Are you under stress from the weight of life? Follow these simple tips to help your family feel more prepared and survive hard times!
The news has been full of stories about how the world is changing. Schools and extracurricular events are being cancelled left and right, supplies are flying off the store shelves faster than they can be restocked, and people are being put under somewhat of a quarantine. What do you do? How can you prepare at this point?
I want to set your mind at ease…You can do this! You can make it through hard times. It won’t be easy, but you can do it. I’ve been blogging about simplifying life for the past few years and have quite a few resources I want to share with you! Let’s cover a few simple tips to help you ride out the storm with a little more peace of mind, and a lot less fear!
The first things that stores started running out of were toilet paper, water, and diapers. If you have a small child in diapers, and you are getting nervous as your supply gets low, here are a few options you have:
If your child is 18 months or older, maybe now is a good time to think about potty training! Although this may not be ideal, if you are going to be home for the next two weeks anyway, now you have a project that will take your full attention and save you money in the long run. Having potty trained 6 kids including one VERY strong willed child, I feel somewhat of an expert. Here are my tips on potty training. If your child does not seem ready, rushing to potty train just because of a panic is NOT the best option.
Cloth diapers can actually be extremely cost effective, and last for years! I bought all the supplies to get started potty training for right around $100. Depending on what size and brand of diapers you use, you could make up the difference in about four months. Here is an article all about the diapers I used to get started. Once I knew I was committed, I invested further in some accessories to make cloth diapering even easier.
For many people, running to the grocery store to grab a couple of last minute items for dinner on the daily may be a part of life that will change drastically. Stores are out of staples such as flour, oatmeal, eggs, milk, bread, cheese, etc. How can you get by without the conveniences you are used to?
Plan Ahead BEFORE you Shop
In our house, I try to go grocery shopping every other week, or once a month. I do this mostly because I hate shopping. In order to be able to do this, I have found that I have to stock up on certain items. I also have found over the years that there are certain pantry staples that if purchased can be used in a variety of meals. To simplify my life a bit, I created a rotating meal plan by making a list of meals that we regularly enjoy.
Even though things are crazy right now, it would be better to take a step back and make a plan, then to panic and buy a bunch of random ingredients you won’t end up using. I have a whole series to help you with food and meal planning. Take a second to read through:
Families everywhere are being thrown into the homeschooling world all of a sudden with little to no preparation. I remember when I started homeschooling, and it was an intimidating and somewhat scary time to try to navigate the waters of being the main educator for my children. The best news is, there are MANY free resources out there to help you through this time.
Create a Routine
You probably already have routines established for getting kids ready and out the door in the morning. Now, we just need to extend that routine throughout the day. It is too exhausting for Mom to be on call at every moment. Check out our Homeschool Routine, and create a routine to suit the needs of your own family and personal situation. Be sure to include time to get energy out, have independent play to give you a break, and time to help out around the house!
Online Educational Games
I have seen multiple posts on social media for various websites that have great resources, but I have found that many of those websites are also crashing due to the high volume of traffic.
These websites may not be the most popular or widely advertised, but they are tried and true over the years for teaching my children. There are many online games to choose from. As a mom, if my child is going to be spending any amount of time on the computer, I want to ensure they are getting quality screen time, not zombie brain screen time that will make them cranky later on. Here are some of our favorite free websites for math, typing, language learning, and coding. Your children may also have accounts to additional websites they use in school, so be sure to talk to your kids!
My Favorite Free Curriculum
If you have ever had even a small thought of wanting to try homeschooling before, you could go all out and try diving in…for free! The Good and The Beautiful is our all time favorite curriculum. We use their Language Arts, History, Math (for the lower levels), and Science. The Good and the Beautiful offers their Language Arts levels 1-5 for FREE! Your kids will not only learn new skills like diagramming sentences, they will also read amazing stories, learn wholesome morals, and gain an appreciation for beautiful art.
We LOVE to read as a family! With so many libraries closed now, what do you do? If you have a Library Card, log onto the Libby app and listen to audio books for free! Go on a hunt through your home and see if you have any books that have been made into movies. Read the book aloud, and then watch the movie and compare the two. Act out a play from a favorite children’s book. Make a fort and have a read-a-thon. Reading is a quiet activity that can keep these little minds engaged and learning.
Messes and Snacks
Having your kids home full time can create two new issues: more messes and kids begging for food all the time.
If you don’t already have a chore system established, use some of this free time to teach your kids to help with the responsibilities around the home. We have tried creating zones that each child is responsible for keeping clean throughout the day and that worked great. We also have given each child a different individual chore each day they are responsible for. Choose whichever system works best for your family!
Snacks can be hard at a time like this. Choose simple and inexpensive snacks that will also be filling. Establish set snack times so your children aren’t grazing throughout the day and draining your cupboard. We have snack at 10:30 and 3. My kids never let me forget either snack time!
Funds and resources may be tight for the next little bit. We don’t really know what things will be like from week to week. Now would be a great time to take stock of what you have and organize your home and life from top to bottom.
If you don’t already have one, sit down with your family or spouse and create a budget that works for you. Figure out where might you have to make adjustments to your lifestyle over the next little bit. Anticipate changes in your income and spending.
If your house has not been deep cleaned in awhile, why not take advantage of this time to really see what is lurking in the corners of your home? You could clean KonMari style which is working by category, or you could go room by room. I’ve done both, and each one has worked well for different times in my life. I have a good idea of all the contents of my home, but you never know if you will find items in your closet with tags that can be returned, or even find a spare roll of toilet paper laying around!
I know we still have running water and electricity, but in this moment of scarcity it might be interesting to consider what would happen if we didn’t have those luxuries. The most popular posts on my website continue to be the ones about creating a Grab and Go Emergency Binder and assembling an Adult 72 Hour Kit. I have many other articles on Emergency Preparedness too, so be sure to check those out!
Hopefully this compilation of a bunch of previous blog posts I have written can help ease your minds regardless of the panic. “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30), right? Even if you didn’t get to stock up on supplies before people went crazy, make a plan before you go. Take a breath, ask a neighbor for help. If you have an excess of something, see who may need that. We all have something we can share. My hope is that this time in our world’s history will be a time where people can come together and become stronger than ever before, rather than letting our selfishness, insecurities, and uncertainties tear us apart.
our greatest joy comes as we help our brothers and sisters, no matter where we live in this wonderful world.
Giving help to others—making a conscientious effort to care about others as much as or more than we care about ourselves—is our joy. Especially, I might add, when it is not convenient and when it takes us out of our comfort zone. Living that second great commandment is the key to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. -Russell M. Nelson