Forced Staycation? Spring Break? Here’s some ideas for you

Forced Staycation? Spring Break? Here’s some ideas for you

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Scheduling among working mothers has become a sudden issue with the COVID-19 situation causing governments and health authorities to declare gatherings below various thresholds to no longer take place. This has churches moving online, schools shutting down, and parents scrambling to figure out what to do with their kids so they can work.

Where I live here in BC Canada, Spring Break has just started. This means parents here had already planned for those two weeks. Some had planned on going for a spring vacation while others had planned to send their kids to spring camps, etc. Many spring camps are halting while others are small enough to fit under the regulations and are still going.

At the Kangaroo FarmStaycations for those on Spring Break should now be a serious consideration. As a single working mother myself, vacations were out of the budget for much of my kids growth years. With no alimony or child support coming in outside of the benefits offered by the provincial and federal governments, choosing forms of work that would let me still be a parent whenever the kids were home from school, was a constant challenge. In 2010 I began working for a small business in town and 2 years later, I was given my first 10 day vacation period! This was one week with weekends on either side and one of them being a long weekend at that. I couldn’t have asked for a better time slot!

KVR MuseumWe live in Kelowna BC Canada, right in the middle of the Okanagan Valley and considered a tourist trap by many around the world. I decided we would play “tourist in our own town”, and each weekday had a different theme. One day was museum day where we visited several different museums. Another day was all about animals. We visited a local kangaroo farm, a goat cheese operation, a crocodile rescue operation, etc. We took a day to visit the Kettle Valley Railway museum and train ride. A different day was eating at restaurants we’d never visited before. We hardly eat out at all, so this day was a bit of a pickle to figure out because we eat at home pretty much all the time. We figured out a mid-morning treat, a lunch and a dinner and finished this particular day at our favourite icecream haunt. We might show up at this place once or twice a year, but we try to make it a yearly summer ritual if possible to have one cone from this place.

Myra Canyon TrestlesOne day we’d decided to walk the Myra Canyon trestles. The day started out well, a bit cloudy, and we kept overtaking another walking group in front of us even with stops to chat with a chipmunk, admire cliff faces, etc. We sat down for lunch off the trail and then decided we should head back to the van before the sun peaked. Unfortunately for us, some of those cliff faces we’d admired on our way to that point, became horrific heat reflectors on our way back! All three of us were suffering heat stroke by the time we reached the van and anything else we may have planned for that day was scrapped so we could recuperate.

Some of these theme days took more money than others to do, so I was grateful for the vacation pay I was able to put toward this staycation.

Prior to this particular event finally taking place, spring and summer activities often looked like the following:

Tourist in our own town Walk along waterfront DolphinsThe One Hour Walk Adventure that I wrote about earlier this month was a big one that we’d do.

Walking to the lake and either spending time on the beach or at the water park, or both. I will write more about this particular past time in greather depth as we get closer to summer.

The kids would play outside in the fenced yard climbing the trees or chasing each other around the yard or riding their bicycles in the alleyway. One of these stories will make it into an article about teaching resiliency. This is something many new parents were not taught themselves, so this article may be a shocker for younger millennial mothers when they come to it. This tomboy makes no apologies however. If you don’t build resiliency into your kids, you get the huge raft of mental health cases that are rising all over the first world nations.

[bctt tweet=”Picnics at the park can be a fun way to take lunch or dinner outside without buying anything beyond what you already have in the fridge for use at home.” username=”songdovemd”]Re-purposing it to take in a basket takes creativity, but it gives all of you fresh air and a change of scenery for a meal.

One thing you should try to avoid doing, is giving your younger children too much screen time. Don’t plunk them in front of your device to get them out of your hair. This actually causes long term slow brain degradation in the cognitive areas necessary for problem solving and people reading. We already have teenagers that can’t describe their own feelings and have to point to emojiis to tell you what they are feeling. Be a rebel and ensure your own kids don’t grow into that problem. Be a rebel and teach them how to be productively busy. ADD/ADHD is way over diagnosed because too many kids are more active than teachers want them to be. This level of activity is actually a boon that can be directed into household chores, yard work, gardening, washing the car, painting the fence, doing dishes, helping make meals, setting the table, vacuuming furniture, putting away toys, reorganizing the book shelf, etc. The busier you have the kids when their energy levels are high, the easier they will focus on their homework and schoolwork later. There is a direct medically-confirmed connection between lots of activity prior to cerebral output actually being beneficial. Kids need to run and play and get the wiggles out. This burns off excess energy and helps them think more clearly with all that added oxygen their activity sent to the brain.

Avoid giving your kids foods high in sugar and food colouring. Many cereals and packaged lunch-type snacks have ingredients high in both. This exacerbates energy levels and brain function. Look for cereals on store shelves that have as few of these ingredients as possible. Ingredient lists without these ingredients are your go-to as a mother. Your kids will get their needed sugars from the produce you buy in the produce section.

If you want help figuring out a schedule that works for you and your little ones over the long term, Taming the Clock is one of the coaching modules I offer. We go over your daily activities, we go over why it all feels rushed and harried, we ascertain what activities and actions are necessary and which are unnecessary and put together a method of dealing with daily life that works for your household in a calmer, more manageable pace. If you are now forced to work from home and the kids are forced to now be educated at home, there are SO many resources available coming out of the woodwork to help you out. Truth be told, this virus crisis may actually force a slow-down around the house that might give all of you a much-needed breather. Embrace that. If you want help figuring out how to embrace that, Taming the Clock can be tailored for that purpose as well. Book your SPA session (single parent assessment) and let’s chat.

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