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.
Do you have more ideas? Shout them out!