The Safer at Home order was hard. It was a total change in our everyday lives and how we conducted ourselves. There were also some beautiful things about it. The more I reflect on the silver lining of the Safer At Home order, the more I realize and the more grateful I am.
The first thing I had to figure out was what to do with the kids: all day every day! Previously we had bounced from one activity to the next, and our days were packed. It took some extra energy and money, but I channeled the elementary school teacher in me and found some preschool lesson plans from The Busy Toddler. We used the “Playing Preschool” units as a guide for activities. We also bought some extra paper and paint, and the girls enjoyed painting almost every day. I also invested in the “Breakfast Invitation” cards from Days with Grey. I just needed some direction, a little bit of a plan, and we were off and running with activities to fill the time.
When I realized I couldn’t manage planning five activities per day, I started to make some exceptions to the many rules I have had for our family. I am the “Type A” parent much of the time who didn’t let my first daughter (now almost 4) watch any tv or have any screen time until she was 2, didn’t let them have junk food, sweets, etc. Everything is a give and take, though, and for my sanity, I let up on my rules and repurposed an old iPad for the girls to use. I let them have some banana bread if we baked it together, and said yes to other wild and crazy things! 🙂 There were some mornings we all sat with our feet up watching tv or iPad, and we enjoyed it!
All of this time at home gave me ample opportunities to check some things off my To-Do list at the house. While the girls would play outside, I’d get yard work done. I finally hung the outdoor lights that had been sitting on a shelf for a year. I cleaned out the diaper bag since we weren’t going anywhere! I cleaned the family room rug while the girls enjoyed playing on the furniture in the family room while it was all over the place! When the girls played in the basement, I worked on getting rid of some things from the storage room. I placed so many clothes for sale and made a few bucks!
We made an effort to support local restaurants when we could, but I also cooked a lot. I focused on trying some things I hadn’t previously, like baking a super easy rustic white bread. So yummy! I also decided to spice up our breakfast routine with some breakfast bakes. It was nice to check some recipes off our list. Some were added to the save pile, while others didn’t make the cut.
We saved some money. We canceled car insurance for one car that was sitting unused in the garage. We also spent less money on children’s activities and eating out. We were grateful that our bank account got some relief because my husband’s work hours had been reduced from 40 to 32 for 90 days during the pandemic.
Overall, we enjoyed spending time at home with our little family of four. We enjoyed not rushing to go anywhere and not having to wrestle kids into shoes and jackets. We got a lot of quality time together, and it turned out to be a really special time. While changes can be challenging, I’m grateful that we were able to make the best of it and found the silver lining!