It’s easy to focus on the challenging nature of life under quarantine: worrying about getting sick, missing family and friends, financial stress over canceled shifts/job loss, and the added difficulty of surprise homeschooling, just to name a few.
But after social distancing for several weeks now, I have also noticed some positive aspects to this new way of life.
1. A new low-maintenance lifestyle
I’ve been coloring my hair every 2 months since high school. But my “Rona Roots” are growing out now! This is the first time I will get to see my natural hair color in 20 years, and I’m actually pretty curious. And no need to waste time straightening your hair, putting make up on, or even changing into real pants. If you want to get fancy, you can put a bra on before you go check the mail. Don’t feel like bathing the kids every day? No worries! Who’s going to judge you? They just need to be “quarantine clean,” which I have found has much lower standards than “school clean.”
2. Housework is a breeze
Sure the kids are home all day and may be tearing the house up, but since they are already there, they can clean it up too and then some! For example, whenever I hear the word “bored,” I assign a chore. Also helpful: 80% of our laundry consists of pajamas. And, since newly homeschooled kids apparently eat 37 meals a day, I’ve resorted to using paper plates, so there are less dishes to do. But even if you slack on the housework, it’s fine; no one is coming over anyway!
3. More Sleep
Instead of getting up at 6:00 everyday to start getting kids ready to go to their various schools, I now sleep in until 7:30 most days. My kids still get up at 6:00, but they just help themselves to breakfast and will go to great lengths not to wake me up. Somehow the same kids that have long perfected a “talk/scream” volume of communicating are now all little mice because they know that once I’m up, I make them turn the TV off and do something productive!
4. No one argues about where to go anymore
My kids hate to stay at home, but they never can decide where they want to go. Usually I just let my favorite kid of the day choose. Well not anymore! They don’t even ask if they can go anywhere; in fact, they get excited just to go to the car wash. I know this sounds a little sad but at least it helps keep the peace.
5. Quarantine Memes
Never has the internet been funnier than right now! Just when I think the walls are closing in on me or that I can’t possibly homeschool anymore, I open Facebook and see a hilarious meme about it, and it gives me strength to keep going!
I now have all the time in the world to teach my kids those important skills I have procrastinated on. Skills such as potty training my youngest (which is going horribly, thanks for asking), teaching the twins to tie their shoes (the first session ended in tears so I have abandoned the idea indefinitely), and finally getting boy twin to ride a bike (I remembered the tears over tying shoes and I haven’t started this one). But the way things are looking, I still have plenty of time to try!
When the world around you is crazy, turn your TV on, and get into some shows that are even crazier. In case you’ve been living under a rock, allow me to introduce you to “Love Is Blind” (did you know Mark is only 24??) and “Tiger King” (Carol definitely fed her husband to the tigers). It’s as if Netflix knew this quarantine was coming and put together these gems just for us!
8. I’m excited about going to work
I won’t say I used to dread going to work, but now I almost look forward to it now. Getting to see my co-workers is now the only social life I have. I love spending time with my kids, but sometimes, after the third day in a row of breaking up fights over things that only kids have the energy to argue about and cleaning pee off bathroom walls and wondering why I even started potty-training, I need an opportunity to miss my kids!
9. Creative cooking
You know when you are going out of town for a week and you are determined to use up the last of the food? And lunches consist of an egg, half a slice of turkey, a handful of cereal, and more milk than you ever wanted to drink in one sitting? Well our meals are a lot like that lately. When you don’t know what the grocery store will actually have in stock, you have to get creative with your recipes, and it’s actually been kind of fun!
10. Plenty of time to work out
I literally have no excuses now. Whenever the kids argue about what YouTuber to watch or I find an entire roll of precious toilet paper my toddler threw in the toilet, I go out to the garage and do a quick workout. I’ve even gotten my kids to work out with me, and they are so bored that they do it willingly. I mean, what are they doing to do? Run away? That would still be great cardio!
All these things I’ve listed have been wonderful but the biggest bonus of staying at home is that WE ARE HEALTHY—I cannot stress this enough!
And not just for coronavirus; we haven’t been sick with any of the normal viruses that are constantly going around. If you and your family are healthy, then the quarantine is doing its job! So keep up the good work!