As a blended family of six, Aaron and I are helping our family navigate a new world; and HOME means even more to us than before. Like us, we know many of you are feeling anxious and uncertain because of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Our family’s “normal” has shifted in the blink of an eye and bad news is streaming in every day. Not only that, but like many moms and dads, we are now actively parenting our children 24-7, without the traditional breaks that came from school, play dates and work.
Hidden Blessings of COVID-19
It can be tempting to throw in the towel and let fear or frustration steer the ship. But, it helps instead to shift our focus toward gratitude and the benefits that have also come from this crisis. I don’t know how you’ve been coping, but before our family was mandated to stay at home, our schedules seemed to be running us. Our busy lives included long work commutes, kids’ activities, and more responsibilities than anyone had the time for. It left us wondering when we would ever catch a break! Well, COVID-19 was that break. It has forced us to slow down and engage in the simpler things, like taking long walks with our little ones, being fully present while playing with them, or finally finishing that book we started 6 months ago.
In hopes of encouraging the kind of family togetherness that we’ll all look back on fondly, I have put together a list of some of our go-to family activities. Feel free to share your recommendations with me in the comments!
- Family Game Night - Bring out the Yahtzee! Family members of all ages will enjoy some healthy competition and lots of laughs.
- Nature Walks - My toddler loves walking around our neighborhood lake, collecting sticks, pinecones, and “bootyful flowers” AKA weeds ;).
- Pizza and Movie Night - Make your own pizzas with custom toppings while watching a family movie.
- Visit a Local Blueberry Farm - We are lucky enough to have a 'You Pick' farm within walking distance of our home. Make sure to call ahead to find out if they are open for walkups, appointment-only, or pick-up.
- Build an Indoor Fort - My brother and I used to make a fort out of bed sheets and our dining chairs. My son loves this as much as we did. He could spend hours in his fort!
When this virus is in the history books and we’re looking back on the months we spent inside with our 3 year old and 11 month old, I hope it will be a time when I’ll remember the positive developments that took place and the connections we made. I wish the same for you and your family.
All my best, Carrie.