Adjusting to Life at Home with the Kids

Ok, for those of us with kids at home, let’s be honest. Those “COVID-19 Daily Schedules” with perfectly planned stay-at-home activities were never going to work. I’m not saying it wasn’t worth the attempt, but it was never realistic. My youngest and oldest are 5 years apart. My 9-year-old daughter loved the idea, but once my 14-year-old son saw a bedtime of 8:00 p.m., he was out before he was in. Now, I wasn’t going to just let them sit around on screens all day. One child reminded me that it was their March Break so I asked him if he wanted a week of freedom followed by an unknown number of weeks of a strict schedule, or something in between. Like me finding a middle ground between Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett, we came up with a decent routine that has been working fairly well.

With more time at home, we are enjoying cooking and eating together more often. We started with a few themed nights: Italian — homemade pizza crust; Mexican — burritos with homemade guacamole; and Greek — homemade turkey burgers. Then we moved on to trying new recipes. Each kid takes a turn cooking with one parent, and the leftovers are enjoyed at later meals. I was thinking of making something with rice last night and just happened to see this recipe for Fried Rice when I glanced at my phone. I rarely follow a recipe exactly so substituted a few times and it turned out just fine.

I typically run on my own so this physical distancing hasn’t changed that part of my life. However, I would join a small group for Saturday morning runs, something I’ve done with the same few friends for several years. I was able to run with two good friends on March 14, but have been solo since. One good friend is incredibly swamped because he builds e-learning software. Another is busy managing a food production company and, along with his wife who is a nurse, is exposed to too many people. I dearly miss these runs with these very special people, but know that patience is key and we will unite again. In the meantime we keep in touch through texting, social media … and the occasional kudos on Strava.