings about it as well. For example, I’m not really worried that we’ll contract it but I am concerned about the impacts on the economy–particularly on small business owners. This is something that I’ve shared with them because they should know. Also, open the floor for any questions they may have. Right now, our schools don’t know if when we’ll be heading back to school but we’re out for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Create A Plan of Attack
When I was homeschooling, I would often get overwhelmed if I was just “winging” it–this is not eyeliner. In your plan, make sure that you include these things:
- How much time do you need to get work done?
- How will you make sure that you’re taking care of your health?
- What activities will you be doing during the day?
- Are you going to have structured days or will you be freestyling it?
One of the things that I really urge you to do is factor in how you’re going to take care of you–your mental and emotional. Make sure that you have your go-to’s for how you’re going to manage the stress of being surrounded all.the.time.
Set Up Expectations
Sit down as a family and map this out. What expectations do you need to have and share with your family for success? Do they have expectations that need to be met too? One of the things that triggers my anxiety is the entire house being a mess so during our meeting we all agreed that we would work together as a family to clean the communal spaces every evening so we were able to start fresh together. Setting up the expectations allows everyone to be on the same page which makes things way better.
Put Together A Schedule
Honestly, I hate schedules–I much prefer routines. But since they are in school and will be going back to school, I don’t want to disrupt things. I confirmed with them loosely what their schedules were at school and we put together our own. Our schools have kept us up to date with assignments and what the kids are working on via Class Dojo. Using the assignments plus some supplemental work from Education.com and other resources we’ll be reviewing some of the materials that they’ve been struggling with as well.
Since consistently adding pieces to my home gym, I’ve been super active. Ok, not super active but way more than I was before. The girls are dancers and BC is, well, busy. Keeping them active is not only necessary for our health but it’s also a key piece that was missing from our homeschool days. There are some really great free videos on YouTube for yoga and barre. And we’ll be taking walks as long as the weather permits. Make sure this is part of your plan of action!
Make Time For Fun
Coronavirus is scary–there’s no denying that. And having your kids home all the time can be overwhelming and trigger your anxiety sending you into flight or fight mode. When that happens to most, there’s no room for fun–just survival. I implore you to have a couple things that you think are fun planned out. Is sitting in the sun having tea fun? Do it. Painting with the kids? Grab the brush. Get out of your head and make space for smiles. It’s ok to have a great time while surviving.
I’m in therapy now for help with this. Boundaries are something I struggle with in the most major way. If I can’t show up every time at the exact moment someone needs me, I feel extreme guilt. But here’s the thing: boundaries are healthy. Teaching your children about boundaries is healthy. Holding others accountable to the boundaries that are set is healthy. Set the boundaries that you need and then enforce them.
Check In On Others
This is a hard time for EVERYONE. It’s a struggle to worry about the world. Many of us are like Chicken Little are internally screaming, “THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!” It isn’t falling. Yet. Don’t hide away, reach out to your friends and check on them. But while you’re checking in on them, share how you are too. Community is so needed at this time. We don’t normally live close to relatives and our support systems like we used to so people may not feel the most comfortable reaching out if they need help. You reach out. Check in on them. It’s good for you.
These are trying times. Watching the numbers skyrocket for those afflicted with the virus is scary. Remember that you aren’t alone in this and that many of us are scared too. I hope this guide on family quarantine helps you and you share it with others.