Over the last 3 days, Americans were informed we would have to live like shut-ins. True to our American nature of passive-aggression (like sending mean Tweets or anonymous Facebook posts judging everyone who invades our space), we issued one last collective rebel yell and took to the stores. We spit in the face of social distancing and flooded the grocery stores like it was Thanksgiving and Target like it was Black Friday.
In addition to being a blogger, I’m a professional counselor and recovering grades 6-12 English teacher. I have none of the craft skills that ooze out of my elementary school colleagues. Plus, I love my couch! I love bingeing the Real Housewives of Wherever You Come From. I love figuring out the best place to arrange myself with the heating pad on my aging back, notebook, and laptop to complete treatment notes. I am woefully ill-prepared to spend the next few weeks, maybe months, giving my child a proper education. So, instead of planning for him, I am reaching out to the multiverse with my version of tips and tricks to help parents like me survive the COVID-cation.
Snarky, Yet Satisfying
Timon and Pumbaa were wise beyond their species as experts in DBT, the psychological theory that asserts two opposite things can both be true. In the case of our friends from the Lion King, slimy was satisfying. In my case, snarky is survival.
- Run errands like you are training for a marathon. Supporting local business doesn’t have to mean shopping in your locality. If the only thing we are permitted to do is shop for groceries, why not sojourn to the grocery store 50 miles away? That time in the car can be spent torturing your kids with 80’s music, which helps YOUR mood. It also kills 3 hours of the day so you can join the rest of the Facebook mommies in bragging that your kids didn’t have screen time for the whole afternoon.
- Exhausted muscles can’t fire, so to keep anxiety away, go nuts on your kids once a day. My sister-in-law is brave. After hoarding toilet paper like the rest of America, she bought pool noodles. The kids can fight and exhaust themselves. The parents can join in and save their sanity by thwapping kids. An occupational therapist in my office teaches families how to sock wrestle. (Basically, you roll around on the floor trying to get someone’s sock off.) We pillow fight and wrestle in my house, but you get the picture. The picture is Thunderdome.
- Dress up to sit down. I promise you nobody’s mental health is improved when spending more than 2 days in sweatpants and a 20-year old Dave Matthews Band concert shirt. (This isn’t just a clinical opinion, I’ve performed extensive self-research.) Kids love to play dress up, and you need to see what fits before you spend time purging their closet. My husband and I are celebrating our 9th anniversary during our lockdown. We had plans to escape for the night, go to a fancy dinner with foods never before tasted, and forget other people existed. Well, 1 out of 3 isn’t a good grade for an overachiever like me. So, we are planning to wear formal attire for random meals. Grilled cheese for our little lord and a one-pot Chef Amy original creation for us while family Slutzky is adorned in our finest.
Spark Note Summary
My crew and I have been surviving in different homes, in different states (physical, emotional, and mental), with 7 children amongst us.
We have sent links to free resources and recent articles from trusted sources. We have shared funny pictures of our kids at Mom School. We have been honest about our fear and the size of our stockpiles. Most importantly, we have been taking care of each other like we have for 25 years. COVID-19 may have forced Americans inside. But, it doesn’t have to take away our communities. Stay safe. Stay sane.