7 Ways Moms and Dads Can Practice Self-Care During The Pandemic
Tips To Help Parents Survive This Moment
By Camille Simmons
My husband and I have spent the last few months quarantined with a toddler.
I am normally a stay-at-home mom, so initially having an extra hand during the day felt like a relief. Man, was I wrong. Having my husband home seemed to over-excite our son and we were off our normal routine. No more playgrounds, story time meet ups, or baby music classes. Just in the house all the time. Plus, my husband still had to maintain a full-time job now with a toddler climbing into his lap during calls.
We struggled to figure out a routine, but after a few weeks we started realizing what routines worked for the both of us. A lot of the ideas were activities we already enjoyed and it was just about becoming more intentional about practicing each day.
1. Get Outside
Staying cooped inside was not working for us as a family. While we were initially afraid to be out in public, we finally became comfortable throwing on masks and taking long walks around our neighborhood. It’s our daily routine now to help release energy and get our toddler to take a nap. Bike riding and roller skating are fun alternatives too for the summer. Yes, roller skating with a stroller is possible, just take it slow. And, sometimes it’s nice to get outside all by yourself.
2. Binge Watch
The excitement of starting a new series or movie has been a wonderful distraction. We used to love going to the movies so we try to recreate the feeling at home. Dimmed lights, fresh popcorn, red vines and maybe a cocktail or two really do the trick. We have family movie nights with Disney + or hop over to Netflix once the little guy is asleep.
3. Maintain Date Night
Thursday night was our weekly opportunity to get out as a couple. Now we order in and enjoy a meal together after the little one is out for the night. We have a rotation of our favorite local restaurants. We also schedule video calls with our friends to simulate our past dinners and hangouts.
4. Take a Daily Tea or Coffee Break
I can’t start my morning without a tea latte and my husband is the same with coffee. We always hit a slump later in the afternoon so we’ve started a ritual while our son naps (usually) and we enjoy a cup and a special treat. If he is awake, he joins in with his play coffee set and shares a cookie with us. Which leads to my next new routine…
5. Bake Something
Since having a kid, it’s been hard to find time to make something from scratch. I used to bake all the time and now I find myself returning to baking as a creative outlet. I think everyone has just about jumped on the banana bread and sourdough train, but my passions are cookies, brownies and pies. They are delicious for those tea and coffee breaks. Our son sits in his high chair and plays with measuring spoons and cups while I bake. Soon he’ll be able to help out too.
6. Spend an Hour a Day Doing Something You Love
Realistically we may not do this every day or for exactly an hour, but it has helped so much to get time for a solo activity. My favorite is playing video games. Yes, no shame here. I love to play Mario Kart and Animal Crossing. Does wonders for stress. I do read and work on puzzles sometimes too and my husband mostly tinkers with building robots or home brewing beer.
7. Buy Flowers or Plants
Every time we make a trip to the grocery store, I grab at least one bouquet of flowers. It’s the most soothing piece of decor in my home. I love arranging the flowers and setting them in our sunroom or dining room. Getting to admire them everyday is so relaxing. I’ve also really enjoyed taking care of our houseplants.
Self-care will look different for everyone, but the goal is just to create little rituals that help keep you sane during this moment. Parenting is already tough and these conditions aren’t making things easier for moms or dads. Let’s not judge one another for how we’re coping, and instead find what works best for our families.
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