Surviving at home with the kidsMar 20, 2020
Well, the world has changed quite a bit since I wrote a blog post about 10 days ago. Thankfully, my family and my friends are all well. I have three freezers and am a classically trained chef... so we aren't going to starve. I hope all of you reading this are well and secure. Of course there are many long term, societal, and economic consequences of this situation. But for those of us with kids, the battle is more day to day at this point. As there is talk of school being done for the YEAR, I'm pretty psyched my wife and I survived week one. I thought I would share some insights over the next few weeks about how to survive our sequestration with ADHD kids... and an ADHD dad.
First check out the picture below. SCHEDULING IS KEY! It's less about the specifics or even if you stick to it. But it sure beats the, "what do we do now" discussion. That's usually when my kids go off the rails. Bear in mind that I have a relatively independent 11 year old and an extremely needy almost-six-year-old. Your needs and results may vary.
Here are some specifics of what I try to put in my schedule every day.
- I need to work out every day. That can be spin bike, weights, or digging out a bed in the garden. Generally my parenting is more on point if I get my workout in earlier in the day.
- Even though life is crazy, I'm making time to practice the drums every day. I'm not very good and haven't been playing for that long. But I enjoy it; it's "me" time; and it's reasonably physical.
- My wife and I are insisting that we get 1/2 an hour of time together without the kids every day. We call it "rest time." Sometimes it is "rest" time. Sometimes... you can fill in the blanks. But is helps keep us sane and connected. This is especially important because we are pretty exhausted by the time the kids are in bed at night.
- The kids need exercise every day. And, yes, I actually took them to Milton Academy's football field and ran suicides with them at least one day this week. There has also been some gardening, biking, scootering, basketball, walks, and some playground time.
- I also think it is important to take turns. Thankfully, I was off this week. My wife is in catering sales. So you can imagine what a S-show that has been. But we still managed to switch off a bit so that neither of us was stuck with the kids all day. That way no one gets burned out or resentful. In other words. Don't stop communicating about your needs with your partner.
- For most folks I'd say, loosen up the rules about screen time etc. But my kids don't respond well when they get too much screen time. We are letting them watch TV when they are eating breakfast and lunch. And, we are watching fun movies after dinner. We've already watched "School of Rock" and are working on "Back to the Future" now. If I absolutely need a break, I'll go with a cooking show or a Rick Steves with the kids.
If anyone wants my Excel template for the schedule, just send me an email. Good luck and stay well.
Standard Disclaimer: In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts muh, if at all. Please excuse typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.