Well, not actually anyway but it does feel like that. Much like the movie Ground Hog Day, except I’m not Bill Murray. Instead I’m Ned Ryerson getting punched in the face daily. BING!
Ok, it hasn’t been THAT bad, but it’s been an adjustment. As this is my first blog post and I’ve yet to write my bio/introduction, which I promise is coming soon, I’ll give you a quick background on myself. I’m approaching 39 very quickly. I live with my 3 children, ages 12, 8 and 6, along with my girlfriend/common law wife at this point and her soon to be 7 year old daughter. That’s sixth, 2nd, 1st and kindergarten for those keeping track at home.
We’ve had to learn to adapt quick, as we just all moved in together in a new house and COVID put us in the pressure cooker. The first week or two was much like semi-controlled chaos. Kids and dogs everywhere. Dishes making other dishes. Crayons in your sock drawer. Put that down. Pick that up. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Since then we’ve started pulling things together. My partner luckily teaches 2nd grade and we’ve brought some order back to our isolated lives. So I’ll give you some ideas what is working for us.
I can’t stress this enough. Without it, we run in circles picking up after mini versions of ourselves. While the kids always had their typical responsibilities, we needed to get more organized since we are now spending every minute of the day in the house.
We have a chore chart now with a list of daily tasks. Every week the lists rotate and they must complete the tasks on the list every day.
Set Bed Times and Wake Up Times
The temptation is there because we aren’t bound to an alarm clock to live every day like it’s the weekend. Don’t. Keep them *and yourself* to a semi decent bed time and wake up time. My 12 year old daughter would stay up all night TicToc’ing and not wake up until 11 otherwise. Keeping a semi normal schedule is vital, not only for bedtime, but for other activities in general including…
Before this madness started I bought a new wireless laser printer for the house because I anticipated the volume we would likely be printing. *Insert plug for the Canon model I purchased from Walmart here* Our kids get their assignments daily and I print out their packets. 860 pages later and counting… Being blessed with having a 2nd grade teacher for a partner, this is going well for us. She’s done a great job not only with her own online teaching, but keeping the kids on task and schedule. We like to have their work done by mid afternoon and keep them engaged in as many educational activities as we can.
For All the Other Times…
Get out and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We built a fire-pit in our backyard and love sitting around the fire listening to music and watching the kids roast marshmallows. We take daily walks around our development to get our mail and get our dogs out for a walk. We don’t want them wasting away on iPads and watching TV all day. We’ve had them do crafts, like painting some of the decorative rocks we have in our garden and just encourage them to get outside and play. My oldest daughter has learned to dribble a basketball between her legs and my youngest daughter found out she can throw a pretty good football spiral at 8 years old. My son runs around collecting magic wands and trying to conjure demons from the magical book of the Decedents. We do have family movie night often. We set up a relatively inexpensive projector and a blank wall and have our own Hi-Def movie theater with popcorn and the works. We’ve been watching a lot of Disney+ and classics like the Mighty Ducks and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids along with new releases like Onward.
Make time for you and your partner if you’re lucky enough to have one. Kids, dogs, messes and isolation has divorce lawyers licking their chops I’m sure. Don’t let the chaos get between what brought you together in the first place. Have a special dinner one night. Plan activities just the both of you and don’t let the kids, dogs and quarantine divide you.