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Lessons from Shelter in Place

May 28, 2020 by Hillary Schulte

The COVID-19 virus outbreak and shelter in place order had never crossed my mind as a possibility in the past. Now that it is here, and staying at home is the new temporary normal, I have learned so very much as a parent.

Take a Time Out
Staying at home has allowed me to slow down and find more time for myself. Self Care falls in this category, and I like to think of self care as a personal time out. When things get back to normal after the shelter in place is lifted, I plan to schedule a daily time out because it is so important for mental and physical health.

Enjoy Each Moment of Your Children
They are only young once! I admit that some days are a challenge. Our kids are not perfect, but they are learning and developing every day. Each tantrum or test of patience is short in the big picture. The love and support that our children receive if far more valuable in the big picture. By spending more time with my kids, I’ve learned to take a deep breath to get through speed bumps more smoothly, and to completely embrace the developments and milestones that come our way. “Cherish every moment” speaks for itself here.

Prep a Go Bag
Extra time at home has resulted in trying to check off my to-do list. What was at the top of my list? Prepping disaster Go Bags for everyone in the family. You can also turn prepping a go bag into a fun family activity! Such an important thing to do with the possibility of fires, earthquakes or any other emergency. To tag along with this idea, a family activity idea is to practice evacuation plans together so everyone is on the same page should you need to evacuate.

Have Emergency Supplies on Hand
I usually make sure that we have extra supplies in case of an emergency or natural disaster. Our pantry is normally decently stocked and when supplies get low (toilet paper!) we usually replenish when the supply is down to half. Ironically, in the beginning of the year we moved and tried to use up most of our pantry and didn’t buy extra paper supplies like paper towels because we didn’t want to move them. We settled into our new home and tried to keep supplies low just for space and a fresh start. Then boom! Shelter in place was ordered. Although it took time and keen strategy to get supplies to our home, we did it slowly but surely. I learned a hard lesson, we are normally over prepared but when the need was there, we were under prepared. I guess we should revert to our previous state of being over stocked on emergency supplies because there is no such thing as being too prepared!

Silver Lining (if there is one) 
The extra time together as a family has been phenomenal. We quickly developed a daily schedule as soon as our county announced the shelter in place. Yes, we sleep in a little longer than usual (admit it, you do too!), but as soon as we are up, we start our morning routine. There is more time to enjoy cooking and eat meals as a family. We go on a daily walks and bike rides, and if I miss heading out for one of them, my two year old quickly reminds me of by putting his bicycle helmet on and riding his bike to the front door! He knows the routine and won’t let me skip a beat. We do more arts and crafts together, help our eight year old with homework that sometimes we don’t even understand (any other mamas with me on that?!), and spend time gardening together. We just simply have more family time and I love that we do.