TeaChat: Pandemics & Forced Family Time

For those of you who are new around here, TeaChats are a monthly post that I do in which I pretend that you and I are going out and grabbing a cup of tea (or coffee or wine) and we’re chatting about what we’ve been up to lately.

Let’s chat!

Dude… dude.

Things have change significantly since I last did a TeaChat life update.

I’ve been working from home for about 3 weeks now and the girls have been eLearning for the same amount of time.

I’m lucky that both my job and my husband’s job allows us to work from home, and that the girls are in a private school that was very prepared for eLearning. Their school was the first in the area to announce the closure on a Friday, by Monday eLearning was fully up and running smoothly.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing since then, I’m not going to lie. It has nothing to do with the school, the school has their sh*t together, however, 99% of my job can be done from home which means that I have the exact same workload I had before, except now I have to homeschool my 5 and 7 year old, who are fairly well-behaved, but still need guidance and need to get their wiggles out.

And, let’s be real, listening to mommy is a little different than listening to your teacher.

Though my husband is home with us – we all sit around the dining room table working together – he is on and off conference calls all day, so I do most of the guiding and prepping each day for school.

Let me tell you how we’ve been (for the most part) surviving:

  • I create checklists for the girls every night for the following day. I make each “checkbox” into a heart that they get to color in after every task
  • I made a daily schedule that stays on our dining room table as a reminder – we aren’t strict with the times – sometimes we sleep in – but routine is how we survived baby and toddler years and it has been working well for this
  • I make sure the amount and type of work that my youngest has takes her the same amount of time as my oldest’s workload. My 2nd Grader’s assigned work takes her much longer than my 5yo’s work, but I utilized online resources to come up with games and work that my 5yo can do pretty independently in the same amount of time as my 2nd Grader.
  • The girls have the same morning routine as they did when they were going to school. They wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and go to the dining room table when they’re done. I get ready, but in much more comfortable clothes and no makeup. I make my bed every morning.
  • There is NO screen time during school days until after dinner for about an hour. That’s no TV, no phones or tablets. The only time they use tablets is for school and school-related apps during school time.
  • The girls do PE every day. Usually, they choose to do Cosmic Kids Yoga, but occasionally we just find a kid-friendly workout video on YouTube. This is done in the middle of school time to break up the day.
  • Part of their schoolwork is preparing their morning snack (usually a fruit salad that we call Rainbow Soup), preparing their lunches, and chores. This also helps break up the day.
  • Their school day typically lasts from 8am-1:30pm: it’s a long day, mostly because my 7yo has some processing issues and it takes her a little longer than most to finish her work. She just needs extra time. Meanwhile, my 5yo is very fast, so she ends up doing twice and much work as my 2nd Grader. If I let my 5yo play by herself while my 7yo is still working – she’d distract her sister.
  • Any time I can, I give my 7yo a “break” by letting her help her sister. My 5yo does Sight Word Hunts, so I have my 7yo hide the Sight Words for her and my 5yo has to read the words to her. This also gives me some time to work!
  • My husband and I schedule our conference calls around each other. More like… I schedule mine around him because he has way more than I do. This way someone is always available to help the girls while the other works uninterrupted.
  • Once the girls finish school for the day, they have “free play” until my husband and I finish with work. They can play outside, go in the pool, play in their room, or in the playroom. Luckily my husband and I both have laptops, so if they decide to play outside or in the pool, we can sit outside with them.

I hope all of this helps. It’s not perfect around here. I think all of us have cried at some point these past few weeks (except my husband). But we’re falling into a routine and the girls are happy. They barely notice anything is different.

I say “forced family time,” but I absolutely adore every second of it. I’m a homebody, so I’m perfectly happy staying at home with my little family. I do miss my siblings and parents, but we chat on the phone and text all day.

I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy I feel sitting at the dining room table with my husband and my beautiful girls every day. I’m going to miss them SO much when we have to go back to work. I think that is going to be harder than anything.

My chest hurts just thinking about it.

Anyway… onward to the usual TeaChat updates:

At Present I Am…

Reading

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J Maas
This book is taking me so freaking long to read. I ended up downloading the audiobook as well so that I could read it more often. I’m only about 1/4 of the way through. I like it so far, but I don’t love it.

I need an epic love, people. Give me ACOMAF 2.0

Watching

Little Women (2019)

I have so many fond memories of this story and this is by far the best adaptation I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think anything could beat that 1949 version, but this absolutely did.

Consuming

Rainbow Soup!

This is actually an adaptation of a fruit salad (more like soup) that my grandma used to make. You simply combine all the following ingredients (it keeps for around 3-4 days, it’s best on the second day.)

  • Sliced grapes (2 handfuls)
  • Blackberries (1 package)
  • Blueberries (1 package)
  • Raspberries (1 package)
  • Diced strawberries (1 package)
  • Diced bananas (2)
  • Diced apples (2)
  • Diced pears (2)
  • Diced plums (2)
  • Diced peaches (2)
  • Enough orange juice (the fresher the better) to cover everything completely

Listening to

My obsession with this song is never-ending.

Obsessing over

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This book. I finally read it and now I’m officially obsessed. I loved it so much.

What’s Next

The school is staying virtual until at least May 1, and we’ll be social distancing and staying home until then, too!

Tell me… what have you been up to lately? What’s up next?

4 thoughts on “TeaChat: Pandemics & Forced Family Time

  1. Also a homebody here, but it’s definitely taking an adjustment. I’m an essential worker, so still at work. And let’s just say the commute has gotten interesting. Luckily I have an amazing manager and work a day less every week.

    House of Earth and Blood gets really intense. I have 200 pages to go and don’t know where it’s going to end.

    Like

  2. This is a really awesome post. Definitely going to try following suit. My situation is different since I’m out of work for self-isolation and my son wasn’t in school before this. But he got a chromebook as a gift from my in-laws and we put ABC Mouse on there so he can use it. Anymore recommended games and learning things I can do with my son is appreciated. I’m determined to use this time to get him away from electronics more.

    Like

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