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COVID has changed our reality to something that we have never experienced. I started my social distancing off with so much anxiety and fear. However, I knew that I needed to confront those emotions and really figure out how I was going to cope in this new reality we all are in during this Pandemic. Below are some tips based on my own experiences as to what works for my children and I:

Give Yourself Grace, and Extend that to your family: What we are experiencing is not normal during this pandemic. I will openly admit that I love being a mother, but have always known that being a stay at home mother is something that has never been my goal even if I was still married. I have not met every deadline for work, and some days I let my kids not do work and relax.

Have a Plan:I know many school systems sent home packets for your kids to do and are even doing virtual check-ins. If you are like me where my kids do not yet have requirements from their school system, I have used an abundance of online resources and my own creativity to create a plan for my kids. Every week I develop a packet of activities that must be completed by Friday, but I allow them to do it as they please throughout the week. Here is a link to the document with activities I develop weekly for them: At Home Learning Plan. Also, here are a few websites I use:

Be Flexible: Between work calls and virtual teaching, I do not have the time or patience to enforce an hour by hour day for my children. I establish my expectations such as completing their work packet, exercising, playing their instrument, and even household chores, and give them the ability to plan their day/week on their own to accomplish the given tasks. They are learning self-management which is a priceless skill they will use the rest of their life.

Minimize Stress: Do not drive yourself or your family’s so hard that you jeopardize your health. Don't try to do everything at 110%, or even 100%, of what it used to be. Adapt to the new realities, and advocate for yourself and your children. For example, if your child is tired or even you have a conflict, ask your child’s teacher to record the virtual lecture and have your child watch at a later time that fits in your schedule.

Stay Connected: I have observed with my kids that they have made extra effort to connect with their friends, grandparents, and others in their village. I myself have called or virtually connected with people more than ever during this time. Not only talk to them, but also listen, and even take that opportunity to give them some good advice on how to better manage their time, or focus their energies better. In short, in social distancing we need each other more than ever. That phone call/video call may be the most important thing you can do for those in your Village.

Lastly Thrive: My goal is for my children and I to thrive, not just survive. My kids and I would love more than anything to aimlessly walk around Target, but right now we are complying with the social distancing and stay at home order. We have found ways to make the best of this time together because life will return to normal again in whatever form normal returns. We will stay safe and healthy in our home and also not risk the lives of others if we are asymptomatic carriers.

We and our families are living through a time in history we will never forget! Take introspection into these past two weeks, and figure out what is and is not working for you and your family! Make good choices to thrive not just survive, find the good in a bad/traumatic situation, and stay connected like never before! We will get through this!

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