One half of social media is flooded with tips on how to avoid getting the Corona Virus (social-distancing, hand washing etc) and the second half is nothing but schedules, tips, routines on how to keep the kids busy during these uncertain times while on lockdown at home.
BUT what about keeping the mammy and daddies sane- has anyone thought of them! Well fear not because I have. Here are some of my workable tips on how to get through the next few weeks and months while being locked at home with our precious children (we wanted them lads, we really did so we can’t backtrack now).
Tip 1. Earplugs
Invest in very small ear-plugs. A lot of things might be sold out from your local pharmacy but I would imagine earplugs will still be easy to get and if not order them online (up to today delivery companies were still operating). Now you’ve to be sneaky on this. We don’t want our kids (or spouse) to know we’ve inserted the aforementioned sound blockers but when you have three children (in my case) all screaming “Mom, Mommy, April” all at the same time you need something to mute it out for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t completely drown out their screaming, their pitches are too high for that, but it will HELP. It will also allow you to be oblivious to their fights in the next room, their disagreements and squeals.
Tip 2. Hands-Up
Treat it like it’s a school (and no I don’t mean timetabling their work and you becoming a home-school teacher (although we have to do that also), what I mean is order. Like at school if someone is speaking ask the other kids to put their hand up and wait their turn. You may laugh but when you have one child asking could they lose a leg from the Corona Virus, a second (youngest) simultaneously asking can he cook all his dinosaurs in the oven and the third (dramatic child) begging to call for her friend, it may not be a bad idea to ask them to please wait their turn to speak – by putting up their bloody hand. This would be okay if it was a once-off occurrence but when it happens 548 times a day times three kids something has to happen (for parent’s sanity).
Tip 3. Lent is cancelled
Forget Lent. I’m talking about the adults here guys. If you were a good Christian and gave up alcohol, chocolate crisps, etc for the Lenten period stop right now. Forgive yourself (God will too) or else it won’t be the virus that gets you- lack of sugar or wine might do it. You will need something to stash away until 9 pm when the kiddies are asleep., The thought of the cuppa and cookies, or wine and crisps will keep you going throughout the long days.
Tip 4. Game-On
Make self-Isolation a game. I must credit my older two for this one. They decided it would be so cool to stay locked together in my daughter’s room and not come out (there in a bathroom in the room so all basic needs met). They asked me to drop their breakfast, lunch and dinner at their door. They’ve their homework ready to go, their Lego for creative time, exercise sheets for PE time and books for reading). They also have a sneaky stash of treats that they thought I didn’t find. So for 24 whole hours your kids will be in a bedroom far away and you’ll do what?? Clean, cook …. or will you throw yourself on the couch, download the last season of something sinful (that you can’t watch with kids) on Netflix and break out the 9pm stash- God the choices are endless!
Disclaimer- We tried this today and they lasted until 10.45am but took it back up again at 3pm.
Tip 5. 24-Hour-Bug
Invent a stomach bug. Yes you read correctly. You tell your children (and other half) early in the morning that your stomach is not feeling great and by midday your toilet runs (breaks) will start becoming more frequent. Make sure to do this in a bathroom where you have access to a key to lock the door – they will follow …. all 3 of them and probably your spouse also. You will only get away with this for about 10-15 minutes at a time (maybe once every 2 hours) but imagine all that alone time with no interruptions. You would nearly get a whole book read (hide it somewhere). You might just take the phone with you and scroll mindlessly on social media but it’s your sneaky time so do whatever you bloody want. This will only get you through one (2 days max) but it’s 2 days that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t read this article.
Caution: Please make sure there is another adult in the house while your stomach bug gets worse.. we wouldn’t want them wandering out of the house alone or telling the neighbours that their mother or father is stuck on the loo. #morto