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10 Real Moms Share Their Top Pandemic Parenting Hack

We basically all have a PhD in Pandemic Parenting at this point. Right? Every mom or dad or any-gender parent has had to learn so much in 2020 — about time management, health and safety, homeschooling, pod-schooling, quaran-cations, you name it. And honestly, we’re all still learning every day — and still making a ton of mistakes and often feeling like we’re failing. But guess what? We’re not! We parents are not the failures; it’s the system that has failed us. After all, how can any human be expected to be a full-time worker, full-time teacher, full-time parent/chef/house cleaner/baby-butt-wiper — all without leaving our homes or losing our jobs or giving up and letting our kids watch TV all day? (Spoiler: It’s impossible).

If you, too, are trying to do the impossible every day this year, we know just how much stress you’re under. Because we’re under it, too. The good thing about all parents struggling at the same time is that we’re all developing our own personal pandemic parenting hacks and tips that get us through the day — and maybe even make things fun (sometimes). So we chatted with 10 moms to ask: What’s the #1 pandemic hack that’s keeping your family afloat? Here’s what they said.

A sense of humor & a snuggle

“Be flexible and don’t take everything so serious right now,” urges Tabitha Hawkins of Motherhood & Chaos. “We need to be our children’s safe place, and that’s the only thing we can control right now. Take a deep breath, and snuggle. Love is what we all need most right now — especially our children.”

Alone time is key

“Not only am I the only parent home right now with both of my girls (3 years old and 1 year old), I also work full time from home and I am in graduate school, so I am juggling between all of them,” Cheeia of Notes By Cheeia tells SheKnows. How is she hacking it? “Be alone,” she explains. “The stuff that goes on at home, you will figure it out — but don’t forget to take time for yourself. The minute my husband gets home from work, I leave my house and go for a long walk by myself! This gives me time to recharge, reflect and just catch up on myself… Regardless of how you do it, give yourself one hour each day to be alone for the sake of your sanity. Take a walk, take a long bath, whatever it is; take care of yourself.”

Embrace the abnormal

Nicole Vasco of The Mompreneur found the best way to get through the weird was accepting just how weird it is. “My #1 pandemic parenting tip is understanding, accepting, and fully embracing that the season we are in is not normal,” she tells SheKnows. “As a type-A work from home mom, I like routine and structure, but during this season I’ve had to let go of what I think things should be like and instead take each day for what it is and go with the flow. Sometimes, that looks like my daughter eating ice cream at 10 am or instead of stressing about deadlines, taking the day to be 100% fully present as a mom, and watch Finding Nemo for the 100th time. Pandemic or not, I will never get another chance at raising my girls at this stage of their life and mine, so I do the best I can and have faith that everything and everyone will turn out just fine.”

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Worked out✔⁣ Met up with friends for a play date✔⁣ Watched butterflies hatch ✔⁣ Talked to 4 mamas about working from home✔⁣ Helped 2 mamas start their wellness journeys ✔⁣ ⁣ And who said work had to be boring???⁣ ⁣ I'm so grateful for days like these with my girls. ⁣ ⁣ Years ago when I use to hold back tears at my 9 to 5, hide in the bathroom to cry and feel depressed that I got 2 degrees just to be miserable everyday. I knew that couldn't be the life God promised me. I knew there had to be more. That I was meant for more. ⁣🤞🏽 ⁣ And I'm so glad I decided to bet on myself when I did and take the leap of faith. ⁣ ⁣ Now a stay at home mom of two, being able to prioritize motherhood, work on my schedule, and contribute financially to my household is ALL I ever wanted to do. ⁣😍 ⁣ If you are looking for a work from home opportunity, then seriously stop scrolling, and grab your blessing. 🙏🏽⁣ ⁣ Fill out the application in my bio and I'll reach out to you! ✌🏽💜⁣ ⁣

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Actually PLAY

“My biggest pandemic parenting tip is playing with our children,” Nika Pond of Irie Chic tells SheKnows. “We have all experienced so many changes in our lives that it can feel daunting at times. Whenever I can, I get down on the floor with my son — with his blocks, or monster truck, or whatever the toy is at the moment, and play. It feels great. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a big kid every once in a while?”

Give grace

“The most important thing to remember during this time,” urges Tanay Howard of Life With Tanay, “is to give everyone grace. The same emotions that you’re feeling during the pandemic, your children are feeling as well; only they have no idea how to process them. Give them grace as they navigate ‘the new normal.’ Give yourself grace parenting, because things are changing every day. Remember the goal of keeping yourself and your family happy and healthy. If you’ve done that at the end of the day, you’ve won.”

10 minutes a day

“What all kids desperately need is to feel like they are the center of your attention,” Sarah Gallagher of The Days Are Full tells SheKnows. “You, and if you are an only parent, only you, are their world. They need to feel safe and secure, and in order to feel that way, they need to know that they are the most important thing right now. Not their sibling… So, how do you try to circumvent bad behavior from unsettled kids? You try to connect with them as much as possible to make sure their attention well is full. You need to be the proactive one, get them filled to the brim with love before they even realize they are starting to run a little dry. The first place to start is to spend at least 10 minutes, 100% focused on each child. Whatever they want to talk about, or be silly about, or even just to be there in silence with them. Each child, 10 minutes of 100% devotion. Start there.”

Games & gratitude

“I’m a parent of teenagers, one of whom had to come home from college during the pandemic,” explains Gita of Warrior in the Kitchen. “Our parenting tip is more of a mindset tip. We adopted the mindset that we are not going to take this time for granted. We most likely would not get this kind of time with the kids again, so we decided to cook more together, have sudoku challenges, do crosswords, play outdoor games like Koob and play lots and lots of golf. We wanted to cherish this time with the kids that we were surprisingly gifted.”

A virtual lesson (or party)

“The biggest silver lining that has come along has been the proliferation of amazing virtual kids classes, parties and entertainment,” says Anna of MommyPoppins. “Now, no matter where you live, you have access to almost any type of enrichment class and no schlepping! I gifted bubble-making classes to my nephew, and we love watching free programs like the Laurie Berkner Breaks on Facebook.”

A tiny road trip

“Go for car rides!” says Jessica Cherry of Life of a Cherry Wife. “Explore, get outdoors (while social distancing of course) and go for a backroad drive. My family has been doing this for a couple months now and our children LOVE it! They ask for their rides every single day. It gives us a change of scenery, a chance to safely explore the world around us, an opportunity to teach what cows, horses, chickens, etc. look and sound like, and it’s fun.”

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🥰 The purpose of this post is simple. I’m going to brag. My two year old knows her ABCs! 🥰. . That is the post. A small milestone I captured on video yesterday while sitting in the backseat. I know in the Instagram world, it might not be trending, lol, but my heart is full, happy and proud right now and I thought I would share a simpler post. Sometimes, it’s the simple things like a child learning her ABCs that means everything to someone. . Have a great Tuesday everyone. Make great decisions and keep your vibe positive. ❤️💛🧡💚💙💜💖. . . . . #toddlergirlstyle #toddlersofinstagram #twoyearold #twoyearolds #toddlermomlife #toddlerstyle #toddleractivity #toddlerhood #momstyleblogger #momblogger #mombloggers #mominfluencer #momlifeunfiltered #thatmomlife #austintexas #austinmom #petethecat #abcsong

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Find the fun

“Have fun every day,” urges Amber Sheimel of Amber Likes. “Whether this is playing a backyard game of kickball, playing charades in the living room, or testing a new recipe, make sure you find something fun to do together every day. This doesn’t have to be something very long or complicated, but just bring happiness into every day.”

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It seems like this must have been a dream! Our 30 day road trip included so many adventures and Great Sand Dunes was one of the most unique. You can read all about sand sledding on my blog. . . And shout out to all of my Florida parents who are making alllll of the school decisions this week. Just remember, you got this Mama. 👏🏼😘 . . And I’m always available for any homeschooling or alternative schooling questions! 📚 I don’t have all the answers but I’m always willing to share our experiences. ❤️ . . #amberlikes #greatsanddunesnationalpark #greatsanddunes #coloradotravel #visitcolorado #nationalparksfamily #familyroadtrip #travelwithkids #travelwithkidstips #tmom #travelmom #floridamoms #homeschooltravel #homeschoollife

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Here are some more great ideas to keep kids busy at home this season. 

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