As the reality of social distancing and Coronavirus start to sink in, maintaining stability at home has never been so important. As such, I wanted to share the family quarantine routine we’ve come up with. It’s not perfect, but it’s working so far. Koji, our son, is happy and everyone is more at ease. Plus, we, parents are actually getting some work done because we are taking shifts leading activities with our kid.
Arturo, my husband, and I have been working together from home for a while, but new to the daily equation is our fiesty, energetic and at times overly dramatic three and a half year old son Koji. Like many people across Canada and the world, we are self-quarantining and staying close to home in an effort to slow /stop the spread of COVID-19, the Coronavirus. Still, we want life and work to go on as normally and pleasantly as possible, so we have instituted “Camp COVID-19” and this Family Quarantine Routine.
UPDATE: We have temporarily moved to my parents place in Pointe Claire, a suburb of Montreal. We had planned to move back and forth to the Loft, but to keep everyone safe, we are staying put. My parents are a huge help with Koji who is loving the extra attention and time outside in the backyard. Although we are still maintaining the schedule below, it’s great to have extra support and we each take turns making dinner too. It takes a village, right?
Family Quarantine Routine
Designed for a toddler & working parents, but I imagine it can be adjusted to older children. My husband and I alternate the morning and afternoon work/play shifts. While one person is caring for Koji, the other is working and we switch after lunch. We try to do meals together and when possible join an activity the other parent is leading. It’s not a fixed science and there is plenty of room to adjust the activity plan as needed, which is nice. Balancing the structure with some flexibility seems to be key.
Mama with Koji, Papa working (or vice versa)
06:45 Mama (me) wakes up ideally before everyone (So far, this hasn’t happened, but I still have hope!), makes tea & prepares fruit & Greens (we can’t start the day without our morning Arbonne Greens)
07:00 Mama solo meditation & pranayama (usually Koji is up and reads books and climbs around or on me…)
07:30 Koji wake up & cuddles (unless already awake – usually already up),
07:45 Mama Yoga (click here for a 20 mins video practice) – Koji Books, Drinks Arbonne Greens & has fruit – Papa usually still sleeping
08:15 Breakfast for Koji- Mama & Papa have Greens (we usually eat breakfast later)
08:45 Koji Free Play – Mama cleans up & preps Indoor Learning Activity – Papa starts work
09:15 Indoor Learning: Art, science, music – Hands on as We Grow has great ideas
10:00 Clean up & get ready to go outside – Mama prepares Koji snack to go & Arbonne Protein Shake
10:30 Outdoor Play + SNACK (In case of rain: Indoor movement like dance, yoga, obstacle course or fort building)
12:00 Home: Koji Free play – Mama makes Lunch
13:00 Clean up & Free Play
Shift change: working parent takes over Koji activities. Often Papa takes over the afternoon and Mama starts working.
13:30 Calming time (Books & soft music)
14:00 Koji quiet time: Nap (ideally) or rest
15:00 Free Play + SNACK
15:15 Indoor Learning / Discover Activity
16:00 Clean up & Get ready to go outside
16:15 Outdoors- (or if rain: indoor activity or matinée – we aren’t totally against screens, but our kid gets easily attached to the screen and then there is chaos)
17:15 Home: Koji drink Water & Free play – Papa makes dinner
When possible, we do the evening routine together until Koji goes to bed and then we will often do another hour or two of work before bed.
18:30 Koji Bath & PJs – One parent gives the bath – Other parent cleans up (once or twice a week we do a “movie night” complete with popcorn)
19:00 NIGHT MODE: Dim lights, Soft music; Koji Warm Almond milk then Brush teeth
19:30 Koji Books & Bed with alternating parents
20:00 Koji Lights out & Sleep – Mama & Papa prep for tomorrow, rest and/or work
22:30 Ideal bedtime for Mama
Importance of maintaining routine
In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine I practice, routine is very important. When there is uncertainty and instability we call this a Vata time, which basically means that things are all over the place. Our energy and emotions are up and down. It may be difficult to concentrate or think positively and our digestive system and immunity may be compromised. The Ayurvedic response to this is to stay close to home, avoid travel, eat warm nourishing food and create routine. At the most basic level: Eat on time, work on time & sleep on time.
As an ayurvedic practitioner, I believe a family quarantine routine is as important for children as it is for adults.