For people with kids at home, one of the most difficult parts about quarantine is losing the everyday check-ins and chats with fellow parents.
It turns out just a quick hello at morning drop off, or long talks during soccer practice or dance lessons - seemingly inconsequential conversations - actually helped us navigate through the challenges of day-to-day parenting.
But now that families are forced to stay in, without the distractions of school, sports or other activities, it’s like we’ve lost our life lines right when we need them most.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I reconnected with some of my own mom friends via social media and asked them to share daily life hacks and best tips for how to keep peace and sanity in a house under quarantine ... and beyond.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Charlton just said that getting 75% on his homework was good enough, so I gave him 75% of a sandwich. #75percentday #homeschool.” - Joy Yandell, Spring Valley
“Today I gave each of my kids three gold coins. I called them The Coins of Help. I told them they could use a coin any time they needed help from mommy with their schoolwork, but once the coins are gone, they’re gone for the day, so they should use them wisely. It’s almost noon and so far only one coin has been used.
I will also reward them with five extra minutes on Minecraft for each coin they don’t use, in honor of their independence and self-sufficiency.” - Tiffany Fox, Encinitas
“The worst manners at the dinner table has to do all the dishes. If it’s a tie, we all clear and put away. Rarely a tie.” - Karen Coleman, Carmel Valley
“Want a cookie? Bake it! I try and keep my pantry stocked with ingredients and not food. So for the kid with a sweet tooth, he’s been baking since he was old enough to manage an oven. My kids appreciate their sweet treat so much more when they make it themselves instead of gratuitously guzzling through a bag in one sitting. Life skills and nutrition management!” - Alexia Bregman, Encinitas
“I give my kids tons of choices which in turn gives them the power. For example, do you want to take a shower or bath tonight? I don’t care which one they do, I just want them clean. They feel good about making their own decision and I get a clean child! Win-win!” - Stephanie Antin, Pacific Beach
“When my ten-year-old asks if she can jump on a Zoom call with friends, my response is always the same: I don’t have a problem with it. Before you click on that call, have you asked yourself what you’ve done today to contribute to keeping our house comfortable and clean?” - Denisse Roldán Newell, Del Cerro
“Pack a snack box in the morning to avoid constant asking and annoyance!"- Allison Spratt Pearce, La Mesa
“We use paper plates and bowls. No more dishes here. It may create more trash but I’m saving water and my sanity.” - Candice Powell, University City
“I alternate who is in charge of filling water each day. As well as who’s turn it is to pick the show or movie, take first shower ... all those things that get argued about, we just take turns. Not perfect but it helps.” - Karen Elitzky, Carmel Valley
“I used to be very strict about bed time with my teenagers, but during quarantine I’ve stopped fighting that battle. What does it matter? As long as they’re getting to their school Zoom sessions, I’m just letting them sleep and wake up as late as they want. Also, midday naps keep the house quiet.” - Vivian Molina, Chula Vista.
“My battle has always been dirty clothes all over the bedroom floor. I told my daughter that whatever clothes I find on floor in the morning, I would pickup, put in a trash bag and she wouldn’t get them back. I actually did collect some clothes at the beginning and held them in a secret place for a few weeks. For a girl who loves her clothes, this did the trick.” - Christine Groves, Clairemont
“I started an Amazon wish list for my daughter for her first birthday, and just kept it going. When she wants something I say ‘Let’s put it on the list.’ We will be in a store she will say ‘Mommy, can you add this to my list?’ instead of ‘I want this.’ I let her look at the list. She can add to it any time. And by her birthday or Christmas there is a nice wish list ready to go. Seriously, this has been my best parenting moment.” - Karyn Overstreet, Pacific Beach
“Uno all the time. No, seriously... we have a whiteboard on the fridge that has all the Zoom meetings and streaming events for the day so we don’t crash our internet connection.” - Sara Morrison, North Park