Quarantine Life – How Moms are Surviving
Quarantine life sucks!
It’s been nearly a month since a stay at home order has been in effect in North Carolina. For my family, it’s been about 6 weeks of quarantine life. We hunkered down before things started to officially shut down in our state. Needless to say, we are all going stir crazy in here. While my neighborhood is nothing short of idyllic for this quarantine, I really do miss human contact. I miss friends and family, and my son misses his school and friends.
From the beginning of the pandemic, things started to get heated in our house. My husband is prone to anxiety and after becoming a mother, I started to experience anxiety as well. My anxiety expressed itself physically with a thumping heart, dizzy spells and nausea, and emotionally with burning rage. Tempers flew in our house almost daily. Our eldest is prone to very aggressive meltdowns. So having lost his routine and having parents who were losing their minds led to multiple meltdowns every day! Our youngest son is pretty even keel, but even he started melting down a lot more than usual. Needless to say, this quarantine life has been rather trying for us.
Usually, when I start feeling anxious or depressed, I draw into myself and isolate. But given that I was already isolating, I felt that a different strategy was needed. So instead, I reached out. I reached out to my blogger community and asked other moms how they’re surviving their quarantine life. When I received answers, I immediately felt less alone. Reading other moms’ experiences made me feel connected and normal. I wasn’t the only one struggling. Everyone was. But also, everyone found solutions to the boredom and stir craziness.
Here are the stories of moms surviving quarantine life
Kaitlynn, mom of 2 (5 y.o. and 2 y.o.) – thislovelyfarmhouse.com:
“I have two rambunctious boys, ages 5 and 2, and the adjustment from going from Pre-K 5 days a week to homeschooling, while entertaining the two year old, has been a challenge. We actually have now been out of school for over a month due to spring break occurring right before quarantine life began and my kids are going stir crazy. So I have invested in bubbles, chalk, and Legos to keep them busy. We do lots of outside time as we live in Texas and can enjoy the warmer temps. When it isn’t raining I take the boys on daily “walks” up the driveway; they barely last 1/2 a mile but it gets their energy out.”
Felicia, mom of 3 (6 y.o. and 4 y.o. twins) – https://www.myfordgirls.com:
“Biggest parenting challenge: Trying to balance the needs of a first-grader and soon to be Pre-K children. The amount of schoolwork that my first-grader has surprised me. We try to tackle that in the mornings which leaves the 4-year-olds to fend for themselves. It’s concerning that they may not be ready for kindergarten, but I have to remember that we have an entire year to prepare and not to stress. I have had to learn to split up the morning and even prepare Matthew’s lessons the night before to help me manage my time better.
Behavior: for the most part they have been behaving pretty well. I would say that everyday around 1 pm they start to get a bit stir crazy and that is my cue to take them outside or incorporate some type of physical activity. This is our new quarantine life normal”
Ann, mom of 1 (5 months) – https://splendidwoman.com/:
“I’m a first-time mom to a gorgeous 5 months baby girl. However, due to COVID-19, I have an opportunity to stay with my adorable 5 y.o. twin nephews. You know what this means! Double trouble!
My biggest challenge has been the fact that while trying to get a grip on being a mom, I now have to be an instant mom to 3 kids. These boys are as cheeky as they come, toys everywhere, fighting over everything, and being confined to the house is not helping either. They want to go to the playground to play with their friends. On the upside, I get to bond with them and they keep my baby active, engaged and entertained.
Also, they have taught me how to deal with different situations. For example, if they are fighting over a toy, I will keep it until they agree to share. We are substituting the living room for the playground by creating different play themes per week. Also, whoever is best behaved during the day gets a reward. Each day is a learning opportunity for us all as we wait for better days and the end of quarantine life.”
Jennifer, mom of 1 (1 y.o.) – www.spicedbeauty.com
“The biggest challenge of our quarantine life is my husband and I working while our daughter is home. She requires attention and wants to play but it’s so hard when we both have obligations. Her mood fluctuates – some days she’s really happy and other days she super moody and wants to be in our arms. To deal with that my husband and I have been working on a schedule – so that when one of us is working the other one can play with her. So far it has been working well.”
Rachel, mom of 1 (1.5 y.o.) – https://youtu.be/2UgxE93l6WM
“Biggest parenting challenge: Honestly, my life has not changed. I’m a stay at home mom so we are home anyways. The only thing that has changed is usually we visit my parents, grandparents, go to the park, mall, etc and we can’t do any of that. I’ve had to become more creative with things to do at home.
Misbehaving: Does any toddler not misbehave? Haha. I can tell she is bored and wants to go somewhere. Sometimes we just get in the car and drive around to get out of the house. Or we will go for a walk but avoid the playground we live near because she will point and then cry that we are not playing on the playground.”
Jacqueline, mom of 2 (2y.o. and one on the way) – www.mommoneymap.com
“My biggest parenting challenge has been keeping my daughter educated and stimulated while working my full-time job and part-time blog from home. Since quarantine life began she’s been misbehaving as usual. Standing on top of tables and chairs, often doing a little dance and then occasionally falling off and hitting her head. When it happens, I tell her she did it to herself. She cries and maybe forgets about it for a few days and then does it again.”
Margaret, mom of 1 (4 y.o.) – https://suburbantourist.ca
“The biggest challenge is balancing out screen-time with other activities while trying to work and keep up the household. I find keeping to regular routines, eating together as a family and being patient with outbursts (with constant repetition of the “rules”) seems to be working OK. We throw in fun activities like pretending our home is a restaurant, doing impromptu dance parties and other fun, out-of-the-ordinary things to keep him and us from dying of quarantine life boredom.”
Samantha, mom of 4 (8 y.o., 7 y.o., 3 y.o., and 5 months old) – www.theparttimemama.com
“Our biggest parenting challenge is giving each child attention while also completing our own to-do lists each day. Our kids’ biggest misbehavior right now is trouble getting along. They aren’t used to being cooped up in the house (or yard) together 24/7. We have been combating that by having them each go off to do something alone when they start annoying each other. After a cool down time they all come back out and usually get along again.”
Cherish, mom of 1 (1 month old) – www.curatedbycherish.com
“When I found out I was pregnant, I would have never thought I would be bringing a child into a world so different from the one that I was used to. However, it was only two weeks after my son was born that everyone began sheltering in place. A newborn is a cause for celebration and a way to bring families closer together, but we have not been able to share our joy.
I personally have been frustrated, because when my son just won’t go to sleep or I just need the emotional support, I am unable to call upon my tribe. I have definitely cried over the absolute isolation of quarantine life parenting, so much so I questioned whether I had PPD (I don’t) and have even had the thought of allowing family over at the risk of my son’s health, which is absolutely terrifying to think about as I’ve been parenting as by-the-book as I can. Thankfully, we have stayed as connected to family as we can – through social media and plenty of video calls. All we can do is hope that we can socialize our baby soon enough and we can feel as if there is a semblance of normalcy.”
Sandra, mom of 3 (7-17 y.o.) – www.optimizedlife.com
“My husband and I both work full time from home and now we have three kids to home-school. The most challenging part about that is their age differences. While my older two can manage most on their own, they still need some help with math. I have to constantly switch my brain from Algebra 2 to Pre-algebra to 1st-grade math. It is mentally exhausting.
After work (5pm), we all go downstairs and just spend time together, however that looks. We gather around the kitchen and talk while someone is cooking, eat together, then do some kind of activity outside. Most days, we go for a family walk, then play sports in the back yard. Nothing too planned or structured. We just go with the flow and do what we feel like doing at the time. I feel it’s more intentional that way. So far, we are all enjoying the downtime. I know each day is different, but all we can do is take things one day at a time.”
Kristen, mom of 2 (2.5 y.o. and 1 y.o.) – https://www.genymama.com
“The biggest parenting challenge has been keeping my kids occupied. At first, it seemed my kids were handling quarantine just fine. I’m a stay at home mom, so we were used to being home most days. It, however, has become obvious that our “quick trips” to the mall or to Target really helped break up our week. And not being able to leave the house has started taking its toll. I try to occupy them with books, arts and crafts, time outside, but our days are still left with a lot of time to fill. There are certainly moments when my older one acts out and it’s just because she is bored.”
Cendu, mom of 1 (2.5 y.o.) – https://cenduparam.com
“So, I’m a work from home mama who’s day has been turned completely upside down with all this social distancing and crazy pandemic. I have a little guy who’s 2 1/2 years old and we’re very good with our routine but things have been shaken up now. It kinda feels like the newborn stage all over again. Lots of crying, a little bit of hiding in the bathroom just to take a minute to breathe. Me feeling like I’m losing my mind and trying to do a million things but getting nothing done.
For a little bit I just had to let myself wallow and let the pieces fall where they may. My little guy was completely off his schedule with his dad being home. He was in no mood to listen to what I had to say with the fun parent around. Eventually, this led to him sleeping super late which meant I got no downtime between work, him and taking care of everything at home. I finally had to say enough, I need help! Hubby and I sat down and worked out a schedule, so that we could take turns working and watching our son. I went over my little guy’s usual schedule and we both agreed to do our best to stick to it.
Slowly but surely, we’re finding our rhythm again. It’s still hard but we’re learning as we go. This whole thing has taught me the importance of being able to roll with the punches because NOTHING IN LIFE IS GUARANTEED! What a wake up call! Just know, you’ll get through it (it’s okay if you have to cry a little first).”
Erin, mom of 1 (21 months old) – www.themindfullyscientificmama.com
“My biggest parenting challenge during this difficult time has been finding ways to keep my little one engaged and active when we can’t go to the playground. We do not have a play-set in our yard yet, so we (my husband and I) have been struggling to give my little one the climbing experience they crave. Our solution has been going for lots of walks, offering lots of sensory activities, offering smaller climbing opportunities in and around our home, kicking around a soccer ball in the yard, and being understanding that sometimes our LO will decide they want to climb, and being sympathetic to their need for exploration while also holding to our boundaries surrounding safety. Sometimes it feels like they are climbing up the walls, but aren’t we all some days!
Temper tantrums are bound to happen, too, and when you aren’t able to get a reprieve, it can be harder to deal with your child calmly. At least, it is for me! But a parent melting down doesn’t help much during a tantrum now, does it? So we’ve been making sure to tend to our mental health so we can be as effective parents as possible. Meditation and each of us taking time several times a week for hobbies or self-care has been essential. By ensuring we are the best we can be under the circumstances, we ensure we are able to manage any difficult behaviors that might pop up with our little one as best we can.”
Xuan Wei, mom of 3 (7 y.o, 5 y.o., and 3 y.o.) – https://formommiesbymommy.com/
“It is really challenging to facilitate all three children’s daily assignments given by the school and plan other activities throughout the day to keep them occupied, while having to cook and clean the house as well. My biggest challenge is managing my emotions and keeping sane in the midst of the mess and lack of quiet being stuck with three rowdy kids at home. It’s important to plan the day’s schedule with the kids, so I can also set aside time for myself. I create printable activities for kids and have a weekly activity planner and home-school resource library too.”
Alexis, mom of 2, (3.5 y.o., and 1 month old) – www.mammainpearls.com
The hardest part has been the isolation for my oldest. She’s a very active child, so not being able to go to the park to burn off some energy has been a struggle. We’ve been trying to get outside in the front and backyard a couple times a day but with me still recovering from birth it’s not been as easy to play with her.
Between the quarantine and adjusting to a new sibling we’ve definitely had some acting out (hitting, mess making). I do my best to empathize with how hard all this must be for her and let her know that I love her. Then we clean the mess up together (literally if there was a mess and with a hug and sorrys if she hit me). The hardest part of dealing with the behavior is recognizing and handling my own stress without taking it out on her. Everyday is a new opportunity to parent myself kindly!”
Melinda, mom of 2 (11 y.o. and 5 y.o.) – www.narwhalmoon.ca
“The hardest part has been trying to keep both of them entertained and encourage learning while I trying to tele-work. We live in an apartment in Quebec, Canada so the weather hasn’t been the best. We don’t have much of a yard either to go out and play in. Being stuck inside hasn’t been the easiest. My youngest misses her preschool class and gymnastics classes. She was looking forward to her first “real” birthday party with her preschool friends last week. The poor kid took it so hard, even though we tried to make it extra fun and special. It broke my heart. She has been talking about her “5 Birthday” for the last six months.
We have pretty strict restrictions in place here in Quebec and are going on week 6 of physical distancing. Overall, they are behaving pretty well. They get a bit sassy when I ask them to clean. I have kind of lowered my standards a bit. We turn off our wi-fi until they do some chores or educational activities.”
Megan, mom of 7 (15 y.o., 14 y.o., 11 y.o., 7 y.o., 5 y.o, 4 y.o., and 2 y.o.) – www.climbinginheels.com
“We live in the Cayman Islands and school has been out now since about the second week of March; the experience has been indescribable. I have been a work-from-home mom now since 2013 and always had some sort of home-school environment and material to support my children’s learning – but never could I have imagined the feeling of making the transition to a full home-school program/schedule with less than 24 hrs notice!
The news that schools would be closed came on a Friday afternoon a few hours before school was coming to an end that day, this meant that as of that instant my children would no longer be waking up to dress and head off to school which allowed me to have quiet time to keep up with my business tasks and blogging. Over the past several weeks I have begun to get more of a structure together for my work schedule, housework, philanthropy and my daughters’ at-home learning – but surely it has not been easy at all! The teamwork of my husband and I is the glue holding my sanity together right now along with lots of faith and prayer!”
Jess, mom of 2 (3 y.o. and 1 y.o.) – www.unlikelywahm.com
“My little ones are doing pretty well… I think. My one year old barely knows the difference. He really seems to enjoy the family Face Times and his daycare’s daily Zoom story time. He just started daycare in January, so he is used to being home all the time. My 3 year-old is having a tougher time. He is regressing in many ways. He goes from elated that he is getting more screen time and lots of fun outside activities, saying things like, “this is the best day ever!” to having a variety of very emotional meltdowns. He is whining more than ever and yelling (and screaming) quite a bit. His fuse is much shorter these days.
I find that mine is too. We both end up upset, and then apologetic. I am doing my best to remember that this is difficult for him too. Even though he doesn’t fully understand what is going on, he does know that everything is closed, he misses his school friends and his grandpa dearly, and he asks if we can go to certain favorite places (and knows that the answer is no).
I am dealing with this by constantly reminding myself that he is as stressed (more?) than me, that he is just a little guy. My solution has been to let go of a lot and work on having more patience with him and trying to say yes as frequently as possible. I have to say no (to his grandpa visiting, to the park, to the jumpy, to so many things) so often these days, that I just want to say yes more and more. So… a lot of our “rules” are no longer. We will get back into everything eventually, but for now, we are letting things go. And we are snuggling and taking it all very slow.”
Amylee, mom of 3 teenagers – www.ProductiveMama.com
“I’m a mom to three teenage girls. One is at military school this year and the other will leave for college next year. So I consider this time with everyone home an unexpected gift. They are not little so I don’t have to constantly entertain them, which is very different than if you have toddlers. We don’t have a huge house and personalities do clash. As such, I’m back to a chore schedule for them and also encouraging outdoor time for everyone, including myself. I’m letting them sleep in, but insisting on jobs getting done each day. Everyone pitching in when you’re living together 24/7 is vital, even in non-quarantine times!
They’re watching a movie a day together because they enjoy doing that together (Sister Movie Time, they call it). I’m also being more relaxed about screen and phone time because that is THE way they are able to connect with others right now. I’m trying to accept the complaining because it’s legitimate. My senior, especially, has lost a lot of rites of passage this year because of this and my other two also really miss visiting with friends. It’s hard, but overall, I spent a lot of time and energy raising helpful people I enjoy being with, so I am not miserable. This time together is a blessing in many ways.”
Roshini, mom of 2 (3 y.o. and 10 months old) – https://mommylifehappylifeblog.wordpress.com/
“The biggest challenge has been working from home with a lot of meetings to attend and managing both of the kids. Also, I try to limit screen time to 1 hour a day. And I feel guilty if it goes more than that when I have to attend important meetings and can’t have my kids around. Managing sleep routines has been a challenge, as my 3 year old doesn’t want to sleep anymore and she keeps coming out of the room and disrupting my work. At the same time I have to make the 10 month old sleep and sometimes I will have meetings at that time, so I can’t stick to a routine. Quarantine life has been harder than I thought it would be, especially finding time to do my passion – blogging.”
I hope that reading all these different experiences of quarantine life allowed you to breathe easier. I know it has for me. Knowing that other parents are in the same struggle but still manage to keep their heads above water gives me hope and strength. This will eventually end and we will come out stronger.
Please, share your experiences of life in quarantine. I would love to share more with my readers.