No Mom Guilt Allowed, Especially Now

The next few weeks are going to test many of us for many reasons; but I hope what I’m about to share can be remembered far past this pandemic period. The idea of being home for days/weeks (or possibly) longer with our kids is unsettling for many. If you are not used to being home with your kids, please give yourself a little grace. Develop a daily schedule slowly (don’t feel like you have to jump in and complete everything right away!) and don’t try to make drastic changes all at once. Some days may go great and others may not; it’s okay. Also keep in mind that some days a schedule will work and other days, you may just need to throw it out the window. In fact my own kids just watched two hours of Curious George during what was meant to be yoga and storytime because they just weren’t having it. 
On a regular basis I’m a full time work at home mom; who has the flexibility to have to have the kids around (mostly), so I am used to a lot of multi-tasking; but, without preschool, other activities, errands, and some time out alone, I’m even a bit nervous of how the next weeks are going to play out. I’m sticking to the manta of “No mom guilt allowed”. 
What does this mean? This means that when we have a day filled with movies, snacks, and no real schedule that’s okay. When we have day where the kids didn’t do anything educational and just free played all day, that’s okay! There is no mom guilt allowed! If you have a day where you are on edge, raise or voice, or have to spend the majority of the day working….just let it go (in the words of Elsa) and start new the next day. 
It’s also okay to set aside time for yourself and/or make it known to your kids that you still    have work to complete during this time. I’ve learned that spending even just 15 uninterrupted minutes with your kids is enough to recharge them and allow you some time afterwards completing what you need to. 
Here are some quick and easy ideas to help your kids pass the time: 
1. Playdough, clay, and even slime (if you’re brave enough)
2. Cosmic kids yoga on Amazon Prime, or have a dance party with music 
3. Create art with watercolors, paints, crayons, color wonder, markers, stickers, ect 
4. Leave out a few boxes from your recent deliveries and let the kids use their imaginations. 
5. Get outside! Play with chalk, go on a walk, ride bikes, have a scavenger hunt or picnic. 
6. Building with blocks, magnatitles, Legos, train sets, etc. 
7. Get your kids in the kitchen to help you bake/cook even if it’s just a batch of cookies or help with dinner prep 
I also love Busy Toddler and Days with Gray on Instagram for tons of creative ideas to set up for the kids. The majority are super easy, fun, and can be done with things you already have around the house. 
It’s important to keep in mind that we are all this together and shouldn’t isolate ourselves  Reach out to friends/family/co-workers via text, call and video. It’s important to stay connected and to help our kids stay connected as well. 
Please don’t forget to take care of yourself, as this will be a draining time for many. Find a routine either in the morning or evening (or both) when you can have some time to yourself. Please don’t feel like your day has to look like anyone else’s either; create a schedule that works best for you and your family (and some days throw it out the window and just go with the flow). 
We got this, and remember no mom guilt allowed! 
Feel free to share any advice or fun activities that are doing with your own children during this time! =) 
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Nicole is a mom to two children each with big personalities - Reagan is currently 4 and Tyler is 2, they are exactly 26 months apart to the day, and ever since Tyler was born life has been non-stop! She's a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who works full time as a virtual Social Studies teacher for middle and high school students. Although she was originally from the North Hills, 10 days before Reagan was born her and her husband relocated to the South Hills. (However, within the year they will be heading back North of the city to be closer to family). Nicole would rather spend time outdoors, preferably in the fall with a good book and a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), but realistically she is generally multi-tasking between work and the kids. She does love cooking and can often be seen having dance parties in the kitchen (usually with Reagan) while making dinner.