My Crazy Family’s Way of Dealing with Stay at Home Orders

How are we staying positive and sane during the Corona Virus pandemic?  Whether you are just entering into a situation where you must stay home or are now a self-designated pro, I think it’s interesting to see how everyone is dealing with the Stay at Home directive.  Read on for how our family is coping with California’s Stay at Home order.

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There’s no skirting around this…these are scary times.  You can’t get online or turn on the local news without hearing about the latest news of the Corona virus.

There is no doubt that the best thing we can do to help make the situation any better is to just stay home.  It’s not that hard, right?

Well, unless you are a homebody or have social anxiety, this can be a tall order for many.  However, the fear of this situation getting worse should be enough motivation to keep you home and doing your part.  I mean…you can literally help shape the outcome of this virus just by staying home.

This is what my family has personally done to keep us positive and (relatively) happy during this tumultuous time.  This might look different from what is ideal for your household, however this is what has been working for us as we are required to stay home in California.

This is in no way meant to imply this is how everybody should be doing things.  Some readers were curious how we’re dealing, so I decided to share with all of you.

We go OUTSIDE every…single…day.

Go in the morning if you can.  Do I get flack from my kids some times?  You bet!  I make them go even when I get a major attitude.  Why?

It’s pretty simple really.  It is very easy to get seriously blue if you don’t get regular vitamin D in the form of sunshine.  Yes, you can take a pill to compensate.  But truthfully, I can tell you from personal experience that taking a little pill does not have the huge and immediate results that taking a walk outdoors does.

I have read multiple times that getting out for your walk in the sunlight in the early hours is best for your mood and vitamin D.

Of course, we stay away from others if they are walking around the neighborhood.  Do I worry about being rude when I cross the street to avoid them or purposely distance myself?  Nope.  This is necessary right now.  If someone gets offended, don’t worry about that right now.  That’s THEIR journey 😉

Bike rides have been another family favorite, along with a portable speaker in my bike’s basket to provide a sound track while we ride around the neighborhood.

I encourage the kids to get work done early in the day.

That goes for adults too!  Not only do we tend to be more productive in the morning, we have less excuses to not get work done.  They can’t claim, “I’m tiiiiiired!” or “I’m hungry!”  Also, if you don’t turn on Netflix and start watching a show, you can’t fall into the binge cycle now can you?

I’m not setting a rigid schedule during Stay at Home orders.

Aside from having the kids get their work done the first half of the day (most days), I am not putting up crazy color-coded schedules or demanding that a routine be followed at all costs.  This might not work for all families or kids, and I get that.  I just know that for my family unit, and our mental health, a middle-of-the-road approach works for us.

Of course, Zoom video calls and instruction are starting this week, so our schedule might have to change up yet again 😉

I’m using this time as an opportunity to remind my kids that we should make our beds daily.  I remind them that school is important.  I ask them to do what is expected of them on any given day.

HOWEVER, our kids are humans too.  There will be days where they are overwhelmed by the situation.  Overwhelmed that they can’t go out to the park, see their friends in person, or they’re just plain tired of this whole homeschool situation.  If they’re tired or emotional, try to factor that into what you are expecting of them on a given day.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Non-electronic entertainment is a new favorite.

The long forgotten board games in our hall closet are getting dusted off.  To my surprise, the kids were asking for them!  These are an easy way to hang out together without the pressure to come up with something interesting to talk about.  Seriously, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of new stuff going on when you’ve been home together non-stop for weeks.

Chalk art, puzzles, pogo sticks, scooters, roller skates…all of these are things I am thankful for since the stay at home orders started.

Yet, electronics is not off limits.

I’m not crazy.  I’m also not looking to cause myself any pain.  Ha!

We are taking advantage of YouTube to watch things like Mystery Doug (science) and even do theme park rides.

I have even learned how to trim my girl’s bangs and cut two inches off of the other’s hair thanks to YouTube.  My husband is next…whether he likes it or not 😉

The girls are also enjoying apps that teach them a new language and teach the grade level topics via video game style games.

Are ALL of our hours logged into electronics used for learning?  Heck no!  I’d be a big fat liar if I claimed that.

As for parents being opposed to video game usage, may I recommend Just Dance?  The kids will burn off energy while playing a video game.  It’s not all bad!

Marvel superheros are making a daily appearance in our home.

We are making our way through the Marvel Universe.  I need to see heros kicking ass in some situations that seem impossible.  These are all works of fiction and the Corona Virus is a very real thing.  I don’t care.  These movies are instilling us with that sense of hope, doing the right thing, and feeling that we can each do our part to make the world a better place.

I do not have the news running all day, every day.

I remember as a kid seeing scary things on the news.  At times, the newscasters conveyed their own fears and used scary words to paint a panic-inducing picture.  I’d rather provide my kids with the information in a way they can digest.  For now, I just tell them how important it is to practice good hygiene and why we are staying home.

We video chat regularly during Stay at Home orders.

The internet has allowed us to maintain our connection to the outside world and staying connected to family.  We are making sure to use proper security precautions on platforms like Zoom to avoid unwanted participants in our chats.

Facebook Messenger Kids has also been great for the kids to stay connected to friends.  Parents control who their kids can friend and video chat with.  Kids love it because there are all kinds of fun filters!  Grandparents get to see their crazy grandchildren.  Win win!

The Corona Virus is NOT the center of our crazy family’s world right now.

Real life and nature will continue without regard to the fact that a virus is taking over everything right now.  I like to focus on these things throughout the day rather than the minute by minute changes in Corona Virus news.

For instance, my youngest just lost a tooth.  We were focused on that loose tooth for days and celebrated the tooth fairy coming.

A few friends have been sharing pictures of humming bird nests in their backyards and posting daily updates on social media on the baby birds’ progress.  I look forward to these posts!

If you try hard enough, you can find ways to direct your focus to other things throughout the day that make this scary time just a little more bearable.

I’m being a MacGyver when needed.

Am I aging myself?    Everybody in my house wanted fresh baked cookies.  We had everything except flour.  Big accomplishment in these times, I know.  Anyway, my kids REALLY wanted cookies and it was just impossible to make them.  We couldn’t even make them with bananas…because the local market was out of those too.  So, I decided to blend up some oatmeal.  We had a ton of that!  I basically made oat flour, not knowing how it would turn out.  Well, my oldest got to bake and we all got those cookies.  They were delicious!

These are the sorts of things that I’m hoping my kids will remember once this is all over.  I want them to remember how we made the best out of what seemed like an impossible situation.  We tried to think out of the box and reaped the benefits.  Rather than just freak out that food was hard to find in that moment, and just altogether give up on the idea that baking cookies for comfort was not going to happen…we made it happen.  I am able to list all of these thoughts because I had them, in case you’re wondering.  True story.  I hope my kids didn’t notice though.

I will definitely remember the complete joy when they not only got to bake, but then got to eat those cookies.

Oh, and can we talk about braces for a moment?  Those monthly appointments have been cancelled until who knows when.  Poor kid has a wire sticking out, and we all pitched in to fix that issue 😉

I’m not a martyr or a saint.

If I’m stressed, I let others know and I take a minute to regroup.

If my kids are being butts…I tell them they’re being butts.

There, I said it!  We are all human beings after all!  Of course, I try to be a calming presence for my kids.  However, I refuse to fake that I am calm just because we’re in the middle of scary times.  Kids will pick up on your weird/unusual behavior and THAT will freak them out too.  Ha!  How do you like THEM apples?  It’s true though.  What everyone needs right now is some consistency and sense of normalcy.

I accept help and do not seek perfection.

My husband has been stepping up to the plate to cook dinner.  I’ve generally been the one to do it because I’m home and it’s the way we’ve divided up house duties in the past.  Now that he’s working from home?  He doesn’t have a killer commute and has the energy to take the reigns for dinner.  Sometimes he’ll BBQ or whip something up in the kitchen.  Dare I say he is a better cook them me?  I’m leaving this here…

The kids have helped me fold the mountains of laundry and even unload the dishwasher.  The clothes is often folded completely wrong, or my cooking utensils are put in the wrong drawer.  But guess what?  They are empathetic and wanting to help me out when they see that I’m overloaded with housework!  It’s one thing for you to demand a kid help, and another for them to willingly offer it without your asking.  Get what I’m saying?

And before you go there…yes, I have taught the kids that they should help out at home.  However,  I expect them to focus on schoolwork first and foremost.  There is no allowance in this household.

Home Ec is part of our daily lesson plan.

Maybe you let the kids slide on making their beds, or you never showed them how to scramble an egg.  How about doing the laundry?

I have shown my kids things here and there, but this stay at home order has definitely provided an opportunity to teach them anything and everything!

Guess what?  They don’t ask what I do when they’re not home anymore!

We are engaging our minds daily.

If we focus on the fact that we are not supposed to leave our home for anything other than essentials or exercise, we might lose our minds.  Truthfully, I felt a little panic around day 3 when I realized how long this thing was going to last.

Then my husband said something I won’t forget.  He said, “You must exercise your mind in the absence of movement.”  He knew I was exercising, so his point was more about finding distractions.

I have been working on learning how to play the uekelele.  This has been an unexpected lifesaver for me.  It is something new to me and allows me to focus elsewhere.


Have you always wanted to learn how to knit?  Do calligraphy?  If you don’t have the tools on hand and stores are closed nearby, you can always have it delivered to your doorstep!

We are enjoying our time together and thankful for our health.

My husband never got paternity leave.  He was able to take a week off when our kids were born, but that time included when we were in the hospital and pretty much took up our vacation for the year.

 This is an unprecedented time for us.  All four of us are getting to spend more time than ever together.  Sure, my husband still has to work in a separate room during the day and get work done.  But we get to hang out with him more than ever.

If there is anything I hope that my kids take away from this terrible time in our world, I hope that they remember the time that we spent together.  I also hope that they will take positive life lessons from how we handled these events.   


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