Quarantining with kids is not for the faint-hearted!
We're here to tell you, it's COMPLETELY normal for you to feel overwhelmed sometimes, and perhaps a little desperate. This seems like an impossible task, because, well, it is!
There is hope, however. If you can steer clear of these five big mistakes that parents make, you can make your life a whole lot easier.
Disclosure: For your convenience, we've included some affiliate links below, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Win win!
Mistake #1: Trying To Entertain Your Kids All Day
We are officially relieving you of the made-up event planner position you created for yourself. The pressure is off! It's not your job to entertain your kids all day long.
In fact, letting them get bored and find things to do on their own is how they'll develop their creativity and imagination, as well as inner motivation and resourcefulness. If your kids are bored and you allow them to sit with that for awhile, you're doing your job! Getting through the initial whines can be tough, but with some practice, you'll find the peace and quiet on the other side.
Instead of entertaining them all day, try the Together - Apart Schedule. For more details on what it is, check out our blog post "How the Together-Apart Schedule Can Save Your Sanity."
Mistake #2: Cooking & Planning All Your Meals.
Uh-uh, sister (or brother). Put the pots and pans away. Step out of the kitchen.
At the very least, choose one day per week that you will get carry out from your favorite local restaurant. Pick up donuts on Sunday morning. Order pizza Friday night. Pick up your favorite fresh salad with curbside delivery options. Order heat & eat options from local businesses like The Real Good Life.
Just. Stop. Cooking.
If you don't mind the cooking, but just need a little variety in your meals, sign up for a meal plan with a service like Hello Fresh.
The point is, preparing, serving, and cleaning up three meals a day is A LOT. Give yourself a break!
Mistake #3: Doing All The Cleaning Yourself.
We're spending a whole lot of time, er, all our time, at home, so it'd be nice if it were *mostly *clean at least some of the time. But as the saying goes, "Cleaning a house while you're kids are there is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos." Or something like that.
Enlist your kids. Kids actually enjoy being invited into our world and being taught how to do the things we do.
Kids of any age can help you with the chores. Younger kids can help dust, fold towels, and wipe down windows. Older kids can help sweep, vacuum, and do the dishes. You can even teach them how to do their own laundry. Check out our blog post "8 Ways to Spring Clean With Your Kids Today."
Not going to happen in your house? Fine. I hear you.
Get a machine to do it instead. A Roomba will glide around your floors all day, and you won't have to look at all that dirt, wondering when you'll get around to sweeping and mopping.
Mistake #4: Feeling Guilty About Screen Time.
People. We're in a pandemic! A real live, actual global pandemic. More screen time than usual is fine.
Of course, it should ideally be balanced with plenty of time outdoors and creative play time. But after your kids have run around, gotten their healthy dose of fresh air, done their school work, played pretend, made a craft, and asked you for twelve snacks, you can bet you're all ready for some glorious screen time.
For extra guilt-free screentime, ABCMouse offers learning games, a library of books, singalongs, and more.
Mistake #5: Not Having Enough Crafts & Books On Hand
Consider this your reminder to restock your perler beads, buy a new set of playdoh, and take advantage of the library's curbside pickup. There's nothing like a new art project or book to make the day go more smoothly.
Need some craft basics? Head to Crayola. They have loads of DIY craft videos for at-home, plus water-colors, paints, crafts kits, and more.
Subscriptions to kids' magazines like Highlights will totally make your child's day when they arrive in the mailbox, and engage them with self-guided learning.
What other mistakes would you add? We'd love to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured on our social media.