This global pandemic has surely changed the way we live on the daily, and who knows how much this will affect our kids in the future. It’s been tough to live in this new normal. The thing that has been the biggest help, that I didn’t want to admit, has been planning. A plan for how we will do all the things. You know what I’m talking about. If you are like me, you’ve already experienced the challenges of having birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations sneak up on you during this pandemic. I’m not the best at planning, but I know during these times, it takes not only planning but a lot of patience and creativity.
The thing that has been the biggest help has been planning.
I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten to the door of the grocery store before I’ve realized I forgot my mask in the car. How frustrating it is to be caught unprepared. When my daughter graduated high school this year, her school decided there would be no prom due to COVID, so I threw her a surprise prom in our backyard gazebo! I was acting in ninja mode to pull this off without her knowing. I mean, it was no small task.
You see, we hadn’t shopped for a dress, so I asked people to let me borrow a few for her to choose from. Then, I went and got lights and decorated and prepared someone to do her hair and makeup by telling her we were all getting dressed up for a family TikTok video. Then, I invited her boyfriend and ordered a takeout dinner to be delivered for them. It turned out to be an amazing night of safe-social distancing prom festivities. It will remain one of my favorite memories from the year 2020 for sure!
It was right then that I decided the best thing to do was to pull out the calendar and look at all the events that would come up and decide how we would celebrate them. Because to not celebrate wasn’t an option. We did that when Easter came and went in quarantine, and we missed out on being together with our family and friends. It’s already really hard to be doing life without the big parties or even being able to go to a movie, but to miss grandma’s deviled eggs and warm hugs is just too much to bear.
So, two things that have helped in these situations is to plan out the year and to talk about it.
The conversations have started something like this, ”Ethan’s birthday is coming up. How do we want to make him feel special but stay safe?” I encourage you to talk through the plans and share with your children what the expectations are. Explain that instead of having a slumber party, you may get a drive-by birthday party or a virtual one on Zoom. A great idea that I’ve seen is having guests buy gifts online and send pics that can be placed in envelopes to be opened the day of the party. Basically, it’s all about having some kind of plan.
I think these tips are good even in more normal times. Annual planning is something we’ve embraced in our family because it just helps in living life in general. When you don’t have a plan, the calendar will run you instead of you running the calendar. Be proactive and carve out space and time for the important times and people in your life. We plan when we will work and rest. So, even though we didn’t plan for this pandemic and social distancing, we can get a plan for how to still do life together.