Isolating with Kids: week 6 of Staying Home
I’ve been having quite a few wonderful guests on the blog lately as I haven’t been able to put words to how I am feeling. I don’t know what to say about this time that hasn’t already been said by someone else and better than me. Also what has been working for us during this time might not work for someone else. I am acutely aware that while these days have been challenging on many levels, we are in a much safer position than many others.
I also know that most of the time seeing how other people are spending their time these days gives me ideas and inspiration. Every now and then at a very low moment I can be envious or resentful of other people’s highlights during isolation. But I am able to check myself and remember that I don’t know the whole story. And just because they are having a perfect moment and i am falling apart doesn’t mean I won’t have a perfect moment later (“having a perfect moment” trademark of my friend Erin).
Anyway, I thought I would share some thoughts here in the hopes that they will provide some ideas for your time isolating. And if you are having a hard time, I get it. Find your own way through this and please feel free to ignore my ideas.
I get dressed every morning, but that’s just me. I did that even with a newborn. It’s just what I need to do to keep going. Beyond that I have set homeschooling expectations very low and instead focused on trying to keep spirits high (with myself and the kids). Mainly I am trying to work on manners and tidying up after themselves since we have never spent this much time at home. At the end of this if they pick up after themselves a bit more and put lids on the markers I will feel like I did something good ;).
Staying in the moment
Probable the biggest lesson I need to learn in life is to be in the moment. And here we are again, well I know we’ve never been sheltering at home during a pandemic before, but what I mean is, here is another lesson in my life to teach me to live in the moment. I’ve stopped checking in on the news everyday and more importantly trying to not think about the way things used to be or worry about what the future will be. It all feels so out of our control right now. When will I work again? What will work look like? When will schools reopen? I try to stop these thoughts when they start so that I can focus on the tasks at hand. Which is mainly feeding kids, making crafts and hollering at them to keep their distance when are out for walks.
Crafts aren’t for everyone but my kids just love them. I try to find crafts by searching for the materials we have on pinterest like “egg carton craft” or “toilet roll craft”. I also get inspired on instagram by other families. I totally get if this isn’t your thing but turns out it’s ours. And when I have no ideas left I am so relieved I have a weekly class now from Collage Collage as I’m missing their shop. You can watch a video of one of their beloved classes and the kids can make the craft along with the video. Here’s the link if you want to try, at $10 a class it’s a steal to me. I’ll try and share where and how we store our art supplies soon but we mostly use recycling along with some construction paper, paints, felt, markers and googly eyes. I ordered the third kid art book today actually, details of how to save and honour kids art without all the clutter over here.
Wide Open Spaces
We are lucky that in Vancouver we can still get outside as long as we keep our distance. This can be challenging with little kids. I find neighborhood walks are not the easiest as our surrounding streets are still quite busy. I’ve taken to driving to wide open spaces like larger parks and empty beaches to get us all the fresh air we need. And for a break from the constant tidying.
I think bike rides would be a great option but we haven’t quite gotten our act together. My bike was recently stolen from our parkade, so we are in the process of figuring out the best option for family bike rides. We are considering an electric bike to be able to haul Mae. Also the emptier streets seems like a good time to get Theo learning the rules of the road.
Honestly this has been really tough as it feels like I can’t escape to any of the places I normally would when I need a break from our small space and the family (that sounds bad but I’m just talking about working at a coffee shop, going for a workout or visiting a friend). What’s been helping a bit is going for a solo run (though I much prefer running with a friend). Locking myself on the patio during bedtime and letting Trevor take over. And like a quaratine cliché, having the house smell nice by lighting a candle or having the diffuser on, fresh flowers and putting on this face mask.
Also one gift of this time has been that our patio, which is normally quite loud from passing traffic has been a much quieter oasis for us these days. I’m finding myself outside a lot attempting to garden. And when I can’t get myself out of my own funk, I find dropping grocery store flowers for friends helps get me out of my own head.
Hang in there friends. Our world has changed, some for the good and some not. And we will get back to our new “normal” soon. Hope you can find some peaceful and perfect moments amidst the uncertainty. Be safe. xx