After the Taal volcano eruption subsided in January, I learned about the outbreak in Wuhan. The paranoid mom in me knew that we are in for a ride. Instead, of trashing away our N95 masks, I kept ours and my guards up for what’s coming ahead.
Instead of keeping my kid in a bubble, I started the conversation about what’s happening in the world. Our storytelling began with Australia’s bushfire, what it is, and how it starts. It wasn’t long until I found myself showing her the ash fall from the balcony. By this time, we were mostly indoors and have skipped school for days. Then the novel coronavirus or COVID-91 started popping.
2020 did pack a lot of surprises!
There is nothing fun about virus outbreaks, but there are ways to keep things calm and light. So, we filmed a short how-to video two months ago to get everyone on-board in stopping the spread of the virus.
Set the tone of our “new reality” at home
Our life has severely changed since the outbreak turned into a pandemic. Suddenly 60% of the Philippines were required to stay home, and it felt like the world has stopped. I was preparing our home while trying to make sense of how this pandemic will affect us in the long run. It was easy to succumb to our fears, and for a while, I thought I was surrendering. Thoughts about school cancellation, businesses closing and suspending our weekly cleaners translated to me doing all the job.
So, I kept things simple by going back to the basics.
Our meal deliveries turned into home cooked meals
Before pandemic, my best advice to manage your life working-from-home while being a hands-on parent was to order meals. Two different dishes for less than PhP 799 would be enough for dinner and next day lunch. It was time-saving and a bit affordable in away. So, this whole quarantine situation took a toll on my work productivity. Instead of working on my computer, I was chopping vegetables and washing more utensils after every cooking sessions. It was hard!
Vegetables aren’t an issue with my daughter, which is excellent! So, a simple Ginataang Gulay is a win when paired with pork chops or fried fish!
Here’s how I made things a bit easier in the kitchen
- I created a meal plan based on the supply and its shelf-life.
- Dishwashing is done twice a day only anything more than that will dry my hands off and my patience too.
- I stockpiled on snacks like crackers, fruits, chips and instant noodles and displayed it on the shelves.
We rearranged our home to make room for different activities
The challenge when it comes to condo-living is the limited space. If an item is bulky then might as well forget about it. But now that our situation is different, we want to make sure our life at home remains fun and entertaining. We rearranged the furniture to make room for things. There is an arts and crafts corner in the living room. And then the couch was pushed on the wall to have a biking and scootering zone.
“Be lenient when it to your rules at home. Create a zone wherein bikes and scooters are allowed to roll.”
However, our daily activities aren’t limited to games and play. I am taking every opportunity there is to teach my kid how to declutter and organize her stuff too.
When everything seems to be beyond our control, there is a place that we can remain in control of – our home.Elle Anorma
Decluttering starts at home
There’s no shortage of things to do at home. For months, I’ve been putting off the “toy decluttering” mission with my four-year-old. And now that we are cooped up in one place, I am spearheading the mission while my daughter executed the plan. Well, that was the plan at least. We still ended up with me carrying out the rest of the duty.
But there’s one activity that we really can’t afford to skip – homeschooling!
Homeschooling a preschooler in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic
Before the health threats brought by the virus, my idea of homeschooling involves field trips and group activities with other homeschooling families. Today, parents like me without teaching backgrounds are homeschooling the kids. I thought it’s going to be easy, but with the travel restrictions, our learning activities are limited. Thankfully there are online resources which are giving out free subscriptions at the moment. We are using brain pop.com for my four-year-olds daily lessons and reading children’s stories on Scribd.
As of writing, COVID-19 has infected over a million of people all over the world, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. The quarantine period may extend for a few more weeks. Ultimately, parents must find new ways to ensure our homestay remains fun and productive for everyone.
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