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Staying Sane During the Pandemic

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Welcome to the Marriage and Martinis’ Friday Five!

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5) Uncertainty Is A Mindf*ck! (It’s OK to not have it all together right now)

Our bonus episode with Life Coach Amy talks all about ways we can handle this time by being forgiving of ourselves and remembering that this is temporary. Let’s make our lives easier, not harder. Here are some ways we can be kinder and gentler to ourselves:

  • Set boundaries with your kids from the get-go. We want to have a nice time while we’re all home together and make the most of it. We also don’t want to wind up totally exhausted and ready to wring each other’s necks in a few weeks. This means setting limits from the beginning. When my kids woke up on the first day of no school, I ensured them that I won’t be driving them places or tolerating behaviors like leaving their dishes and dirty clothes everywhere. Everyone has to pull their weight from the beginning.

  • Have a family meeting (even once everyday if it helps). This will give an opportunity for kids to ask questions and catch up on what’s happening in the world and locally without having to put on the news. It will also give a chance for everyone to make suggestions for daily activities and maybe even assign a daily chore for each child.

  • REMEMBER: Cereal for dinner is ok. Binging shows together for hours at a time is ok. Screentime as a distraction so you can have some peace and quiet is ok. Life lessons and learning will be inherently happening throughout this whole experience. Whether adult or child, we will all be learning how to deal with uncertainty, disappointment, fear, and pulling together. Let’s remember that not all learning has to look like schoolwork and be forced.

4) Resources for parents and kids during this time at home:

  • Scholastic is doing an awesome job of putting together materials on how to teach your kids about the Coronavirus and tips and strategies for getting through these times.

  • Wondering whether or not your kids can have playdates right now? The New York Times talked to experts.

  • PBS Kids is going to be putting out a daily newsletter for activities to do while your kids are home. This will help take some of the pressure off when our kids inevitably say, “I’m bored” for the 76th time.

  • Go Noodle also has tons of kids’ activities (think fun virtual gym class).

3) A few activities to pass the time regardless of age:

  • For the first time ever, I just bought a 750 piece puzzle. Yes, I realize that by the time it’s put together there will only be 720 pieces, but I plan on keeping it on the coffee table in the family room to do in spurts whenever we happen to be in there. Even if it’s only in bits at a time, having it there will help divert focus from anything other than just putting the pieces together. So far I have had my 8-year-old separate the pieces by color since he can’t quite find the individual pieces to stick together, my 11-year-old find all the outside pieces, and the rest of us are putting the pieces together.

  • Make a family recipe. Now is the perfect time to teach a family recipe and have the house smelling of nostalgia. These smells and tastes provide feelings of comfort and safety, and also are a great bonding and teachable moment we sometimes don’t otherwise get the chance to pass on.

  • Learn tik tok. No, I’m serious. I have no idea how to do tic toc, but you can bet I’m planning on having my kids teach me so we can all make silly family videos together. I promise to share them with all of you once this has happened.

  • Deliver homemade goods, make art projects for, or check in on the elderly people in your neighborhood. Right now the elderly could really use some extra comfort and support. If you have any in your neighborhood, there are ways we can all help and brighten up their day. Involve your kids and it will inevitably make their day feel more meaningful, too.

  • FaceTime with grandparents, friends and family to help everyone connect and feel less isolated during this time. Grandparents can also virtually babysit by playing a game or a reading a book to a younger child to give you some free time to get something done.

2) Favorite Memes of the Week:

1) Questions to ask your kids during a family meeting:

  • Do you have any concerns right now? Is there anything you want to know that you would like us to find out and tell you about?

  • Do you have any requests of what to watch for a family movie night?

  • Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn that we can all try to start working on now? Chess? Card Tricks? A new language? THERE’S AN APP FOR EVERYTHING!

  • Request for a family game night? What game would you like to all play together?

  • **If they have virtual schoolwork: What time of the day would work best for us all to meet and do work? What room in the house would you like to turn into our workspace? What could we do to make that space more comfortable for all of us?

  • What chores do you think we should all have to do in order to make the house run smoothly right now? Should we rotate these chores? At what time of the day should we all do these?

  • What are some positive things about being home right now? Make a list and put it up on the refrigerator or a chalkboard somewhere in the house as a reminder!

If you are working from home, here are some thoughts:

  • Overcommunicate with your boss and colleagues so everyone is on the same page

  • Set boundaries if possible so you can mix some family time into your work day

  • Use screen time thoughtfully so that your kids are engaged in a movie of game if you need to have a phone call or meet a deadline

  • Consider this an opportunity to open up the possibility for telework in the future if this has not been an option for you so far.

  • Figure out and accommodate your work rhythms and family’s rhythms to figure out how to get your priorities done each day.

Go check out our Date Night Questions Experience ebook, with 12 diverse topics, small bonding challenges and dozens of questions to spark conversation and renew connection. Join the thousands of couples who have taken their communication to the next level.

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