Camp Quarantine: How One Mom of 5 is Making The Most of Her New Normal

6. Set Boundaries

My kids know that if my office door is closed, you DO NOT KNOCK OR YELL OR ASK ME ANYTHING UNLESS YOU ARE DYING.  Emergencies only. My office door is open UNLESS I’m on a very important call or zoom meeting. My kids respect this important boundary, and they should be allowed boundaries of their own, depending on their age, for example: Headphones on, don’t bug me!

7. Your job is not to entertain your kids

Remember that kids are more capable of self-teaching and entertaining themselves than we give them credit for. I encourage their “work time” to be completely independent. Instead of immediately asking me to come help, they can look in the text, online, or in their notes.  9 times out of 10, they figure out the answers themselves. I also encourage siblings to help each other. I will start an activity with them, and then step away when they have it under control, and return to my desk to get some more work done.

8. Rein it in

You are home, which means no one is looking over your shoulder or passing your cubicle.  This may be the killer of your productive workday if you start scrolling Facebook or Nordstrom. When you find yourself shifting gears, pull yourself back.

9. Schedule Chores

Dishes, Laundry, Distractions, oh my! Block chores off on the schedule for 30-60 minutes and MAKE EVERYONE CHIP IN! Turn on some music, and go to town. Kids are very helpful and capable. They may not do everything the way you like, but they will get better if given the opportunity. Have them take ownership of cleaning the litter box or feeding the dog. Think of all of the projects in the house that you’ve put in the “I don’t have time for this” category and start doing those things.

10. Take Breaks

Keep your brain and body moving. Take breaks and include your kids in a round of jumping jacks, pushups, or sit down for a snack and a puzzle. Take time to re-center and get the wiggles out, and check-in with your kids so they feel reconnected and reassured.

11. Give yourself some grace

Remember at the end of these 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or however long this isolation lasts, if our kids do NOTHING academically, spend more time on screens, or relax and lay low, it’s ok.  If they grow as human beings, learn some life lessons, and we spend the time getting to know them, nothing is lost. See this as an opportunity to connect, create, and grow, and you may look back and remember it as one of the years your family ever had.

Emily Lynn Paulson
Emily Lynn Paulson
Emily Lynn Paulson is the author of Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life. Emily is an entrepreneur, certified professional recovery coach, She Recovers Designated Coach, and a member of the long-term recovery community. Formally trained as a chemist and a teacher, she rose to success in the top tiers of a skincare company, where she gained her voice and a platform for sobriety and healing. Sober since January 2, 2017, her recovery path is focused on ruthless honesty, grace, and self love. She is passionate about connecting women with resources for recovery from trauma, eating disorders, and substance abuse, and believes that sharing our truth with each other is the best resource of all. Emily lives in Seattle with her husband and their five children.

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