Today’s tale is for all the parents out there who are realizing day care providers are saints and teachers deserve a raise.
No matter where you are in the world today, you are most likely at home with your children. COVID-19 has created a new normal for us all. I am 47 and my daughter is 23, so I am not facing nearly the amount of stress that many of my friends and the women I know that have children aging from 1 week old to 18. …that being said my husband and daughter have taken to creating a new language. No words, just sounds…so there’s that. As I was having my coffee this morning, waiting on the muffins to bake, my mind flooded with memories of when my daughter was little. I was a stay at home Mom until she went to school. There wasn’t much daycare around and the daycare that was available, well, lets just say, any money I earned would have gone to her care. To be completely honest, I really hadn’t thought it through. I was 25 when I had my daughter and life was going good. My husband was working his ass off to provide a good income. Then life threw us a curve ball. Lesson learned – things change in the blink of an eye, so you gotta have a plan B, you gotta. So my husband and I decided I would stay home. So there we were, one income, one vehicle and limited funds for extra’s. … oh, and no internet. So I had to get creative.
If you’re stuck in a rut with your kids and about to run down the street screaming “I don’t care if your bored!”, I feel you and I got your back. I’m going to give you some ideas of what to do. They may seem a little corny, remember, I am a pre-Internet Mom.
- hide shiny objects around the house and have a treasure hunt
- add food coloring to water and VOILA! Water color paint.
- put down a blanket in the living room and have a picnic
- build a fort. Drape old sheets over all the chairs and table in your dining room or kitchen. Use books to weigh down the corners. Put the chairs on their sides to make tunnels.
- if you own Lego, have a Lego building competition. Put a timer on for 45 minutes. …this way you get 45 minutes to sit your ass down.
- make muffins or cupcakes. Have your child count out loud the number of liners, teaspoons, cups of water, hell even how many times you have to stir the batter. They are learning and creating.
- I once had my daughter see how many sticks she could find in the backyard.
- pop some popcorn and have a movie date – at 10 in the morning. Trust me, it’ll blow their minds.
- have a dance party
- pull out the good dishes and have a fancy lunch
- play dress up with your kids, let them choose your outfit.
- have your kids do your hair. Scary, I know. They want to take care of you as much as you want to take care of them.
- go for a walk. Ask them what they are thinking about. Trust me, they’ll tell you.
- get them to help with chores. Age appropriate chores of course. I would always start with “Could you help me?” when my girl was young. Now it’s more like “Go do that.”.
- fill the tub and have a pool day
- play catch, with anything.
- teach your child a card game
- play a board game
- do a puzzle together, or separate and see who finishes first
- if you have a teen, may God be with you.
I don’t know if this will help, I hope it will. You gotta think outside of the box when you are entertaining/taking care of kids. When it comes down to it, they just want your time and your attention. Just like us, they want to be seen. They want to be heard. They want to know they matter. As my Gramma Leah used to say “It’s long days and short years with children.”. I know it’s frustrating and even tedious at times. I promise you, you will look back on this and be grateful for these times…well most of them.