As adults, this quarantine is less than ideal. Some of us have lost our jobs completely and now have to figure out what the next move should be. Best case scenario, we have to turn our living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms, or any room for that matter, into a makeshift workspace.
We are crammed into a workspace with our kids, dogs or significant other that, let’s face it, are a tad too close for comfort. Is this current situation our version of the greatest set-up of all time? Nope, sure isn’t! Is it the reality of our current world after we have embarked on a war with an invisible enemy? Yes.
But, how about flipping the switch on the way you think about this time in your life? Instead of thinking about it as a modern form of punishment, consider looking at it through the eyes of your children. What do we mean by that? Well, consider this: has there ever been a point in time when you were essentially forced to spend time with your family?
No, we don’t mean the family reunion where you are forced to spend time with your extended family or the birthdays where you are forced to spend time with your cousins or aunts that happen to drive you crazy. We’re talking about spending time with your core family unit. We’re talking about taking the time to slow down and spend quality time with the people that you care most about, but may not have the most time to spend with.
For some of us, quarantine may mean working from home whereas it may mean unemployment for others, but what’s one thing that we all have in common at this time? We’re home. Yep, it’s just that simple! So, let’s think about this from the perspective of your children.
Your child (or children) right now are likely thinking (even if they don’t know it)...
This is great! I usually get to spend only a few hours with my parent(s) after they get home from work, but now they’re always here! Sure, they may have to work during the day, but they also get to be here with me much longer than usual!
Wow, eating all three meals with my family has never been better! Usually, breakfast is on-the-go and then we eat dinner together, but that extra time together at the dining room table (or even in the family room) really is great.
How lucky am I to have my parents helping me with homework and school lessons! Yes, they are getting frustrated with me every day, but look at the amount of time we are spending together and the new things we are both learning. They may be rusty on some of these concepts, but they sure are smart!
Our weekends are filled with family time now, which is amazing! I can’t remember the last time we spent this much time together without running errands or going to sports games or other activities. Undivided attention from my family is great!
Sure, your children may not be saying those words exactly, but the sentiments remain. They are probably spending more time with you right now than they have had the opportunity to in the past months or even years. Is the quarantine getting in the way of your social life and your ability to go into your office to work? Yes—there’s no doubt in our minds that it has come in between you and your social/work life. But, on the other hand, has it given you the ability to enhance your relationships with your family members? Absolutely!
You have the ability to use your time to your advantage, rather than as an excuse. The time you once used to commute to work are now spent walking to the kitchen to grab coffee and breakfast with your family. Where you once spent hours in a car, subway or train, you are now spending with people who mean the most to you. The time that you used going to outings are now spent inside the comfort of your own home, where you have the privilege of staying healthy while bonding.
Now more than ever, you can time hack your life to be able to spend precious moments with people who need it the most. Here are two ways you can take advantage of your newly freed-up daily schedule so you can maximize time with your children.
Use the time before your children wake up to get your ‘me-time’ in.
Whether it is meditating, working out or just making time to continue to get ready, use this time wisely. Guess what? The time you once claimed you didn’t have to go to the gym in the morning is suddenly replaced with a 30-second commute to your space of choice! With F45 At-Home Workouts, you can step foot into your ‘home gym’ and be done with your workout within 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to shower and have your morning coffee—all before the rest of the family gets up!
Stick to and respect your work schedule.
Before quarantine, you likely left the office (hopefully) around the same time every day. Your family probably knew when to expect you home and what time you were going to be there so you could enjoy a meal together. Sticking to a regular schedule allows you to maximize the time that you have with your children and family, while respecting the boundaries that you once set with your workplace.
Your children are looking to you, especially now, for guidance on how to react to the current situation we are facing. They are looking to their parents to tell them how they should be reacting to something that seems so scary to them. Now is the time to take this opportunity to show them that you can make lemonade out of lemons by spending time with your loved ones during a chaotic time. As a parent, you may feel overwhelmed at times, and that is okay. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed and scared, but you also have the opportunity to bond with your family members and children like you have never been able to before. This is your chance to really get to know each other, on a deeper level.
It is not ideal to be stuck in the house during this time, but when you change your way of thinking, you will realize that it is actually a blessing in disguise. Use this time to get to know your children a little better and learn more about their hobbies and interests. When things were ‘normal’, we used to rush around and forget to take a second to stop and spend time with the people who mean the most to us. This quarantine has blessed us with the ability to be forced to stop and truly appreciate the people in our lives.