How to Quarantine With Kids And Not Lose Your Marbles

Thanks to COVID-19, chances are you have been stuck at home with your child for what seems like forever-and-a-day. To add insult to injury, millions of children are not going back to school anytime soon. Most likely, January. So, if you're asking yourself, How in the hell am I going to survive this madness, then keep reading for a few tips to save your sanity...

1. Get over yourself. YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL!

The first rule of Stay-at-Home Parent (SAHP) Club: YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL. Seriously, let it go. Consider this time an incredible blessing with your child. Don't waste it stressing out. Your mantra is one-day-at-a-time.  There will be no parenting awards given out at the end of quarantine. Do what you can, and don't stress about the rest.

Admittedly, it took some time, but I finally learned, I'm not a superhero. Being a boss mom, wife, domestic diva, and get my work done all on the same day is crazy hard and should be avoided at all costs. I'd half-ass so much inevitably I'd have to go back and do it again. So, rather than stress out about doing it all, I do what can and I'm happy with that. 

2. Create a safe place for both of you. 

For parents of super littles (0-3yrs):
Create a place in your home where you can leave your child for a few minutes and walk away.  When Oliver was a baby, it was his crib, then eventually his pack-n-play in front of the TV or window, and now, the iPad. (That’s right, I let my kid watch TV before 2 years old. Judge me. I don’t care.)   Tip: No, Pack-n-play? The highchair with a snack is a good spot.

I LOVE this photo... it's a 10-month old Ollie!

Again, this is a 10-15 minute fix. Not a babysitter! A few minutes away can do both of you a tremendous amount of good. Get your shit together. And get back in the trenches.

For the Big Kids (4+), I've found making up a task for my son to do is great for buying a few quiet minutes, or more... folding the clothes in his drawers for a treat. Or hide something in the house and send your child on a treasure hunt, or sort toys or read a book and give a book report to earn a treat.

The point of the 'safe place' is so YOU BOTH can have a time-out whenever needed. The minute you are going to lose your shit, and it happens to the best of us when we have a child attached to our ass 24/7. 

3. Play with your child(ren), don’t just go through the motions.

One of the biggest issues with being a SAHP is getting things done. It's nearly impossible when you're answering four hundred, 'Why?' questions, cleaning up crumbs and spills and digging You child’s toys out of the dog's mouth.  I can get so caught up in the daily mom-madness I forget my  little guy is looking for a playmate. A good playmate. Not, a mommy so preoccupied in thought only sort of playing and sort of not.

I've found if I mentally prepare myself for giving my son undivided attention for the next five to ten minutes, I can relax enough to play wholeheartedly and appreciate every minute. I've also found that all my son wants is a few minutes of my attention before he is satisfied and off to the next stop in his day. I'll also offer ideas of things to do I enjoy as well  like coloring or a board game. We both have way more fun, I get up feeling like a good mom, and my son is happy to resume his solo play. It makes SUCH a difference. 

4. Get out of the House! 

The minute I get cabin fever, I pack up Ollie and we go on an adventure. Lately, picnics have been our go-to.  There's a private airfield by our house we go to for plane watching while we eat lunch or cheeky donut breakfast. We also go for hikes in the woods, bike rides or do something as simple as going on a bug, leaf, and sick hunt in the backyard. Or, just go for a drive in the car. Break up the day when possible.

5. Plan ahead to get ahead.

As soon as you finish reading this post, grab a pen and paper and write down activities both in the house and out you enjoy doing with your child. Make a separate list of activities your child(ren) enjoy doing on their own.  Cut each idea into a strip of paper and throw it in a jar. When y'all get bored, pull an idea from the jar.

6. The art of Art is truly an Art.

I don't care how old you are, arts and crafts are always fun! Plan a few creative projects to do as a family. Paint a room, redecorate, buy cheap frames to paint and personalize, then take fun photos or find old ones for the new frames. Make wind chimes from sticks and rocks in the backyard or found on a walk. Or make your own frameable art!

For more fun family crafts check out my Family Crafts Pinterest board.

6. This Too Shall Pass

No doubt, it's a blessing to get to be home with your child, even if sometimes it feels like a punishment from the land of Karma. You'll never get these years back, so embrace them. When you think you are going to lose your sh!t take a few deep breaths, then go back and look at your beautiful child. Be thankful that you are there to share these precious moments. If COVID-19 has taught us anything... every moment matters...

When you are feeling overwhelmed, remember this too shall pass and when it does you will miss it very, very, very much. 

Have a Stay At Home Parent survival tip?  Please share!

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit