Family life in the time of COVID-19: Our flexible daily rhythm

While we’re self-distancing at home to keep our community safe, we’ve come up with a daily family schedule. It has visual icons and corresponding labels for ease of use by kids and adults. Whether you call it a daily rhythm, schedule, flow or agenda, it all boils down to the same thing: a reminder of how to keep putting one foot in front of the other during challenging times.

I keep writing and deleting the introduction to this post. No words seem to encompass the new reality we’re all living with. So I’ll just say this. I hope you are staying well and showing kindness to yourself during this challenging time! I also want to pause and recognize the great privileges my (and maybe your?) family has. We so far both have jobs and are able to work from home. We have food, a washing machine, and a yard. We have the internet and the ability to video and phone chat with family and friends across town and the country. We are currently healthy and focusing on gratitude.

We are now almost a week in of self-distancing at home with two working parents, two kids and one needy old dog at home all day, every day.

Our family needed a predictable and reasonable yet flexible daily rhythm. This is what we designed and it is working for us so far. It’s still tricky, we are still all navigating big feelings, but this is offering a bit of a relief. Our kids know they can go check on where we are and what’s next, and the adults have more confidence to maintain boundaries (especially around snacks and screen time.) We were inspired by Avital from The Parenting Junkie’s new free resource “Play Pandemic” (https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/playpandemic) Her schedule/daily flow as an experienced homeschooling mom helped tremendously.

This all being said, we’ve certainly had to “throw out the script” and turn on a movie if work responsibilities bubble over.

We created our visual daily rhythm over a couple of days and my kids were a part of almost every step. It gave them confidence and some ownership over the idea.

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