Being a Mom in Times of Crisis
Right now our country, and the world, is in a time of crisis.
As a parent during this crazy, chaotic time it’s hard to manage all the things.
We talk often of the mental load of motherhood. How it’s hard. How it weighs on us.
But now? That already maxed to capacity mental load is in overdrive.
We are worried. About the health of our family members.
About the long term effects on our economy.
Every mom I’ve talked to has said they feel the same way I do: all over the place.
One second you think “it’ll all be fine, this isn’t that big of a deal” and then the next you think “omg the world is going to end.”
Regardless of your personal beliefs over the health concerns our world is facing, the reality is it affects us ALL in one way or another and is impacting our daily lives today, and most likely far into the future.
We are moms. We will get through this. Here’s how I plan to do it.
Parenting in Times of Crisis
First and foremost, my focus is on my kids.
When this is over they will look back on this time and I want them to remember happy memories and moments, not a world of fear or parents who freak out.
It’s so important to do my best to keep their lives as unchanged as possible.
Yes, we have to stay home for a while and plans we had for outings and traveling have changed but we are together!
We are so blessed to have each other and we can still make this a time of fun memory-making.
I highly recommend reading this post on how to prepare kids in times of crisis.
Keeping Structure to our Days in Times of Crisis
I’m a Babywise Mom. I love structure and routine.
I need it. My kids need it.
We ALL have a happier day when it’s well planned.
Yes, I want this to be a FUN season but we also have to get through the season too – without mama losing her mind 😉
My kids are ages 11, 8, 5 and 2. Basically every age range possible.
It makes it tricky to have a super hardcore routine that will work for them all!
I think it’s important to have structure but not to be scheduled to the minute or feel pressure to have every second of the day be educational.
I created this plan over the summer last year and it was a GAME CHANGER for our family.
I read back over my post about creating a simple routine with kids and then came up with this plan for our crew during this time of being at home.
Here is our plan for a daily routine:
8:15 Family Walk – Around a circle in our neighborhood
9:00 Outside Time – A bit of free play in the front yard after the walk
9:15 Bible Time – Older kids have their own studies, I will read Bible books with younger ones (I have several of our favorite Bible study books here)
9:45 Outside Time for Older Kids – Play in the Backyard
9:45 Independent Playtime for Spear (you can read how to start independent playtime here)
10:45 Learning or Craft Time
11:15 Screen Time
12:45 Storytime before Nap (Our favorite family books here!)
1:00 Spear Nap – Older kids each have 1 hour of rest and reading time in their rooms (you can read more about how we do rest time here)
2:00 Older kids each have 30 min of independent time in their rooms
2:30 Older Kids have sibling time – trading off each day which sibling they play with and the solo one continues with independent time
3:00 Screen Time
4:30 Spear up from nap – Older kid have free play time or finish up any crafts from earlier in day
5:00 All four kids play together in the playroom while I get dinner ready
5:30 Family dinner time
6:15 Bath time – Family story and prayer time
7:00 Spear down for bed
7:00 Older Kids play a game as a family before bedtime (you can see our favorite family games here)
If your kids aren’t used to being on a routine this can be a bit tricky to set up with them and now is a great opportunity to work with them on being scheduled and making sure they are getting the sleep they need in order to be at their personal best!
Learning Time During School Break
I am not overly concerned about my kids’ educations during this extended break from school.
I think THE most important thing is focusing on Jesus and family.
Whenever we have a break from school we also focus heavily on reading and I encourage a lot of time outside.
I do have some helpful posts for fun, easy learning type activities as well:
—-> Help kids learn to code using legos!
—-> Stem Activities to encourage learning at home
I also have several hands-off learning activities my kids enjoy that you can shop here:
Craft Time and Activities During School Break
Having kids in so many different stages of childhood means things run smoothest when I can be as hands-off as possible.
When it comes to craft time and other activities for the kids I look for things that they can work on together without needing much of my help so I’m better able to focus on the wild toddler 😉
I also am always on the hunt for ways to keep the two year old entertained as well!
One of my favorite things to pull out is my tub of busy bag activities for him.
These activities help hold his attention and allow me to get things done!
Crafts don’t have to be super complicated. Even just making cards out of some craft paper is great!
Here are many of the craft activities my crew enjoys:
While I love to encourage my kids to run and play outside it’s also nice to have indoor options as well.
Here are a few of my posts with some ideas for indoor activities:
—-> Indoor Activities for Kids
My personal favorite indoor activity with my kids? Having fun movie-themed days!
The LOVE our movie theme activities and getting to watch the movie afterward also gives me a nice break too 😉
—–> 5 Easy Disney Movie Theme Activities
—–> Make Snow Like Elsa (perfect for watching Frozen 2!)
Having Extra FUN During School Break
Yes, we’ll have structure…but we are also having PLENTY of fun!
My kids love having sibling sleepovers so we’ll do plenty of those.
Lots of family game time and movie nights and staying up later and eating more treats.
Backyard campouts and laser tag battles.
Making memories together!
Managing Our Home in Times of Crisis
We all know the mental load of motherhood isn’t just about our kids and how to take of them and their needs and to just get through the day till bedtime.
The mental load of motherhood also carries with it the management of our home.
Keeping the Family Healthy
This current world crisis is scary when considering our health and the wellbeing of our families.
It’s important to stay healthy and for our kids to understand ways they can help in staying healthy too.
Cleaning and Decluttering The Home
This is a GREAT time do a massive purge and decluttering! Get the kids involved to help!
Use this time to accomplish a task that will benefit your home well into the future.
—–> Read my post on getting kids to help declutter here
—–> How I Organize Closets here
Maintaining a Clean Home
Having all the kids at home can make it hard to keep it clean – and the heightened health concerns can make it worrisome when we start thinking about how clean our house really needs to be!
Having the kids at home means it’s a great opportunity to help them learn independence as well as how to contribute to the wellbeing of your home.
I am pretty hardcore about this topic and have several helpful posts:
—–> Teaching Kids about Cleanliness
—–> Encouraging Kids to do Chores – Why We Pay our Kids
—–> Teaching Kids How to Do Chores in 5 Steps
—–> Having Kids Help with Household Chores
Minimizing Germs in the Home
The plus side of being stuck at home for a while is that it really minimizes the concerns about germs entering the home which is a relief a bit on that mental load for mamas!
However, staying as germ-free as possible is still important even while practicing social distancing.
I am making it a routine to have my girls wear their hair up as this keeps them from both touching their face to move their hair and from chewing on their hair as one of them have that bad habit!
I’m also keeping all of our nails trimmed very short to minimize germs from being underneath the nails.
We have a system in place for handwashing, a song for our 20 seconds, and regularly clean highly touched areas with a bleach disinfectant.
If we do leave home we go straight to the sink to wash hands and then wipe down the exterior doorknobs.
We are all getting a bit of irritated skin from the constant washing so I’m also having lotion and vaseline to apply after washing for those that need it too.
My oldest has very dry skin issues on his hands so he puts vaseline on them before bed and then sleeps with socks over them at night.
We created a gentle reminder to say to each other if we see any of us touching our face or not coughing or sneezing properly – we simply say “GERMS.”
These are hard habits to learn and as a parent, we can become obsessed with worrying over the virus and germs in the air but we can’t control it all…it’s healthy to take this opportunity to teach our kids about good hygiene and allow them to share in these responsibilities to lighten our mental load as well!
Concerns over Finances in a Time of Crisis
Times of crisis make the future uncertain and we worry about the health of our family…and then we worry about the financial state of our family.
It is scary to think about what world crises may do to the economy and what that may look like in the future.
The most important thing we can do is have knowledge about our family’s financial situation.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to sit down as a couple and look over your finances as a team.
How much savings do you have?
What are the ways you can cut back on spending?
If you don’t already have a family budget this is a perfect time to start!
Having a family budget in place brings HUGE peace of mind when economic times are uncertain.
—–> Read how to set up a family budget here
Managing Relationships in Times of Crisis
Times of stress makes it hard to pour into individual relationships and when both husband and wife are stressed it becomes difficult to come together as a team for the family unit.
It’s always important to have a healthy marriage. But in a time of crisis? It’s crucial.
With sports being canceled it’s one less distraction in the way of connecting as a couple.
Use this time to pour into each other. Talk. Have a home date night.
Reconnect and deepen your bond and love for each other!
If you’re currently in a marriage valley here are my tips for getting out.
This last year my husband and I have grown a TON in our marriage and a LOT of that credit goes to reading The 5 Love Languages.
It’s not a tough read and the quiz is free online that you can take here!
My biggest tip in going through a time of crisis as a couple? Communicate.
It’s so important to share your concerns with your spouse and be a safe space for him to share his as well.
If your husband is like mine he may feel like his role as a husband and father is to be “the strong one” but it’s okay to not always be strong and it’s okay if he feels concerned in these uncertain times too!
Communicate your feelings and communicate your needs.
If you’re all home as a family during this time, it’s a LOT of time together.
As a stay at home mom having a husband home all day can disrupt that flow and schedule and routine you have with your kids.
Let him know that! When the kids are in bed, sit down and work out a gameplan for what the next few weeks will look like for your family.
Discuss the finances.
Have a family health and wellness plan.
Go over the schedule you plan to have for the kids.
Make a gameplan for trading off parenting duties and meal prepping.
You’re a team! Going into a tough time as a team will allow you to conquer any obstacles you may face together.
Self Care as a Mom in Times of Crisis
Self-care is something we always struggle with as moms.
We feel guilty taking time for ourselves.
Self-care in motherhood is ALWAYS important but during a time of crisis? It’s even MORE important.
If you’re extroverted like I am, and a planner, like I am, not being able to go and do and not being able to plan for the future can feel suffocating very quickly.
My #1 tip for ALL moms is to GET OUTSIDE.
I take 20 min a day, every day that I can, and spend time outside and it does wonders for feeling like I’ve poured into ME!
Now is also a GREAT time to start reading! I keep an ongoing list of my favorite reads here.
We have a monthly book club and read some really great books.
When life is crazy and chaotic getting lost in a good book is such a beautiful way to escape it all for a bit.
These days of some time to ourselves at home are also a great opportunity to work on bettering ourselves for the long term.
The perfect time to pour into some personal growth books!
—–> You can read the books that changed my life here.
The toughest part about trying to implement self-care when all the kids are home is that they can find you.
Reading for a while is wonderful but no doubt I’ll get interrupted 10 times by some random question!
My go-to me-time activity during times of crisis is to get in my car and DRIVE.
Roll the windows down. Open the sunroof. BLAST some music. Sing like crazy and just drive around a bit.
And going through a drive-through to get a treat or a meal for yourself? It’s still practicing social distancing while also stimulating the economy and allowing YOU to recharge and have a bit of a reset!
Getting the time to ourselves we need also allows us to FEEL THE FEELS.
We ALL have things we’re disappointed about.
Could it be worse? Yes.
But that doesn’t mean the disappointments you feel, the concerns you have, or just the pain you need to express are any less valid.
So while you ride with those windows down? It’s okay to cry too. It’s okay to cry over the changed vacations. Over the get-togethers that are canceled. Over your happiest place shutting their doors. Over just not even being able to go into a random crowd of people for a while.
Cry the tears. Yell out the anger. Emotions are best if processed and we need that time and space to ourselves to really work through all of our feelings in order to give our best selves to our children.
Staying Connected as a Mom in Times of Crisis
We live in such a wonderful time with so many options for staying in touch.
Even if we can’t meet in person with friends or family we can facetime or marco polo.
We can see what everyone else is doing on social media.
It’s important to stay connected with our friends. I need my friendships!
It’s important to have safe spaces to vent our worries, concerns, and frustrations without worrying about a million rude comments on our post.
It’s important to have friends who help us keep our identity outside of being mothers.
It’s important to be there for each other!
—–> Read more about the value of your tribe.
It’s important to have people we can count on and a community that we know supports us.
Be sure to connect with me on Instagram and join the awesome community of mamas in our PRIVATE Facebook Group here.
Remaining Optimistic in Times of Crisis
It can be hard not to feel overwhelmed when there are so many unknowns and when the current status keeps changing all the time.
It seems impossible to feel solid when everything is so up in the air right now.
It’s hard not to feel frantic. Worried. Stressed.
And it’s hard not to let that stress boil over into our parenting, especially when our husbands are also stressed and our kids are all out of their normal routine and pushing our limits too.
—-> Here are my tips to avoid losing your cool with your kids
Even if we put on the happiest face for our children they can still sense that things are amiss.
Their daily routine is off with school being closed.
Their future plans are delayed, their activities are canceled.
It’s important for us to remain optimistic during times of crisis and to also teach our children how to focus on the positive too.
—-> Here are tips for helping a child have an optimistic outlook
Along with staying positive, it’s also so important to focus on gratitude.
We have SO much to be thankful for.
The more we focus on those blessings the better our mental health will be!
I love the habit of writing in a gratitude journal and this is a practice I’ve also taught to my children.
—–> Learn how to teach kids gratitude here
More than anything though, we have to keep our faith in Jesus.
Faith over Fear.
We trust Him. We know He has a plan. We know in all things and all times HE is GOOD.
If you don’t yet have a relationship with God, I encourage you to pick up a Bible.
His Word is a source of comfort in times of uncertainty and a guidebook for how to live a content life and an eternity in Heaven.
Being a mom during a time of crisis may feel like it’s a million times harder than being a mom during a non-crisis time but it doesn’t have to be!
As we focus on getting through a time of crisis let’s use this time to really focus on our priorities.
It’s a great time to simplify.
Take a break and detox from many of the daily stresses of life.
Turn off the phone. Stop listening to the news. Disengage with all the media and social media posts.
Focus on our family. Focus on our faith. Focus on bettering ourselves. Focus on being there for each other.
No matter the outcome we can walk away from this situation as a better person than we entered into it, and so can our children!