Self-isolation. Hazmat suits. Empty grocery stores. Does anyone else feel like they've somehow fallen into an apocalyptic Hollywood movie?
But here's the thing. Sometimes, something good can come out of really tough stuff. And if the thought of being stuck at home with energetic children for weeks on end sounds like prison to you, read on!
Because there's another way to look at it. When the tyranny of the busy is broken, when we're not forced to rush from place to place, we actually gain freedom. Freedom to slow down, be present and invest in our children.
Whatever is to come over the next season, we've got three practical tips to help you turn self-isolation into a positive experience for you and your kids.
There's a very good reason why schools and kindergartens have daily and weekly schedules. When kids know what to expect each day, they are much calmer (and so are we!). In these times of daily change in circumstances outside the home, we can create a little space of certainty that will help the mental health of everyone in it.
The key here is to keep your schedule flexibleenough to work in the real world, but still firm enough to give some structure to the day. Try dividing the day into 1 hour blocks which each have a different purpose (e.g. chore time, academic time, creative time) and then give some options within each block that you and your children can pick and choose from depending on the day's mood.
Take a look at the sample schedules that we've drawn up. There's one for toddlers and preschoolers, and one for primary-school aged children. These two schedules are designed to work with each other to ensure that there's some 'together time', some 'individual time', and some 'one-on-one time' with mum. And we have included a blank daily schedule that you can use to build your own.
Over the next little while, we will be posting ideas for both non-screen and screen-time activities. Take a look at our curated collection of the best online resources the internet has to offer.
Lastly, make sure you schedule in some 'me-time' every day! Put on a favourite show for the kids, make a cup of tea, and give yourself time to recharge. Because the more relaxed and happy you are, the more positive the atmosphere in your home will be.
Have you ever wished that you had more time in the week? To learn a new skill with your children? Teach them a life-skill? Tackle a project together? Now is your chance!
With the daily grind halted, a whole host of opportunities opens up. You could create an edible garden, help your child create a strong foundation for schooling (find help for that here), even toilet-train your toddler (to find out if your child is ready to begin toilet-training click here). Maybe you could teach your child to cook a few simple dinners. Maybe there are a few chores that you wish your kids could master. Take the time to get alongside them and follow through with teaching them those things.
A word of caution here, keep it simple. Don't overburden yourself or your children with multiple projects and goals. Maybe just pick one or two goals, and really focus on doing them well. And when you come out of isolation, you will feel like you have invested that time, not wasted it.
You are not alone! There's a whole community of mummas out there who are living this too, and have got some amazing support to offer from their expertise and experiences.
We are going to be posting resources and #schedulefiller ideas on our Facebook page, so make sure you jump over and follow us there.
We are committed to sharing only positive helpful tips and activities on our Facebook feed, so if you are looking for a fear-free zone stick with us.
And we have a bunch of other "Surviving Iso with Kids" blog post we have on the boil to publish soon, so sign up for our Newsletter - "Join the Mumma Tribe" - below and we will send through our blog posts and tips across the coming weeks.
Mum's Toolbox is a collection of superb resources to help you on your parenting journey. Whether you need a box full of activities for little ones delivered to your door, or some stylish, eco-friendly kids dinnerware to bring the fun back into meal times, we are here to help!
We are a family home-based business that supports other family-based brands(More about us here). So if at any stage you find a tool on our website that fits the parenting challenge you are facing, and you purchase it, you can do so knowing that you have helped other families keep their businesses afloat and their morgage/rent paid across a crazy season of life.
Enjoy a browse through the Mum's Toolbox website, grab the tools you need and keep you eyes on our Facebook for more tips on how to turn self-isolation into a positive experience for you and your little ones.