We’re sure living in interesting times aren’t we? I can’t count the amount of movies I have watched where crazy things have happened like this but I never could have imagined living through one. It would be easy to simply wait this thing out, but I don’t want to look at this as wasted time. I believe we are given this time to do something with it and that is what I intend to do. Many people are sharing about what they are doing with their families and themselves during this time, so I thought I would share what we are doing in my home.
I work from home, so this is going to be a test for me. I am used to having three of my kids in school at least half of the day and my wife usually stays pretty social which gives me quiet mornings at home for work. On days when there was all day activity at home, I would work from a coffee shop. Those options are not available for my wife or myself now. We all have to be at home.
This will be good for me and my family. When we travelled full time for two months last year, we had to get used to being in close quarters as we were sharing a travel trailer between the six of us. It will take a few days for us to adjust, but I know it will be good for us as a family to have this extra time together. I believe it will help each of us learn to better appreciate each other and the things each of us have to do in a day.
I’m writing all of this out for a few reasons. The first is to force myself to think through it all. It is important to process everything and to make plans. Without that, I am only hoping for the best. That is not a strategy.
The second is to share what we are doing in this unique situation. Not only is this situation totally different for us but it’s different for many others who’s kids are home from school and find themselves now working from home. It can be quite chaotic and different in so many ways for most.
The third is to set public intentions. Sometimes we have to declare something publicly in order to stick to it. I did this earlier this year on my YouTube channel with my goals for 2020. I intend to use this time well both for myself and for my family.
Our Daily Family Schedule
My kids will be out of school for at least the next three weeks. My wife and I decided it is important that our kids have a schedule for the day. When at school, there is a schedule they have that they can count on. Each day they know what to expect and I want that to continue while we are at home. Most of you with kids know that a schedule is important. It helps keep things sane.
Our kids will still have school requirements during two of the three weeks they are home. One of the weeks is spring break. We will have a modified schedule for that week, but still plan to have a schedule for it.
Our daily schedule will look like this:
Though we have a schedule we intent to stick to daily, we understand that sometimes things need to be adjusted or changed as needed. This schedule is to guide us and to give our kids structure. Given the opportunity, we will try to change it up from time to time to keep things from getting boring.
My Day/Work Schedule
Working from home has already become more challenging for me lately. I started the year off pretty strong until I injured my back. That got me out of a routine and I have struggled to get back into one. A good routine for me starts with a solid morning workout which I am going to have to try to do from home for now.
My goal is to try and work out each morning. That means going for a walk or run, riding my bike, lifting the few weights I have at home, and doing some body weight workouts. With that accomplishment each morning, the stage will be set for the rest of my day.
I plan to front load my day with my work. I want to get all essential work completed early so I can be available to assist my wife if needed later in the day. My kids are not going to get the normal social interactions they get during the day so I want to be available in the afternoons to engage with them.
We had just started baseball and softball practice, which was postponed for now. When that is allowed to start back up, I want to have been practicing at home.
We have not gone crazy with our household preparedness. I went to the store today to get a few extra things but we had done our normal grocery shopping just a few days ago.
We will naturally consume more as all of us are home all day. Being that we are at home, we don’t need gallons of disinfectant or an over abundance of toilet paper. We just need what we would normally consumer plus a little extra. That is it. Everybody else needs what they need as well. It is not responsible to hoard.
The best thing that my wife and I can do as parents to our children is to maintain a sense of normality and structure for them. They are kids and should not have to deal with all of the anxieties that we have to deal with as adults. We can use situations like this to show our kids that their parents can lead in a time of crisis and we can use that time to grow closer as a family. It won’t be easy, but it is what my family needs right now. It took us less that 15 minutes to come up with a daily schedule and that will relieve a lot of stress and anxiety starting first thing tomorrow morning.
Be a Leader
I encourage you to be a leader to those who rely on you. My wife and I called all of the parents and grandparents in our family today to check on them and to see if there is anything we can do for them. They are more at risk than we are and because of that, we can help. It doesn’t matter if there are disagreements or frustrations within your family. Those things get put aside because they are not important during times like this.
Our church has also set that standard. If people who are more at risk need something, the rest of us can step up and help. That is what a healthy and productive society is supposed to do and my hope is that we hear amazing stories of how people are stepping up to help those around them for years to come. This is not a time to search for a monetary edge or to better position ourselves for success but to band together with those who are close to us and be there for each other.
This is scary and there is a lot of uncertainty. I have had a few large jobs cancel on me this past week and that will put a financial strain on things for a while, but there are people who are less fortunate, who have less control than I do. There are businesses that won’t survive this because they can’t afford to be closed for a few days let alone weeks. The best thing we can do is to be there for each other and to let those in our circle know that we are there for them.
This afternoon I told my wife and kids that it would be cool if we could use this extra time to learn something new. There is so much information online that is free or near free to consume. Most of it does not take that much time to watch. You can learn something you had no experience with during these next few weeks. Your kids can learn something they have never experienced in the next few weeks. We can use this time to grow. Here are a few ideas:
YouTube: You can search for just about anything on YouTube and learn how to do it. There are tutorials from a multitude of people on YouTube and all of those videos are free. Just search for “thing you want to learn tutorial” and you will find many who have taken the time to teach their methods in video form.
SkillShare: This is a website with structured courses on a wide variety of topics. SkillShare offers a two-month free trial. My oldest son and I started watching a course on Illustration on the iPad using an app called ProCreate, as he has shown an interest in making his own comics. Get 2-Months of SkillShare Free
Disclaimer: The SkillShare link is an affiliate link that gets you the two months free. You don’t have to pay for anything to get the free trial and you can cancel it at any time. If you do decide to stay subscribed, SkillShare provides me with a small commission. Use the free trial to learn some new skills.
My Courses: I have a few online courses on Photography and using WordPress to build and maintain websites. Almost all of my courses are free and I invite you to check them out if you have ever wanted to get to know your camera better or how to create a website. Visit LearnwithJerad.Com to see my courses. One of my goals is to update and expand my catalog of online education as I believe self-education is the way of the future for many.
I encourage you to make the most of this time. It very much feels like a set back but it is what you make of it. Use this time to learn and grow. Also use this time to grow closer to those who mean the most to you.
We are all learning just how reliant we are on others just to exist in times like this. Some have jobs they can not do and others will lose their jobs over this situation due to businesses closing or being unable to operate. The best thing you can do is to use this time to set yourself up to be less susceptible to situations like this in the future. Use this time to grow and add to your skill set so that you are more in control of your life.
If there is anything I can do to help you, please reach out. Please stay safe and healthy. Be blessed my friends.