“New Normal” 8 Months in to COVID-19, Survival Tips on Parenting a 2-Year-Old and 7-Year-Old
By Amber Weldon, Mommies R Bomb
We have been living through a pandemic for most of the year now and families have become closer than ever before. When mandatory quarantine first began at the start of the pandemic, I felt like I was constantly preparing for a natural disaster. Going to the grocery store regularly, constantly replenishing snacks, toilet paper and Lysol wipes. Staying at home, watching the news, and online shopping for desks, games, and décor became the norm. Living, working and learning at home is a part of our lives now. Although places have opened, the virus is still spreading. A lot of families are continuing to limit their outings and spend the majority of time at home. Let’s finish this year strong, here are a few survival tips to remain safe at home and levelheaded with a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old.
Love on yourself through self-care. The regular stresses from work, children, spouses, extended family and everyday life have probably not decreased. Add on the stress from this new normal and you are sure to be in need of time to yourself. Scheduling me time is my most important survival tip. It is essential that mom be accessible and energized or the rest of the family might not make it. Take a look at these ideas to get in some self-care.
Exercise can range from taking a daily walk to a high intensity gym class. Any movement that gets your endorphins flowing, triggers a positive feeling in the body. I work-out in the morning, it helps with having energy throughout the day and puts me in a good mood.
Meditate or Deep Breathing
Meditating is part of my new normal and it has been great at putting my mind at ease. It does not matter what time of day it is, when you find yourself needing a break take a moment for deep breathing. You will have clearer focus on the tasks ahead. Meditating also helps with practicing patience, which in these times is a needed survival tip.
Whether you are shopping for yourself or someone else it feels good to take your mind off everything else and purchase something. Shopping is a mood booster, it’s that thrill of the find! For this survival tip to successfully work, purchase items you already planned to shop for. Window shopping is another option that can help your mood and stick to your budget.
Treat yourself and enjoy a bit of #metime.Taking care of yourself by relaxing in a warm bath with essential oils, a facial with an exfoliating mask or give yourself a manicure to help create a spa at home. There are lots of at-home kits you can treat yourself too.
A good survival tip for everyone in the home is to incorporate creative time. Creativity reduces stress and anxiety. Not only that, the benefits of being creative lead to feelings of accomplishment and pride, improves focus, and puts you in your happy place. These are good to obtain peace at home when things are getting tense. Here are some ways to get your kids to tap in to their creative side.
- In coloring books or on blank paper, kids and adults of all ages can enjoy and benefit from doing art work. It helps us relax and improve fine motor skills. This survival tip has become our favorite activity to do together.
- Building blocks/magnets/LEGOs
- These simple STEAM activities help spark imagination. I like to give my 7-year-old an idea on what to build, that semi-challenges her and keeps her busy. My 2-year-old has fun building and knocking down.
- Expressive art
- Singing and dancing are great to get out energy. Learning new Tik-Tok dances has been my 7-year-old’s favorite hobby.
- Bake up simple cupcakes or cookies and decorate with fun sprinkles and frosting. A survival tip that will come in handy during the holiday season.
Friendship is Necessary
This is a time of our children’s lives that we cannot relate to. Our parents encouraged us to go outside and/or be involved in activities that would force us to be social. In this new normal most schools are virtually learning and extracurricular activities are limited resulting in our kids seeing their friends less. The connections at each age is critical for social development.
My 2-year-old has returned to day care and is learning how to share and play with other toddlers. Since returning I have seen his behavior at home improve. The survival tip for this age is to do what you think will be most beneficial for your little one and you in the long run.
My 7-year-old has adjusted better with not being able to see her friends, she attends virtual school. She is better at expressing her feelings, and I have learned that FaceTime and video calling is not very fun for kids. If you are okay with it, have their best friend come over to play or schedule a play-date at a park. I have done this a few times and found that it has made a positive impact.
Mom, do not forget about your connections either, having those friendships are going to be a key survival tip for you. Even if it is just a phone call, our friends can help us see other perspectives and be there for us.
This may not be a new normal, but spending even a few minutes outside is good for everyone in your household. Getting some fresh air, helps relieve stress and lowers anxiety. When the kids are getting antsy or screen overload we go outside to reset. A few weeks ago there was a shortage of bicycles in stores, which definitely tells me that going outside is a survival tip.
Okay, yes I know we are already having a lot of family time, but hear me out on this survival tip. What I found makes us feel better as a family, is doing a new activity together. As things start to open up we make a point to do something once or twice a month. This could be a trip to the museum, park event, or in-season event, like visiting a pumpkin patch. These things have brought us a connection to the world while experiencing something new together. At home we have designated movie nights and enjoy popcorn, snacks and set up blankets and lighting to make it feel special. Accept the new normal, while our kids are young now is the time they want to spend with us. Embrace it and develop long-lasting memories together so when we get out of this we might miss it a little bit.
Amber Weldon is a mom of two, wife and content creator and author of mommiesrbomb.com. Mommies R Bomb was designed to inspire moms to maintain a healthy family lifestyle and embrace their authentic self. Amber is motivated through the experiences with her family, self-care and other influential mothers.