Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have made it through the first-ish week of social distancing due to COVID-19 – also known as the longest week ever. And it’s not over yet.
Let’s be clear. I am no expert on parenting or healthcare, but I feel like I have been preparing myself for a similar type of isolating experience since I found out I was pregnant with twins. I looked at my 2 year old and thought two things: You are going to make an amazing sister. AND This is going to be REALLY hard.
I knew it would be difficult to get out with baby twins and a toddler, so I prepared myself to be at home with the trio. I stocked up on crafting supplies. Read all kinds of twin parenting blogs. Went to a “Managing Multiples” class. I prepared to loosen the reins on screen time, though I had no idea how loose that would end up being.
When the two beautiful baby girls arrived in this world, much of this knowledge and preparation stayed locked up inside my head. This is probably because there is truly nothing that can prepare you to have more than one baby at the same time. Also, preschool and family gave me a bit of a break by occupying the toddler, so I saved all of my resources for a rainy day.
Now that schools are closed, and the socially responsible thing to do is to keep to ourselves, we are going to be at home more than I ever anticipated. It’s been a rough start, but I have a few things in mind that I hope will keep us healthy physically and mentally during this period of social distancing.
1. Get dressed everyday
Some people have been making a schedule. I know that for me and my three musketeers, this would be very difficult to follow. As a second-time mom I know that basic hygiene can do wonders for my mood. So my goal is to simply get everyone out of pajamas and into real clothes every day.
2. Go outside everyday
Fresh air can do amazing things for a bad mojo. I like to get my kids out for a walk or to play in the backyard in the morning. There are so many lovely parks and trails in and around town to explore. Plus, some kind of physical activity usually makes it more likely that my oldest will actually take a nap. I am NOT ready to give up on nap time yet.
3. Make ordinary things special
Watching a movie? Make popcorn on the stove. Having an afternoon snack? Bust out the fancy tea set. Get all dressed up and light some candles for a fancy dinner party. Of course, you have to prepare littles for the responsibility of using the fancy tea set. Show them you are confident that they can handle it and they will!
4. Give ourselves a break
This is not going to be easy, so let’s go easy on ourselves. Take an actual break and leave the house by yourself for a short time. Loosen the rules on screen time. Be kind to yourself and each other when things don’t go well.
Social distancing is going to be hard. Not having an end in sight is hard. Being at home with kids is hard! But we can do hard things!