Remember when I said I was going to be making the most of this lockdown? How adorable was I?! This is about SURVIVAL.
We’ve been in self-isolation for almost a month now. There have been the expected highs and lows, times when I’ve felt totally in control and times where I’ve felt completely out of control. We’ve hit abandoned trails in the nearby woods to break free and I’ve hit our dining room table in frustration and nearly broke my hand. All things being equal, we’re just trying to maintain sanity at this point. Here are the things keeping us sane with two high stress/demanding jobs (and an equally demanding 6 year old) during our shelter-in-place days.
Going for walks. Admittedly, we did this more in the first two weeks than the last two, but I can’t tell you how vital this has been for our mental health. Yes, sometimes we bring the iPad so wee man can use Pokemon Go around the neighborhood, but I can’t tell you what a relief it is to just move your legs and get some fresh air. Even on a conference call this week, I did laps back and forth in my driveway. My neighbors probably think I’m nuts, but I swear I could think more clearly when outside of the “war room” that used to be our dining room.
Exercising. This one is more my husband than myself, but he has found sanity in using the Peloton every morning where as I’m a once/twice a week kind of gal. I’ve been more dedicated to wee man’s phys ed lessons during this whole homeschooling process. When I can keep up, I get an Oreo. Win-win. Plus, see “Going for walks” above — totally counting that as exercise.
Turning everything into a lesson, because I suck at homeschooling. There is a reason I didn’t become a teacher…I HATE teaching. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Since he’s in Kindergarten, there is no virtual learning — it’s a hot mess of 14 worksheets a day with ME as a teacher while juggling 14 hours of work some days. So when we play with the Nerf guns in the backyard to see who can make it closer to the shed, and go looking for the darts, I turn that into an addition and subtraction lesson. Or some of the science experiment-related Kiwi Crates we’ve been hoarding (read: he’s had no interest and they were a gift), breaking those bad boys out like crazy — and he LOVES them. Or again, walking through the woods and talking about why the leaves fall, how the seasons change or how differently-sized bodies of water are called different things – or using an Aerogarden to talk about photosynthesis. Learning how to make change playing Monopoly or even reading the subtitles on Pokemon Shield! He’s engaged and he’s learning…period.
Everything is new again – revisiting old toys or ones never played with. Much like the Kiwi Crates, we are rediscovering all kinds of toys that haven’t been played with in a while or, in some cases, never. The Smart Pixelator? Suddenly obsessed, and supplementing the art component of school he misses so much. A noise maker that recreates sounds that only small boys (and probably grown up ones) would appreciate, which he sneaks into a room (usually while one of us is on a conference call) and sets off. Hard to be mad when his diabolical genius is shining so brightly there.
Facetime/Zoom/Social Media…for everyone. My parents. My in laws. My girlfriends from college. Wee man and his little girlfriend from school having a virtual lunch. A virtual happy hour with colleagues. While I loathe Facebook, it has been an amazing place for my son’s school’s parents to commiserate and joke about identifying odd objects that should either start or end with the letter m. We can still be social despite the social distance.
Making my home my sanctuary. Life was so busy before the pandemic, that my home was more of a place to drop my things and think about on the weekend (if I had the time). I bought a fire pit and a s’mores kit. Why did I not do these things earlier?! We broke out cornhole and set up a badminton/volleyball net. We’re going on treasure hunts around the yard, searching for clues that may lead us to gold (or Robux, which has a value higher than gold in this house). No closets have been cleaned or organized as a result of this pandemic, but we’re having a blast outside!
Honorable mentions? Alcohol and a sense of humor. I’m thankful for both, as was my hurt hand.