An Essential Worker’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic

Some of us moms are essential workers. This means we are getting up, getting ready, and getting out the door each and every day as if COVID-19 hasn’t taken over the world. We take our kids to be watched by someone else, mostly other essential workers, and head to work like it’s a totally normal day. Some of us are social workers, some are janitors, some work at grocery stores, or restaurants.

Whoever you are, thank you for your service, hang in there, we can do this. And when this is all over, let’s get a drink.

A photo of a family at sunset

My parenting hasn’t changed a whole lot, except for that small nagging feeling we could all catch this and I find myself with less patience than normal due to my anxiety. So, how am I coping?

These things have been helping during these difficult times.

Lower Your Standards

The house will be messier! Lower your standards! Your kids will watch more TV. You will eat more junk food and all of this OK! Do not allow online propaganda saying now is the time to teach your kids life skills, start running, or begin a strict homeschooling routine. You can do that when you don’t have to worry about getting to work every day and what you will do if you do get sick since you don’t have the option to quarantine yourself at home. If you’re still not sure, watch this video.

Do not try to become a Pinterest Mom if you are not one already. Do you see this?  This is what happens to your wood floors when you try to be super mom.


Remind Yourself of Positive Parenting Skills

All kids are going to struggle — things are so different right now. So, remind yourself of positive parenting skills. They can’t go to the park, see their friends, or go into the grocery store. I have posted about these resources before and I still go back to remind myself, and they have seriously helped me and my kids.

Write it Down

Stick ideas of things you want to do when all this is over in a jar, and do a time capsule with the kids. Note things that made you all laugh or even just what you are grateful for.  Staying positive really helps your mental health.

Come up with New Traditions

After supper we try to get outside and let the kids run around, but you could also go for a nightly walk. Catch up with friends via Zoom, FaceTime or other video chats, bake something new each weekend.

Stick to Your Routine

Look for hacks and shortcuts only if it makes things easier for you.  Sticking to your normal routine as much as you can if it doesn’t.

Find Time for You

Finally, find something you can do only for you — for me — one of my favorite things to do is sip on a diet coke or cup of coffee while sitting in my van somewhere while scrolling through Instagram. That’s it, but is is a mindless break and I do it alone.

Stay safe friends and please share any tips! We really are in this together.

Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.


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