A Mom’s Guide to the Rest of Quarantine

Today is Day 30 of the ECQ (Enhanced Luzon Quarantine in the Philippines due to Covid-19).  There are barely 3 more weeks to stay indoors.  If you (or any other mom you know) still haven’t gotten a clue on what to do in the house, here is a list:

1. Bond with your kids

This is a given even before the quarantine started.  When everyone is at home, its an automatic bonding time with the kids, not because you ask them to bond with you but because they tend to be glued to you whatever they or you are getting busy with. 

This time of quarantine, which may also be their summer break, set a chunk of the day, to really, intentionally bond with them.  Instead of you, telling them what to do or facilitating a task to them, let them lead the way.  Give them a say on what they want to do with you and do your best to engage in it with them. 

According to studies, giving them “free time” or the opportunity to choose what to do gives them the chance to genuinely play and experiment.  It helps them to be creative and adds to their level of confidence and sense of responsibility.

But then again, the rest of the day, provide a schedule for them to stick with.  Make sure to balance work and play, as well as, productivity in terms of learning about school stuff and the world.  Assign time for answering workbooks, gadget use, their own free time, arts, music and sports.

2. Connect with loved ones

Yes, holding girls night out and having coffee is out of the question but that does not mean that you cannot have fun with your family, sisters, loves and your girlfriends. The quarantine gives us the time to actually talk for hours, without school or office requirements, in a more unusual way – -virtually. Grab your phone and ask your mom how she’s doing with dad.  Share pictures of the kids playing, with their aunts and uncles.  Find support from your mom-friends if you are feeling under the weather. Now is the best time since we’ve got a lot of time on our hands.

Don’t forget the husband! Give him support if he is working from home. WFH setup may be harder since expectations from companies are greater. The bosses might more strictly looking for more productive outputs as compared to when they were in the office. Start a heart-felt conversation or, just like with your kids, let him lead the way. Spend time with him watching his favorite movie or playing a video game.

3. Clean

While some moms find this task burdensome or too routinary, others touch heaven when they can fix and arrange stuff the entire day! However you see cleaning, it helps us bring calm to where we’re staying and having a clutter-free environment during this time of worry is a plus in keeping us sane.  Along the way, you may also want to try out new organizational methods and see if it fits your family’s style.  Check out Konmari Method if you haven’t yet.

4. Know thyself

When we became mothers, we developed an eagle eye – for our kids.  Over the years, we might have mislooked our very selves while taking care of the little ones.  Take this time to look deep inside you.  Soul search. Reflect.  Websites like hackspirit.com, mindbodygreen.com, and others might help.  You can also take online quizzes to relearn your personality, interests and even IQ!  Check out 16personalities.com, brainly.com and iqtest.com.  You may even be amused at your horoscope for the day!

5. Explore interests

With a lot of free time, revisit your old hobbies. Was it cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, or just getting your artsy-craftsy pants on? Do it again! With limited supply of goods, there’s an extra challenge and you have to be more creative and more of a problem solver.  If what you are looking for is leveling up, find free online classes to up your game! I am hesitant to say it, but Facebook is a good tool to find free classes.  Businesses are offering limited time to take the classes so don’t forget to register and mark your calendars if you find a class that interests you.

dough, cook, recipe

6. Try out something new

Probably all of us aim for life-long learning and if you have been meaning to learn something new but wasn’t able to find the time, now is your golden chance!  Facebook can help you find free or discounted online classes.  These said classes are also applicable if you are looking to learn something job-related.  YouTube also gives you videos on your chosen topics.  If a lack of equipment is holding you back, say a musical instrument or art tools, find delivery groups on Facebook such as Lalamove or Angkas/Padala.  You may borrow from a friend or purchase from shops and have them deliver to your home.  You can also go old school and try to figure out the skill by yourself, instead of enlisting in online classes.

7. Quarantine project

This particular time is one for the books.  One day, we will look back and remember what went down in this time and place (our home).  A time capsule is definitely a good idea.  So, cook up a Family Quarantine Project.  It may just be a collection of pictures, a box of trinkets we collected during our home stay, a diary with all the quotes or memes that got us by, and a lot more ideas. We learned a lot during this difficult time and this special project will help us remember in the future.

8. Extend help in your own way

One of the things we learned these days is that not all heroes wear capes.  We will be forever grateful to our frontliners:  doctors, nurses, cleaners, vendors, couriers, bankers and telecom workers.  For most of us, our share is to stay home and care for our family.  Some sew masks or PPEs.  Some cooked for them.  Some donated cash.  Some prayed for world healing.  All of these are equally important.  Let us be one with the nation and help however we can.  A lot of organizations offer avenues to donate and even if Lent has just been concluded for Catholics, it is still a good time to make a small sacrifice and extend a helping hand.

9. Beautify yourself

People might just be expecting a fresh face from us after the quarantine.  After all, we have all these free time to ourselves, or so they think.  To live up a bit to these, do not forget to look after yourself.  Take care of your skin.  If you have an established beauty regimen, pharmacies are still open, and hopefully, the products you use are available.  If not, explore natural beauty remedies.  The following are popular remedies:

  • Drink plenty of fluid for hydration, especially on hot days
  • Aloe vera or coconut oil for a healthy scalp and hair
  • Kalamansi or lemon to cleanse skin and lighten dark spots
  • Tea bags or cucumber for dark circles under the eyes
  • Honey and turmeric for pore cleansing
  • Early sun for healthy and supple skin
running, runner, long distance

Beautify your body by making sure to include exercise in your daily schedule.  Free online yoga and Pilates classes are available.  Zumba, care of YouTube can also suffice.  Walking and running around the village, is a good way to break a sweat. (Authorities warn us of wearing masks during exercise. Just keep a good distance from others to keep safe.) And if we can, eat in moderation.

Beautify your soul by choosing to be happy, praying and helping.  Avoid stressing over things you have no control over. Just let them be. Nothing beats beauty that glows from the inside.

10. But, really, do whatever you want!

Whatever list you follow for you or for your kids, remember to love yourself first! Binge-watch TV series on Netflix, lounge on the couch all day, or finish reading a book in one sitting. Just as long as it keeps you happy, go!  The Covid-19 and Quarantine situation is like an airplane in turbulent skies, you have to remember to put your mask on first.  So, do what makes you happy and indulge on what keeps you sane!

You don’t have to do everything on the list but I am hoping that you got a couple of good ideas to lessen your burden at home.  I am praying for you and everybody else.  May we all come out of this stronger, wiser and kinder than we have ever been!

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