Alright I hope I didn’t lose you from the title, but bear with me. While most people, well I shouldn’t say most people. Let’s rephrase that, while some people have been talking about what the pandemic has taken away from them, I like to think about all it has given me. This isn’t the worst pandemic ever for me because it has gifted me with a new look on the life. I hope through this episode you are able to see my point of view and see if you agree that this hasn’t been the worst pandemic ever.
Did you know that the Fall Tiny Tikes Learning™️ Box is available! If you would like to purchase one head to the link in the show notes below or go to www.cratejoy.com and search Tiny Tikes Learning Box.
I tend to always be more positive than negative. Especially in situations where everyone seems to be airing more on the negative side. So, as I sat down to record this episode I was reminded about all this pandemic and quarantine had stripped away.
However, I’m sure you can find at least one positive that came out of this time in our lives. For me I can think of way more than one and I would like to share some with you. Maybe this will help get your wheels turning and realizing how blessed we truly are to have had this time with our family.
I feel like I should start singing the 12 days of Christmas because this episode is going to follow a similar format. Without further adieu here comes my 12 things this pandemic gave to me.
The first thing this pandemic gave to me is true family time. You don’t realize how much you miss out on as a working momma or parent for that matter. My day job, as you already know, is a Kindergarten teacher. So, after taking care of almost twenty 5 and 6 year olds I am pretty much wiped out at the end of the day.
Then, I come home and have to entertain and care for my 3 year old daughter. Sometimes after working all day, I am tired and worn out. I feel my patience become shorter and shorter and there are times where I am not the best mom. When my school switched to online learning, I started noticing just how much I was missing out on. People always say that kids grow up way too fast. I never realized how true that statement is until I got to see it first hand. I watched Aria flourish with my time at home with her. She was telling stories, writing in her journal, finding new shows, sharing funny jokes, and got fully potty trained! I know I would have missed these moments if I had been running to daycare and work.
Quarantine also gave me a chance to work on myself. With being home I was able to schedule in time to do a proper workout with abs, biking,and strength training. Normally, I am only able to pick one to do before going off to work. Being able to do this has made a tremendous difference in the results I saw. I am also able to watch and plan out my meals because I have more time to do so.
The next thing this pandemic gave to me is a closer relationship with my husband. Have you ever heard that expression of two ships passing in the night? That’s what I felt like we were before this stay at home order went into affect. We both would get up at the same time, have our morning coffee together and talk a little, then rush off to get ready for our days. He would leave before me and not get home until late in the evening almost bedtime.
I would get home around 4 and have to make dinner for us. I put his in the microwave so that it would be ready for him to warm up when he eventually got home. It felt like we were just aimlessly going through the motions without seeing a whole lot of each other.
Then the quarantine happened and everything slowed to a halt. He was home and I was home and we had literally NOWHERE to go. It definitely helped us grow and bond more in our relationship. We had to rely on each other for more things than what we did before and we were each taking on different roles. He was helping with dinner, laundry, and getting to make up for lost time with Aria which allowed me to get caught up on my online lessons for my students and work on my business without distractions. It was fantastic. Now that he is back to work, I feel like our relationship developed deeper and that continues to remain true today. We are better at communicating with each other about things and thinking through problems as a couple. Not that we didn’t before it is just different now.
Over this time, I have also gotten a chance to reassess some things. It has allowed me to take a deeper look at the people who are important in my life. Sometimes it is remarkable about who is actually still there when they don’t see you face to face like they used to. I’ve also come to the realization that sometimes situations like this show you what is truly important. I can honestly say that my friends have been there for me every day and I hope they feel the same way about me. We have messaged each other to check in, celebrated milestones and reminisced memories. We have worried about the fate of school for the fall, talked through our own issues, and I like to think we have grown stronger in our friendship.
Getting time to find new hobbies is the fifth thing this pandemic gave to me. It’s no secret that I started my own subscription box company during quarantine. It might not have been the smartest move because of everyone being laid off, but I feel that it helped me get a foundation for my business. Now, the Tiny Tikes Learning™️ Box will be shipping out Fall boxes September 15. When I say that I cannot love this edition more, I just don’t know how the winter boxes are gonna top this one.
Over quarantine I was able to sit down and plan out the whole years worth of boxes ahead of time. Before this trying to do all the things was stressing me out and I knew that I wasn’t giving 100% to everything. I am grateful for this little bit of extra time so that I could take some time to focus on everything and get what I wanted to accomplished.
The sixth thing this pandemic gave to me is a better focus on dinners and meals in general that we have been eating. I was the queen of easy meals while I was teaching, chasing after a toddler, and trying to build my business. I couldn’t even tell you how many times we have hot dogs, pizza, burgers, or ham bbq for that matter. It seemed like every night I was pulling some already made meal out of the freezer to cook in the oven. Once quarantine hit I started looking at healthier options and found a meal plan box that would be delivered weekly and would save me some money and time while providing my family with healthier options. Now I don’t have to meal plan every week, I just hop on an app, pick the dinners we want, and cook them in 30 minutes or less.
Being in quarantine has blessed me with a new appreciation for things I once took for granted. I am seriously missing my favorite stores, ahem Hobby Lobby and Target, because those were my favorite places to go during the summer months. Shopping online just isn’t the same as getting to go down the aisles and smell all the candles that I won’t buy. I became so accustomed to hopping in the car and going wherever I wanted to without thinking twice. Now, I ask myself if it is necessary to go out. If not, I don’t go. I haven’t stepped foot in a store since honestly before this all went down. Curbside pickup all the way. I have done online grocery shopping for about a year and I will never go back to regular grocery shopping.
Another thing that comes to mind is that there can never be a thing as too much fun. Before this I used to feel so rushed and the weekends were even busier; running and there for various things. Now, Aria and I will have played with sidewalk chalk, went swimming in the pool, and popped so many bubbles. Would we have done that before quarantine? I’d like to think so. But, every summer before this I have wanted to do fun activities with her and we have always had somewhere else to go.
The next thing being in quarantine has shown me is that you need to water the seeds you plant. There is one thing that will be guaranteed for the rest of your life. That is your family that you have helped raise. You can’t be worried about everyone else and what they are doing or not doing. The most important thing is what you show your own family.
I have always been family oriented but I feel that this pandemic has brought about a new light to that area of my life. Before this I would be thinking about other people’s children and how I could make them feel wanted and safe. Which I don’t want to sound like that has changed. I still love and cherish my students the same way, although this has made me realize that no one is going to my love child or family the way that I do. It has led me to change my thinking about where I put most of my effort and time and how that needs to change.
Alright this one is a tough one. For the first two weeks of being home, I casually brought it up to my hubby that I think I would like to be a stay at home mom. We then went to work to see if that would be physically and financially possible for us. Little did I know that after about three weeks, I would change my opinion. My hat goes off to all the stay at home parents out there because I don’t know how you all do it. I mean we had both of us home day in and day out and I still found toys and play doh and whatever else on the floor moments after I had picked them all up. Adult conversation was also something that was lacking. Of course I had my husband to talk to but I missed my friends and coworkers.
Throughout this time, I also gained the necessary courage to start my business. I was teaching my kiddos online, running around while on my prep time and lunch break to do laundry and other things (if my hubby didn’t already get them), so I was becoming pretty good at mastering my time. I made sure to keep it to the normal school day as much as possible. So I would be available from 7 to 3:30 and then after that I made it a point to answer any messages or emails the next day. I saw a lot of other teachers struggling because they could not turn off being a teacher. They were literally sitting at their computers day in and day out until 8 o’clock at night.
When I first saw that I instantly thought that will not be me. I have a toddler who still needs her momma and a household that still needs to function. So, from the very beginning I put a schedule into place. But since I didn’t have to commute back and forth, I found myself with some extra time in my day.
That is when I decide to take on this new business adventure. I was carving out a to do list for my business and devoting one day to getting a specific task done. Little by little I started chipping away at things and then decided to launch my subscription boxes to the world. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I am just glad that my boxes did so well. I’d like to think that I would have still been able to launch my boxes if we weren’t in the pandemic. But, I don’t know how soon it would have been.
And now friends we have come to our last and final thing that this pandemic has given me. It is the realization that if you want something, do it. This is kind of morbid but stick with me. When this first started my mind immediately went to, what if we are never able to leave our houses again. What if March 13 was the last time we would see our friends, coworkers, neighbors forever.
What if, what if, what if and then you fall into a rabbit hole that is hard to get out of. But, that is what happens to me. I then made myself promise that when quarantine was over I would do these things. I would no longer come to the end of my life and think about all the regrets.
So, I wrote a list of things for when quarantine is over. On the list is to go to Nashville again with our daughter. We have said every summer since our honeymoon that we would love to go back. But, we haven’t made it back yet because of this that or the other. Well you best believe when we are able to freely travel again that will be our next summer destination. I have also wanted to teach Aria how to ride a horse. She has been obsessed with horses and watching people ride them so that is something that made the list. I am also going to get a tattoo. I have wanted one forever but have been too chicken to get one. Well, not anymore. There are tons more on the list, but you get the picture.
The choice is up to you. You can choose whether you want to be stuck in your house or whether you thrive in your house. I hate to say this but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want things to go back to normal. I like the slower paced life that we are living. It kind of reminds me of my childhood. When there was really nowhere to be and nothing pressing that had to be done.
I have enjoyed seeing people post about their kids jumping in puddles. For real, when is the last time you have seen a kid do that. Seeing people get creative with ways of having baby showers, seeing their elderly relatives, and getting married. It is always amazing to me how many brilliant ideas we as people can come up with when faced with a challenge. That’s why I truly believe this isn’t the worst pandemic ever.
I hope that this episode hit home. Maybe you take a minute to think about the ways that this wasn’t the worst pandemic ever. Maybe for the better or maybe not. But, I think we can all say that there will be a change because of this.
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