You love your kids, but being with them 24/7 while you’re still trying to juggle all your other responsibilities can be a struggle. Everyone needs some downtime, and one of the keys to staying sane during quarantine is to take parenting breaks. Here are a few ideas that will help you get some time to yourself—even when you’re home with kids during quarantine.
Make a haven.
Create a space where you can be alone and have some quiet time to yourself. You don’t need a home office or special room. A walk to the park or a soak in the tub can both serve to give you some needed time on your own.
Take turns with your partner or an older child.
If you have a partner or if one of your children is older and responsible enough to look after their younger siblings for a while, schedule in time for them to take a turn entertaining the little ones.
Use the outdoors.
Sometimes just getting out of the house can help everyone work off some energy and feel less trapped in quarantine. Even though most playgrounds are off limits, you can still have fun on a nature walk or just playing in the backyard.
Virtual play dates.
Since kids can’t get together with friends, arranging a virtual “play date” can be a fun way for them to reconnect with their buddies. Online games, sing-alongs, and charades are all fun activities your children can do with friends over the internet.
You may find it helpful to establish “quiet time” each day. This can be anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Set your child up with a quiet activity like drawing, reading, building a puzzle, or playing with Legos, and then set the timer. Make it clear that they need to entertain themselves until the timer goes off.
Take time when the kids are in bed.
Parenting is a full-time job, especially with younger kids. If you can’t find time to yourself during the day, take an hour in the evening after the kids are in bed (or, if you’re a morning person, get up a bit earlier before they wake up) to relax and do something you enjoy.
Parenting during quarantine is tough, but you can do it successfully if you take breaks when you need them and make it a priority to look after yourself as well as your family.