We are in uncharted (for our times) territory. Never have we been asked to isolate like this. This means that there are a LOT of parents at home, all the time, with their children. It’s something they’ve likely never experienced. If you have never had the pleasure (sarcasm) of not being able to take a break from your children because there is nowhere to take them because nothing is open, you are very likely feeling the stress. And it is very, very likely you are scrambling for creative ways to get a damn break! So, I compiled a small list of things you can do. A bit of background on me, I have three kids, ages 14, 9, and 8. They’re pretty fun to be stuck with now. Now. But I experienced this whole isolation thing a bit when they were tiny toddlers and a second grader when a tropical storm rolled through and flooded everything. Nothing was open, there were no parks that were safe to go to, it sucked the life from my soul. As a result, I had to get creative. (Note, this is not the time to be super duper concerned about every second of their day. It’s just not.)
Put your headphones on and blast some music. They’re short, they’ll be okay for like 15 minutes.
Lay on the floor and let them race cars on your back. Are you away from them, no. Are you engaged with them, also no. Bonus: put out a bowl of goldfish and take a 15 minute nap. But not if your child is tiny.
Nap when they nap. Naps are the tits.
Read. Sit down with your book and when one of them tries to talk to you, tell them that you are having quiet reading time. Invite them to grab a book and do the same. No time like the present to start teaching boundaries. Parenting does not mean being at their beck and call.
Make a pillow fort. One for you. Not for them. Put a sign up. Bring your you snacks. Growl at anyone that tries to come in.
Join our group on Facebook or hit up the forums on here. We will listen, commiserate, and most importantly, not judge you for saying your toddler is a jackass. Because it’s true.
Take a long shower. Or bath. Whichever, but lock the door. Booze is optional.
Exercise. Find a fun new video on Youtube. Dance along with a music video. Move your booty.
Give up your rigid schedule, if that’s stressing you out. This is not the time for schedules, we are all just trying to survive.
Paint something, make something out of salt dough, be creative.
Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and write. Put pen to paper and write a page about things that are weighing on you. Write about how this has impacted your life. Write about how it has shifted your priorities. Or how it hasn’t. When you’re done, put it on the internet or don’t, but save it. Someday, you will look back and this will be a glimpse of history.
Use your kids like dolls. Dress them up, put them in scenes, take their pictures. (And then share them :))
Swear around the kids. Loudly. No one cares. Just don’t swear at them.
Get silly. Get sad. Get stressed. Get crabby. These are all normal reactions to what’s going on. Whatever you are feeling, feel it.
Self-care for parents of littles right now, we see you, we know it’s not easy, and your ‘me-time’ isn’t going to look the same for a while. Grab it where you can and lean on who you can while staying healthy. We love you.
It’s Monday, and for most of us that means going to work for the first time in 2 days. Ugh, right? I feel like that’s a fairly accurate statement.
Which leads to the awkward part for me; I legitimately enjoy Mondays. I like going to work. Again, not some freakish unicorn, I’ve worked hard to create a life that I don’t constantly want to escape.
I used to dread Monday like a bill collector, a root canal, or something else not fun. Now, I get to go to work and know that I’m helping. Now, I get to go to work but I leave it there, I don’t bring it home with me. Now, I am respecting my own boundaries so that I don’t burn out.
Plus, it’s like 50 degrees and sunny outside and that reminds me that brighter days are coming. They are. And I look forward to work.
I graduated from college with a bachelor of science in psychology in August, at the tender age of 38, with a goal of going to grad school.
Don’t read this and think that I’m some kind of weirdo with lots of self-confidence, because I’m really not. I studied, I worked, I did the whole parenting thing, and I commuted, and I graduated.
If that’s where my academic career ends I will be okay with it.
You see, I want to help people.
I’ve always been a helper and I see no reason for that to change now.
This time is different because this is like a real, adult career move. I want to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. When I look at society and all the things wrong with it, to me, it comes back to familial problems. And I want to help.
So, I asked for help (look at all the adult skills I’m using! give me a gold star!).
I asked a professor, a boss, a co-fish at the Band, and Aunt Becky to write my letters of recommendation. I’m going to frame them. (For real, if you ever wonder how others see you, ask them to write a letter like this for you, you will feel so damn good.)
And with those in hand, I hit submit.
On January 24, I received a call saying that I had earned myself an interview at said school!
And I am thrilled! And terrified!
And if I don’t get in, that’s okay. I will continue to help, and I will continue to find other ways to grow. Maybe I’ll become a yoga instructor. Or a professional chef.
Maybe I’ll go back to college and get a whole different degree in something completely different. I have no idea.
And I’m happy with that. Tell me some way you’ve challenged yourself to grow recently?
The Band is somewhere you can share all the things that you don’t feel safe sharing anywhere else. You know that. This week’s focus post is no different. We feel compelled to warn you all that this week is focused on a deep-set grief and may be triggering for some who are still deep in their own grief. For that reason, if you feel unable to process any more hurt, please, just for this Wednesday, look away. The writer’s pain is palpable and her words raw and we felt called to share it but not without much consideration. More on that later. Today, know that we care deeply for each person that visits the site and want you to take good care of yourselves.