When I found out that school was cancelled a couple days ago and the kids weren’t going to be back for 4 weeks, my first thought was we gotta go somewhere! (It’s vacation time). And then I quickly realized that was not in fact the case and it is all about social distancing and playing a part on stopping the spread of this crazy virus.  

Then I went straight into panic mode because I have been working from home for 3.5 years and the days off of school can be difficult because I am losing some productivity with my work as a result without planning. I have always felt like I needed to entertain the kiddos which involves eating out, going fun places, visiting stores, and everything but staying home in the past!

So many thoughts racing through my mind and trying to find the silver lining in all of it. 

I am forced to think differently and my oh my, I am thankful to have this as a wake up call right now.

First, instead of eating out, I  am taking the opportunity to cook with my kids, prepare meals with them, and teach them more about cooking and baking. Tori (my oldest) is taking cooking at school so maybe she can even teach us a thing or too!  She has already baked cookies and it was a perfect way to keep her busy!  We have a recipe book that we have made and we will have the kids type things out to practice their typing skills and add to our recipe book.

It is easy to have our kiddos glued to their devices and the TV right now, so much to watch!  There are shows, movies, social media to scroll and more so easily available. I am guilty too of doing it all!! Instead, we ordered items from amazon this morning to keep their minds sharp like puzzles, legos, art supplies, books and more. They helped pick out all of these things and there will be time dedicated to doing this daily.

Playing outside is an option in the backyard for the kids even in the rain!  At first, I was hesitant to have the kids go outside in the rain but if they are bundled up and in their rain gear, why not let them go outside? It isn’t often that we let the girls just stomp in puddles or play in the rain and today, I am all for it for the fresh air and they can just hop in the shower right after.

Something else that I am going to do is have them journal about this experience, what they did for the day and how they are feeling.  In fact, writing is calming for me and I will be doing the same thing. It may help us all to express how we are feeling at the moment.

I will throw music on and have dance parties because that always makes things better!  I will have them use their creativity making videos and let them take all the blankets and make forts. Maybe they can learn how to do something new too on YouTube and instead of watching shows, pick up a new hobby. We have a couple instruments that have never been touched and I am going to see how much they can learn from watching a “how to” video.

Cleaning can be on the list. Probably not their favorite….(LOL) but instead of calling it cleaning, how about organizing?  I have a lot of closets, shelves, and a pantry that could use some love!  If I treat it like a project, maybe it would be something we look forward to?! I could certainly use the help! 

The kids can FaceTime their friends and write positive and encouraging letters to friends and family.  I want them to continue to foster relationships and be in contact with people. In fact, I am going to be doing the same!  I am looking forward to getting a bunch of moms together on a call!

Yesterday the kids set up a little indoor soccer in the house, I loved it.  The girls were working together (for a period of time) and being creative. I am going to be ok with a little game of catch in the house (in the right places) while it rains.

This could be a fun time to talk about self care too!  There are tons of exercise videos online and in apps.  Do it solo or with your family.  My girls have both been doing soccer for years and missing about 3-4 practices a week with games and all being cancelled currently.  There are so many coaches online sharing advice and even their own soccer clubs giving homework.  There are so many resources to keep skills sharp! 

I know that St. Patrick’s Day is coming and no matter what the age, there’s no doubt that my girls would have some fun making some Leprechaun traps with using what we already have at home. I plan on all of us still wearing green that day, sharing my experiences visiting Ireland, sharing pictures and even making grandma’s Irish Soda Bread. I’m excited to have an opportunity to share some history and experiences while they learn more about their heritage.

I am going to set up a schedule that includes all the above and maybe even more, because let’s face it……a lot of this is easier said than done but you know what? My kids are craving the structure and excited about the days to come because I have embraced this and I am having them help me create the schedule to get their buy in too. 

And by the way, that schedule will for sure include what I am going to do daily so that I can still be productive with work and not go nuts too!  I am looking forward to staying on top of it all (as much as I can) with a schedule.

I can see how this is already opening my eyes to new ideas and helping me see how this can help our family so much.  I know that my girls will fight with each other, I know I am going to push their buttons and they will push my buttons too, but this entire experience doesn’t have to be bad.  There will be tough times with this, no doubt, but what could come from this all could be pretty amazing. And you better believe I am going to be documenting it daily to give new ideas and a fresh perspective of it all!

If you want some tips on what to do while home with the kids, head to momonthegogo on instagram and go to momonthegogo.com, give your email there and I will send you more information on tips, how to stay productive and be a part of this community that we are all in together.

Be safe, stay healthy and may this be something that we learn from!

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