The Upside of Social Distancing | A Group Post

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Right now it seems, many of us have LOTS of free-time. Rather than focus on all that we can’t do, I wanted to focus on what we CAN do. So, I asked my fellow-writers what their up-side of social distancing looks like.

I’ve always wanted to do more learning activities with the kids outside (I have a friend who specializes in this from grad school). Today we took a walk and the kids (in 4K and 1st grade) took their notebooks and wrote down everything they saw that started with the letter D. It was fun to go for a walk (which I love) and have something that the kids really enjoyed. We’ve started and ended every day with a family walk which has been so nice to connect and not feel so rushed. Also, since so many outside of school activities are now being offered online, we’re planning to try them out together in the privacy of our home….with the curtains closed. 🙂 — Jackie Anderson

Since we’re so PHYSICALLY stifled, we’re giving the kids more freedom than we might otherwise for their at-home activities. Case in point: My daughter asked me today if she and her siblings could bake a cake, from scratch. I told her sure, as long as we have the ingredients. Normally, I’d supervise, but I’m working from home, so I’m just giving them free reign and extra trust. — Kirsten Adshead

I’m loving that I can put all the “to-do” lists aside and spend more time just being present with my kids. There’s no places we have to be, no activities to rush to or a schedule to remember. Nothing has to get done right that moment. The mental and emotional load of motherhood actually feels lighter right now. I feel like there’s this permission to just “let go” of a lot of things and focus on staying healthy and sane. We may get a little stir crazy, and the house will definitely be a mess, but right now all my kids have is me and it’s nice to feel like I can let so much go and be there for them 110%. — Kathryn Kuehn 

We’ve put off doing a toy purge for way too long, and our basement is full of toys that the kids have long outgrown. Now that they have extra time at home and need something to occupy some long hours while we work, it’s a great time to tackle that project and let them mostly be in charge of it. —Jenny Skrenes

This has really forced us to go out of our comfort zone (i.e. our daily hectic schedules that we’ve been accustomed to) and be creative and spur-of-the moment. We live by a golf course, and my husband took the boys to walk around it . . . and their walk turned into a golf ball hunt! They found 27 golf balls. And the activity didn’t stop there: they came home, rinsed and washed all the balls, wiped them off individually, and have been counting and recounting them. They are so excited and proud to have these little treasures that they worked hard to find! It really puts things in perspective – sometimes we have to step back and really see the magic in the simplest of things. It’s been great to see the world through the lens of our children these past couple days.  — Kim Hinkley

My almost 3-year-old was having a hard time with potty training. Mostly due to preschool cutting into the week, and also with the fear of pooping on the potty. This social distancing, and in our case, self-imposed isolation has given us the opportunity to slow down and give her what she needs to be able to gain the confidence that she needs to become fully potty trained. — Dan Sage

We’ve taken the time to clean up and purge items from the house. This means that our kids have discovered a lot of things that are becoming fun again. We have gotten outside together a lot more than we usually would, and that is such a gift when you have teens and tweens in your family. —Jessica Burfield

It’s been very strange having a calendar that has been completely cleared when we are used to having multiple things going on every day and night. Right now we have seven people under our roof with nowhere to go until who knows when. So, we made a very long list of movies we’ve been wanting to see. We are all getting outside way more than usual and I’ve decided to learn the guitar (why not?). I’m encouraging my kids to do some online learning in subjects they don’t take in school (my 12 year old is taking a sports and society class from Duke). We’re relaxing our strict screen rules and also playing more card and board games. — Julie Jensen  

We have our own basketball team at home now.

With all the extra time at home, I am getting a ton of heavy-duty spring cleaning done.  The chores I usually put off way too long are actually being accomplished at a much faster rate. The dishwasher is sparkling, the washing machine looks brand new, and the car seats no longer have layers of encrusted food in them.  Today, my toddlers started fighting over a dust rag because they both wanted to dust (ha!). Little do they know I will have an endless supply of dust rags for the both of them until they eventually move out. —Mehgan DeSmidt

So, what are you doing that is outside the box?

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Julie Jensen is a mom of five boys and one girl. She is a runner, biker, yoga instructor and socializer. That about sums it up. Believe it or not, she really does enjoy the soccer, cross country, swim team, track, dance classes, basketball, and theater her kids are involved in as long as she has another mom (or dad) to talk to during these events. Julie works part time at Fleet Feet Sports where she gets to talk to other (adult) runners and is also a yoga instructor and owner of Red Ox Yoga - https://redoxyoga.com/ You can follow her on Instagram at @out_numbered_mama6

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