30 days at home. It sounds like a challenge you try for how to save money, or go on a diet, or declutter your home. In this 30 days I have learned more about our family and embracing the moments. It has been a reset for us that we didn’t know we needed.
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April 13th is our 30 days. 30 days my kids, my husband, and myself have been home. The time has flown by so fast. The days have turned into weeks, and they all sort of blend together. The only reason I know the date/day is because of our morning meeting white board.
This moment in time is history. It is something I never thought I would experience. I never thought I would see people wearing masks in the United States as the new normal. I never thought we would lose control of a situation and have no end in sight.
I never thought Disney World would close. I never thought schools would close. It is scary and surreal all at the same time. What will the new normal look like when this is over?
I am proud of how as a family we took this serious from the minute we heard about it. I knew that March 13th would be the kids last day of school, whether it closed or not. I was keeping them home.
I also know that it is not so easy for a lot of people. People are losing their jobs. The businesses they poured their hearts into are slowly slipping away.
This pandemic is affecting my business too. All of the hours and work have been washed away. We will be okay and come out on the other side, but it is difficult to stay positive.
I am thankful that we have a safe place to stay home. My husband has a secure job that he can work from home. We have access to essentials and all our basic needs are met. Staying home is the easiest thing we can do for the country.
I am grateful to the doctors and nurses dealing with this in the hospital and then coming home to their children. I can’t even imagine what that must be like.
I am grateful to the instacart drivers, target employees, and restaurants that are going out daily to keep us feeling a sense of normalcy in all of this.
I have good and bad days. Days where I am happy and positive because honestly, the days are good. We have a routine and have been enjoying this extra time together.
The bad days are when I watch the news and the sadness washes over me. So many lives gone. So many unknowns. There are moments where it feels so heavy.
I think having the kids home helps me get through. We need to put on a brave face for them. Help them get through it. Let them know we will be okay. Things will get better.
I wanted to share a few things that I have learned the last 30 days that have helped me see the positive in this situation that seems so chaotic.
Thoughts on 30 Days at Home
letting go of control
I’m type A. Always planning and having a detailed itinerary. I still do this a bit now but I have learned to let go of the need to control the situation. I have focused inward on what I can control and what we can do, and let go of the rest. This is not easy for me but it has saved me from feeling overwhelmed.
We love to travel together as a family and I don’t see that changing when this is all over but I do see us viewing it differently. I’ve loved that slowing down means we are enjoying the moments more. The quality over quantity of the moments has changed me.
I’ve read books with my kids, taken nature walks, and watched our favorite movies. All this without an end time or what’s next attitude. It’s nice to be in the moment and not worry about moving to the next thing.
we thrive on a routine
I know I mentioned letting go of control but as soon as I knew I would be home with the kids balancing my work, home, and school, I knew we needed a routine. We created a flexible routine that I have tweaked a bit the last few weeks.
Our Daily Routine:
- 6:00-8:40- Mom works in office. Kids eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, and are ready for meeting at 9.
- 9:00am-11:00am- School
- Morning Meeting-write date/day/weather on whiteboard and in journal
- 365 Journal-daily journal prompts for kids
- Math, ELA, Science/Social Studies, Educational Apps
- Any extra work the teachers may have sent.
- 11:00-12:00-Free Time/Chores/FaceTime/Family Walk
- 12:30-1:00- Imagineering in a Box
- 1:00-2:00- Finish any morning work/ 30 minute Reading time/Quiet time
- 2:00-3:15- Electronic Time
- 3:15-5:00-Free Time/Outside
- 5:00-9:00- Dinner/Showers/Movie/TV/Bed
This is a really flexible routine but starting our morning at 9:00 meeting together about the daily expectations has been a huge help. The kids have a chance to look at what assignments have been sent by their teachers and organize what needs to be done.
I have been trying to teach my 6th grader and 4th grader ways to organize all their stuff in a way that works for them. Writing it in their school planner has helped each day to make a check list of assignments. We have also been keeping their work in their school binders and journals to stay organized.
At the end of this I really don’t know what will be expected of them. Will the school want their work?
We have also made Friday afternoons special. Each Friday one of the kids picks a theme. We have done camping, sports, and movie day. We made s’mores, played Wii sports, and made the living room into a indoor drive-in.
We found websites and apps that are fun and engaging. Some for educational purposed and some for fun.
Websites and Apps We Like
- Dreambox (90 day free trial)
- Disney Magic Moments
- Prodigy (app)
- National Giraffic (app)
- Corning Museum of Glass YouTube videos
- Museum of Discovery & Science Center YouTube Videos
Five for the Road Articles and Videos
- 40 Creative Writing Ideas for Disney Movies
- Five for the Road YouTube Channel-New Videos Every Thursday!
- Rochester, NY Family Scavenger Hunt
- 150 Disney+ Movies and TV Shows to Watch this Year
everyone needs their space and time to process it
Just like the adults have questions and concerns, so do the kids. They are processing this and missing things just like we are. We are open with the kids about what is going on and talk about our concerns in an appropriate manner.
We limit the amount of news they watch because it affects them like it affects us. I have made time for more video calls with friends. I check in with them daily about how they are feeling, what they like, what they miss, what they want to do when this is over.
As much as they are missing, I try to focus on the good. This is still our lives. Whether we are going to school and work each day like we used to do, or schooling at home and going for walks around the neighborhood. Each day we have matters.
All these moments are part of our story and we can choose to embrace the time or not. I try to stay positive with my kids and look at it as bonus time we get together.
electronics are good….and bad
What an incredible time to have electronics! We can video chat with anyone we miss, we can meet with our classes and friends, assignments can be given online and the resources are endless. I am grateful we have access to all of this at home.
They also make the kids more tired, irritable, and unproductive. I see it in myself and them when we have been looking at our screens too long. Some days we are on longer than others and it is a daily struggle to figure out the right balance for us.
There is no perfect answer but I try to check in with them and see what they are doing on there, who they are playing with, and how it is affecting them.
I’ve also seen the three of them working together on building worlds in Minecraft and playing games together. It’s these moments that I am grateful for.
making time for priorities
I have always said I wanted to go for a walk everyday around my neighborhood but most days I have made excuses to not make it happen. We have walked 28 out of the 30 days since we have been home. It has been amazing to reconnect as a family and do something outside.
This simple 15 minute walk around our block is what I look forward to daily.
We have also made Sunday mornings our getting out of the house day. We hop in the car and go for a drive usually stopping at a park to get a change of scenery and some fresh air.
Our Sunday morning tradition is something I hope to continue even when this is all over. It has become a special time I look forward to.
Through all this we have celebrated my sons birthday. It was different than we imagined but it was still special. We had friends and family send video messages, we played games, and we ordered his favorite meal. It was a special day and he loved it.
He didn’t talk about what he missed. He is going to remember what he lived. How we made his day special.
We also had Hamilton tickets in Toronto. The date came and passed and we didn’t get to go. It was my daughters Christmas present and I felt terrible that she was missing it.
Instead of being sad we created a musical day. We sang karaoke, had a musical fashion show, and watched Newsies. It may not be the same but it was a special day.
This is unprecedented times for all of us. Things will be missed, and replaced with a different story. There will be good days and bad days. The best I can do is keep moving forward. Keep seeing the positive and know that we may come out of this with more kindness and a better perspective on what really matters.