Neighborhood Egg Hunt

How many eggs will you find in your neighborhood? Join Alamo City Moms and families across San Antonio for this epic (social distancing appropriate) Egg Hunt.

The loss of holidays during this isolating time can be particularly hard on the youngest members of our homes – we were particularly looking forward to hunting eggs with friends at my house. Alamo City Moms invites you to print an egg or two (or 5!) and ‘hide’ them in your windows. Go on a neighborhood walk or drive and ‘hunt’ for all the eggs you can find along the way.

Egg Hunt Printables

Just like the ‘bear hunts’ and chalk walks that neighbors have been participating in, the egg hunt is more fun when more homes participate – so share with your neighborhood groups and print out extra copies for neighbors if you’d like (then leave them on their porch for good social distancing practice!). Please take a picture and tag us on Facebook or IG so we can feature your eggs.

Egg Hunt Printable will open in a new window. You need a .pdf viewer or a browser that will open a .pdf for viewing. To print specific pages, visit your print settings and manually select or type in the pages you wish to print.

Navigating Shared Custody & COVID-19

In an ideal world, our children would grow up without having to split time between two parents, two households. Most of us didn’t venture into parenthood with that plan. But for those of us who’ve found ourselves there, it’s an even more challenging reality navigating shared custody during the stay at home orders and COVID-19. I’m right there with you. I have 50/50 custody of my four kids and it’s definitely not easy navigating what to do with their dad. Here are some things to consider in making your own decisions about visitation during the coronavirus and social distancing. 

This is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions about your particular situation or orders, please contact your family law attorney. 

Custody Orders Are Still in Place

Despite the fact that one parent may feel strongly about the kids staying at just one house during this time, custody orders and visitation schedules are still in effect. I’ve seen a number of online forums where divorced parents are saying that they refuse to let their kids go with the other parent at this time. It’s understandably stressful sending our kids to the other parent’s home during a time of such uncertainty, but you could potentially get yourself in trouble refusing to let your kids go. 

Now, if both parents can agree to modify your visitation in writing, then you can certainly come to any agreement you choose to. I’ve seen some parents co-parent beautifully through this, making the decision to have the kids stay at one house with the option for the other parent to make up any missed time in the future. 

Show Yourself (and Your Kids) Some Grace

Just like every other married mother out there with their kids out of school, it’s gonna be stressful. But if you’re solo parenting it when the kids are with you, there can be added pressure when you don’t have someone to tag-team home/mom/work duties with. I know for me, it can be easy to feel like I have to do all the things all by myself all the time. But we don’t, coronavirus or no coronavirus. It can still be a really important time to keep some semblance of a routine, but it doesn’t have to be regimented. My kids are watching more TV right now, especially when I need to work. But they’re also getting lots of playtime in our backyard, and I try to take them out for a walk or hike once a day (for their sanity and my own). We’re still doing chores. But bedtime has definitely been a bit lax. 

This is not a time for mom guilt. If you’re focused on getting through this, facing financial troubles, and just feeding your kids each day without melting down, you’re doing great. There’s no need to be the perfect homeschool/work-from-home mom right now (or ever). This is the time to hone in on your intuition and do what’s right for you and your family, not compare yourself with what anyone on Instagram or Facebook is doing. But if social media is something that lifts you up and keeps you connected right now, have at it. 

Getting Through the Days You Don’t Have Your Kids

Although I’ve grown used to the regular rhythms of having my kids every other week, it’s a completely new experience when they’re not with me now. Before, I would go into my coworking space and my favorite coffee shops to work. I’d get out once or twice a week with friends and go to events that I wouldn’t normally with my kids. These are all ways that I’ve built community and connection beyond my identity as a mother. None of those things is an option right now. So I’ve had to pivot. I have a couple of women’s groups that meet once a week for a Zoom call that I’m completely grateful for (and it’s a great reason to get cleaned up––or not). I get out for a bike ride once or twice a week (and keep a socially safe distance of 6 feet), and take walks with my dog, too. I’m picking up projects that have been on the back burner. And I’m binge-watching a lot more shows that I can’t watch with my kids. And I’m treating myself with to-go orders from my favorite local restaurants that are still open every now and then, too. 

I know the time without your kids may sound like a dream to moms out there who aren’t divorced and have their kids all the time. But legally not being allowed to see your children half of the time is not something I’d wish on anyone. And not being allowed to see them during an international pandemic? I’d trade all of my free days for keeping them under my wing any day. Cheers to all the mamas everywhere navigating this new world, but especially to the ones navigating this solo. You’re not alone. 


Working Out, Inside: Online Exercise Classes for San Antonio Moms

As some of us begin to “stay home, work safe” to keep ourselves healthy, we’ll undoubtedly be spending a lot more time indoors. And, while I’m extremely grateful for my job and the privilege to continue working from home, I have to say, I’ve been missing the outside world…a lot.

A big part of my emotional and physical well-being revolves around regular exercise, and truthfully, I’ve been putting that well-being off. Like most of you, I’m feeling overwhelmed with our new reality – being at home working, homeschooling, cooking around the clock, and generally, just trying to keep it all together for me and my family. I’m itching to get out of the house and back into my workout routine that, frankly, keeps me sane, but I know those routines are on pause right now. And that’s going to have to be okay for a while.

Fortunately, with so many fantastic local studios and gyms stepping up to keep us all emotionally and physically well, we can now all workout, in. From cardio, to strength training, to Pilates and yoga, our fitness community is graciously sharing (mostly free!) live and on-demand exercise classes on their social media platforms, websites, and apps.

So, let’s be grateful for our health – now more than ever – and vow to take at least one deep breath a day to help manage the emotional roller coasters we’re all riding. Here’s a list of local studios, gyms, apps, and online sites that are offering workout classes and sessions you can do from home, mostly with little to no equipment necessary:


Mobile Om

Mobile Om, a mobile yoga studio, is offering free, pre-recorded yoga classes on their YouTube channel. Also, follow their Facebook page for free live classes as they arise around town.



Black Swan Yoga

Black Swan Yoga is offering live online classes. You can try for free, then check out payment options. Or, check them out for free on Instagram Live.


Online yoga:

Smart Barre

Smart Barre is steaming live classes online daily for members via Zoom. You can book through their website, the Smart Barre app, or through the MindBody app. Insider tip: follow them on Instagram, as they’ve offered a few free Instagram Live classes lately.


Live classes: 

Alamo City Yoga

Follow Alamo City Yoga’s Instagram page for free yoga and meditation sessions.



JoyRide is offering members live stream and on-demand classes. Non-members can join right now as special guests (for free!) – use the code JoyRide89.

Online classes:

EnergyX Fitness

Join power-rowing or strength training classes by visiting EnergyX’s website or their page on the MindBody app. Also, follow along on their Facebook page for new and updated class announcements.



MBS Fitness

MBS is offering members free online yoga and pilates classes, access to pre-recorded classes, discounts on group classes and training sessions, and Uncommon Dare Commissary delivery service.


Burn It In 30

Join this workout community and receive virtual workouts online. Follow them on Facebook for additional discounts and details.



Orange Theory Fitness

“Orange Theory At Home” is uploading a new, 30-minute workout every day, for members and non-members.

Join here:

Gold’s Gym

Gold’s Gym is offering live and on-demand classes for at-home workouts. Or, you can download their app for workouts on the go (or outside, using social distancing rules).

Download here:

Life Time Fitness

Life Time Fitness is offering members and non-members classes on demand, streaming cardio, and yoga classes.

Visit here:

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is live streaming free workouts daily at 6 p.m. Central via their Facebook page.



Equinox is offering free on-demand fitness videos via their Variis by Equinox channel. Also, they’re offering free live yoga classes on their Instagram Live feed.

Varris on Instagram:


Club Pilates

Club Pilates has several locations; follow their Facebook Live series for free, 30-minute classes.


Corepower Yoga

Corepower is offering more than a dozen on-demand classes for all skill levels.

On demand:


CompTrain is offering free CrossFit WODs daily.

On demand:



Peloton is offering its app for free (for a limited time – 90 days). If you don’t own a bike, you can still take their yoga, meditation, and strength classes.

App download:


Gymshark is offering workouts on their Conditioning app. Bonus – you can use basic household items for weight training sessions.

App download:

Zombies, Run!

This app prompts runners with Zombie missions to give you creative routes, storyline motivation and more.

App download


30-, 40- and 60-minute workout videos led by fitness instructor Sydney Cummings.

Watch here:


These Pilates workouts allow users to narrow down practices by targeted areas – arms, legs, etc. Quick and fun workouts!

Watch here:

Yoga with Adriene

Practice on your mat for as few as 10 minutes or as long as an hour with these free, uplifting yoga classes.

Watch here:

Did I miss a studio, gym, or app you’re using and loving? Please share your ideas in the comments section for everyone to see. Thank you and stay well. 

Schedule Away

One of my favorite childhood breaks from school was the now infamous Blizzard of ’93. Being from the Northeast, school cancellations were typical when extremely low temperatures or feet upon feet of snow blanketed our world. I still remember the feeling of excitement upon waking up to pearl white snow covering the yards and waiting with anticipation for the name of our school to scroll across the bottom of the TV screen. When we finally made it through the alphabet (I went to St. Sebastian’s School which took for-ever to appear) and had the official word of the closing, my sister and I couldn’t get our snowsuits and gloves on fast enough. While the Blizzard of ’93 brought airport, turnpike, township road, and school closings, all our elementary-aged brains could comprehend was the unlimited amount of time we would have outside, along with the steaming mugs of hot chocolate that awaited our exhausted selves at the end of our days.

Until most recently, I didn’t think of the parents through that hardship. My dad, who relied on public transportation to the city for work. My mother, who ran our household like no other and had to make food and resources stretch farther than normal. Our neighbors, who never hesitated to ask if we needed anything if they were one of the few that braved Mother Nature’s white force and walked, or cross country skied, to the nearest gas station. It was that blizzard that made the phrase “stock up on toilet paper, milk, bread, and eggs” hit home.

We didn’t have Amazon, Target, or Walmart to deliver the essentials on our doorstep in a matter of hours. There were no social media channels at our fingertips or news outlets chattering away in the background 24/7. Each family made decisions that worked and made sense for their households without judgment from those seated behind screens. You played with those you could physically get to, whether it be via sledding, skiing, or snowshoeing. I like to think we coined and perfected the act of social distancing for the times we legitimately could not get to places or people with the foot or more of snow that each hour brought.

As a parent now, I look back on that time to not only remember my parent’s viewpoints but mine as well. What stands out in my mind? What did I love? Was I aware of the reality? How did my parents make us feel safe and secure when uncertainty swirled around them at the speed of falling snowflakes? As we hunker down during a much different, yet not less serious situation, what do I want my children to take away from this time? Except for summer and winter breaks, how do you prepare them (and us) for extended periods of time away from everything they know to be normal? Each family and household will answer these questions differently, which helps to remind us that it takes all kinds of things to make the world go ‘round.

There will not be one article that perfectly describes the steps necessary to combat this illness, just like there is no one template that best suits your time at home with your child in the same manner as mine. Furthermore, those with a two-working parent household have an added layer of stress when it comes to childcare during work hours. Because I can only write from a stay-at-home mom’s point of view, I can say that a schedule is a must for my crew. Not a down to the minute, Pinterest-worthy craft kind of schedule, but we need a purpose. And small goals. And victories to celebrate with life lessons to be learned.

Just like their Mama, my kiddos like to know what is coming next. So, one can find the stress in our (and many others’) current situation when I don’t have answers for them to specific questions or a basic timeline for what is to come. However, what I can grant them is a loose, read loose, schedule for our days. I know their personalities, quirks, strengths, and weaknesses better than anyone, so outlining our day should be written in the stars for me. Think again. This is not a summer vacation. This is not a “bonus” week of spring break. This is a new and confusing time for parents who so badly want to listen to the advice put out by the universe, but desperately need to get out of the house as well, yet cannot just pick up and venture out to the zoos, aquariums, libraries, etc. as if it was a normal school break. This is a time to truly focus in the walls of your home and what a realistic day will look like.

Making a lineup, list, agenda or whatever word that is synonymous with a schedule is where I would, and just did, start. When I wasn’t sure what to put first on the list, I wrote down what I knew: school jobs. My oldest was the door holder and light manager at school? Well, that is just fantastic because she now holds that job at home. My youngest most recently held the title of “table wiper” for his PreK class? Awesome sauce. This week finds him in charge of wiping down the table after all meals. This is nothing new here, Mamas. I am merely playing into what they enjoy at school and making it fit our lives.

My kids hear me say that I wish for octopus arms because I could reach and get more done. Thank you, quarantine period, because I now have 4 extra arms to assist me during the day! Sometimes the simplest of ideas can be the ones that save our sanity and patience. Who remembers the articles circulating around about the want and need for additional P.E. times? Well, here it is friends. Break out those hula hoops, potato sacks, and roller skates and prepare to meet those 10,000 steps in no time. And with all that activity, comes the endless snacks your sweet ones will request every twenty minutes of every day.

Having a plan for the day can also include meals and snacks. Gently remind them that they do not eat mindlessly and frequently while at school. Try to mirror snack (if applicable) and lunchtimes to their school schedule and stick to it (because no one really wants to go back to the grocery store to replenish the Goldfish stash).

A deck of cards can serve as a math lesson for kiddos of varying ages. Have your oldest work to his/her ability while walking through number recognition with your youngest. Use those cards to play war or spit. Take an hour for creative play through the game of charades or Pictionary. Let those games streamline into reading or acting out a play. Set the stage for an impromptu play by making one child a human character, the others talking animals, and give them the problem to work with. It will be a comedy show before you know it! Applaud their performances by popping popcorn and hunkering down for family movie night. The possibilities are as endless as the rocks you will find on a neighborhood scavenger hunt and the pollen that is currently falling from those oak trees (thanks, South Texas). Use the apps sent to you by the teachers. FaceTime friends and out of town family. Schedule a “drop everything and <insert activity of your choice here>” at some point of the day, but keep them guessing as to when this will occur. Hug and kiss them. Then let yourself breathe, Mama. We are all in this together.

I am trying to believe that we were all given this time for a reason. A reason to re-center. Time to de-clutter. An excuse to face that project that we have so cleverly put off for quite some time. A time to work from home. An opportunity to talk less and listen more. A breathing period for our rushed and weary souls. A moment to be humbled by what we have and how to use our gifts to help others. Let us step out of the current for just a moment to picture what our kids will say about this in 30 years and what impact we can have on that viewpoint. I hope yours are as warm and fuzzy as those endless cups of hot chocolate were for me, back in ’93.



Marriage in Quarantine

As we navigate through these next few weeks, our new routines as a family are and will be constantly changing. We have gotten used to each other, REALLY used to each other. The space from one side of the house to the other feels smaller than ever. I work from home on a daily basis, and have since I had my first child, so that part is staying within my comfort zone. My husband, on the other hand, does not. We cohabitate well because we spend eight hours apart from each other five days a week.

The first week, like most, was not so hard. We had Spring Break, rested and then got to have an additional break. We slept in, played hard, and watched an abundance of screen time. My husband ran the essential errands we needed and we foolishly prepared for becoming teachers, chefs, and full-time snack buddies for the foreseeable future.

We were not prepared for what I thought was the easiest task, being with my husband twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for who knows how long.

This last week, we have had serious ups and great downs but every day we are learning how to make it work, because there is no other choice.

Work Separately

Having two office spaces that are devoted to getting work done and in a timely manner in one shared space is not ideal on a good day. It is important to each have your own space, one that can be closed, quiet, or private if need be. My husband made his work station outside, which clearly gives us the distance and separation we both require. Give yourself working hours, minutes, seconds that are devoted to working, not watching the kids or making breakfast while on mute with a conference call. Give each other respect in the time needed to complete the work day so that it does not hang over into night time anxiety.

Personal Time Alone

Whatever that means to your partner, let them have it. If there was ever a time where we need a moment to ourselves to blow off steam, now is definitely it. I know that when I say I need to go take a shower, work on a puzzle, or watch a show, he will be sole parent. When he tells me he is going to go for a drive, it’s my cue that he needs a break from whatever is going on in his world. This may take an hour or it may take ten minutes but if it brings your partner back refreshed for the next moment, it is worth it.

Play Together

We’ve heard the words “family time” on every social outlet these days, even before we had the global pandemic. I feel like we live family time, we are family without an off switch. This is the time to bring out the fun in each other and let the kids see how we love playing together. We had fun (out of the bedroom) before they came along and I try to imagine what we would be doing in this quarantine if we didn’t have kids yet. All of those times that you wanted to be the “fun” parents, now is your chance. Break out the water guns, get your game on, and kids are basically the added benefit. It has been way too long since we have had this much fun and laughter together.

Kid-Free Zone

We are trying to keep the news out of our children’s lives for the most part, except for minimalist explanations of why we are staying home and keeping each other safe. As adults though, we have to keep up and we have to be in the moment. We do this together, without the kids. We save time each day to discuss our feelings and let our emotions out. After a long day of being Mom, being a supportive wife is important; I also need my husband. Connections can be made just by sitting down on the couch next to each other or deep hugs in the hallway after getting the last bedroom door shut. Affection is a positive tool for anxiety, its proven science that a hug will calm your heart.

Marriage is hard. It takes an extraordinary amount of work, especially in the times of hardship and heartache that we are all in. We are creatures of habit, stubborn in our ways and in this fast-paced universe, we have forgotten the tools to slow down. We will get angry. We will lash out at those we love the most. I admit, I have had moments I am not proud of in this situation we are all in. Take a deep breath, look at the rock that is going to be there through it all and love them deeply. Apologize for snapping at them and laugh with them when your kids are being such turds you just give up.

You Peed on a Stick and It’s Positive: A Pregnancy Refresher

So you peed on a stick and it’s positive for pregnancy. Now what?

i have a positive pregnancy test now what


Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve already birthed a human or have a little human around you who calls you some variation of “mom.” And now you find yourself holding a pee stick affirming that yes you are more than just a little bit queasy (and hopefully you aren’t holding that stick while you’re reading this, but if you are don’t forget to wash your hands). And now the question is, what do you do next after a positive pregnancy test?

First, if this is something you were hoping for, then CONGRATULATIONS! It may have been a long road and many sticks to get here, or maybe a quick jaunt and one stick. (If this is NOT something that’s cause for celebration and you need different resources, scroll to the bottom of this post for info.^^) A blood test at a physician’s office or clinic can confirm hCG levels since home pregnancy tests are more like a “screening,” and aren’t necessarily 100% effective.*

What happens on your first appointment?

Expect your first prenatal appointment to be a data gathering session. The medical services provider will want a full health history, including gynecological and family history. There will likely be an ask for labs, like a blood draw and urine sample. Depending on the estimated conception date, you may have an ultrasound to confirm the estimated birthing date. And you’ll have a chance to hear the fetal heartbeat through a doppler.

What care options do you have?

Insurance generally covers obstetrical care, which means that OBGYNs are the primary option. But, no two are alike, and each has a specific location or locations where they have privileges. If you have an OBGYN already, you can “interview” them to see if your goals are aligned. (Sure, this provider has been there for you through annual pap smears, mammograms, random pelvic pain visits, and testing. However, birth is a completely different situation, and how you envision yourself laboring and birthing can be a completely different picture for the provider supporting your labor.)


Additionally, you can choose to be under the care of a midwife and birth at home or a birth center. Insurance, however, doesn’t not typically cover this upfront but you can work with them to see what if any costs can be covered.

What are all these tests for?

First trimester screenings are optional, and tests for increased risk of Down syndrome and trisomy 18. Later in this period, an optional quad screen can evaluate for things like neural tube defects. Again, these are optional. 

If you are 35 or older, get ready for that positive pregnancy test to lead to your “geriatric pregnancy” classification. (Look, a bunch of dudes in coats came up with this term back when fertility studies and classifications pointed to increased risk of infertility and chromosomal anomalies happened after a certain age, and “35” fell into that middle. Don’t get me started. But! Every body is different. Every pregnancy is different. Talk to your healthcare provider about what your body and your pregnancy need.)

What’s a birth team?

A birth team is exactly what it sounds like, the people you want around you during your pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period. Like your own personal Avengers. This can include a trusted friend whom you can vent to, your healthcare provider, your partner or supportive family member, your doula, and other health services (chiropractor, yoga instructor, pelvic floor therapist, mental health counselor, etc).

When do I make a public announcement?

The old rule of thumb was to make it through the first trimester before sharing because the risk of a miscarriage decreases at that point. Announcing to the world that you are pregnant or have a positive pregnancy test result is your choice. Seriously. Just like whether or not you tell anyone you’ve gone into labor. (And also don’t forget that you can choose who gets to be with you at the birth.)

What else?

Nutrition: Cut back on caffeine, unpasteurized foods, cold cuts, lunch meats, raw and undercooked seafood (sushi). Eating for two is not the same as eating because of two! Approximately 300 more daily calories are needed for pregnancy, so stock up on protein, fruites, veg, and whole grains. A well balanced diet can assist in minimizing nausea and constipation. And WATER! Please. Drink all the water. (Did you know: sipping through a straw can help you drink more water? Drink more than you think you need because it’s easy to become dehydrated and miserable.) Folic acid intake activate! In addition to a prenatal, don’t forget leafy greens, most berries, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, and fortified breakfast cereals can help. Don’t forget that Texas WIC can help if you qualify.°

Staying Active: If you’re not already training for a marathon, this is not the time to start. If you’re currently active, maintain that level of activity with some modifications. If you’re not active, try a little bit a day and work your way up! Walking, swimming, prenatal yoga. Twenty to thirty minutes a day is idea.

R&R: Rest and relaxation can be hard if little ones are already afoot. If you already have a self care practice, maintain that! If you don’t, building in time to do something that’s just for you can help tremendously. Even if that’s hitting the store solo and taking the long way home while belting out to music on the way home. Are there work or home duties that someone else can help with? Communicate your needs regularly so that the amount of your mental load can be reduced even if just a smidge.


As you continue your journey, your birth team can help guide you through all the things as they come up (because things will always come up). You’ve got this! Now, go wash your hands since you just peed on a stick.




Alamo City Moms is a resource for all moms in the greater San Antonio area. ACM recognizes the many pathways to becoming a parent and a family and wants to provide as much information to our community as possible in that decision-making process. This article strives to provide those options to our readers free of personal opinion or perspective.

  • Are you preparing for pregnancy as a non-binary person? Family Equality has a starter resource here with links to additional resources and a tip sheet for providers.
  • Are you looking for queer centered pregnancy resources? See this list here, this thread on reddit, this group online, this podcast, this other podcast
  • ^^ San Antonio has limited service options for pregnancy termination. You can begin your search for care here and here if your medical provider does not offer assistance or you do not have a medical provider already. In Texas, health insurance coverage for services is limited unless your employer has purchased a separate rider. This includes restrictions to Marketplace options and Public Employee Insurance Plans.
  • *Maternity care and childbirth are covered by Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Employer health insurance programs often offer maternity programs at no extra cost, and they should cover a blood test. You can also shop for coverage in the health insurance Marketplace.
  • ° Apply for WIC here. As a client, you will get healthy food, breastfeeding support, nutrition support. WIC is open to many incomes and families. If you are on Medicaid, TANF, or SNAP you meet the income eligibility guidelines for WIC. If you don’t qualify for these programs, you may still qualify for WIC by meeting the income guidelines for your household. 

Teachers and Homeschoolers: Let’s Be Kinder to Parents in this Pandemic

As a remote-working parent who homeschooled for many years and is now finding herself being pulled back into home education thanks to the pandemic, I’m in a unique situation.

I’m comfortable with both public education and homeschooling as options for families. That’s why I’ve long followed a broad mix of homeschool and education social media influencers.

Thankfully, most people are playing nice on social media as we begin to ramp up the COVID-19 lockdowns.

But some of what I’m starting to see makes me uneasy.

A few bad apples in both groups are starting to brush off legitimate parental concerns.

That’s likely because getting lost in all of this “breaking news”—and the inevitable social chatter that comes with it—is the simple fact that many parents are new to having kids home during the school year. They’re responding the best they can during a global emergency.

Can we continue to treat these times and those responses as typical? Might we want to adapt our messages to one another accordingly, as soon as possible?

Earlier today, I encountered a post on Facebook by a well-meaning teacher attempting to reassure parents that their kids won’t fall behind too far this spring. In it, she pointed out that parents shouldn’t yell at their kids about math problems.

I agree wholeheartedly that yelling isn’t typically a good motivational strategy when teaching any subject.

But maybe now raised voices about lessons are connected to deeper-seated parental anxiety about paying the rent or losing a job or, soon, perhaps staying alive?

In her rush to tell everyone to trust that teachers will get everyone up to speed again in the fall, the well-meaning teacher glossed over what parents are actually dealing with right now.

She was right, but it rang a little hollow once I realized what was left unsaid.

In a similar vein, I’ve seen a couple of homeschool influencers dismiss efforts made by parents to find a week’s worth of school lessons quickly and on the cheap. “Let them play,” they say.

Again, while I agree that embracing open-ended, play-centered endeavors is a valid approach for many homeschool families (especially those who choose to embrace the unschooling approach), I think much more is going on in this moment that needs to be acknowledged.

In my social circles, the parents I’m seeing scramble to find things to keep occupied are those suddenly thrown into working remotely. But I know they’re not alone. Together with first responders, healthcare providers and hourly workers, these hard-charging parents are all in dire, urgent need of finding a substitute for the childcare inherently provided by schools.

These parents need workable solutions to keep their kids occupied. They’re looking for workbooks and digital options, but they need scheduling tips.

They’re not saying it, but they need moral support.

No, scratch that.

We need moral support.

Social distancing is complicating everything, all at once. Jobs are in jeopardy. People are at risk of becoming sick.

We need to acknowledge those realities more directly and mindfully, especially when it comes to how it’s impacting families.

Whether or not there’s community spread in your town, odds are parents near you are already feeling varying degrees of emotional and economic strain. Frankly, many of them were feeling uneasiness before this pandemic began, so they may be even closer to their personal breaking points.

All the more reason for us to be kinder, more thoughtful and supportive.

I wish I had all the answers on how we work to keep families healthy, happy and sane until this crisis ends. I don’t. I’m reeling a little bit myself at times.

Maybe this phase of anxiety is the first step on the road to a new normal?

Until we feel on firmer footing and, hopefully, safer, let’s all work on finding better ways of communicating with one another, human-to-human. Let’s lift one another up, lean in and be even more thoughtful about what we say and share. Especially when it comes to talking with parents.

Our collective well-being may depend upon it.


In 2013, Pamela Price wrote How to Work and Homeschool (no longer in print) and homeschooled for almost a decade. Now, like many parents, she’s juggling a full-time remote job (in corporate marketing) while helping her public school teenager adjust to digital learning. She’s also sharing practical tips and pragmatic advice for parents with a team of seasoned homeschool moms at

Don’t Be Afraid to “Date” Your Children

Life in any stage of parenting is hectic, trying, beautiful, and sometimes a ball full of chaos. Staying above water can seem impossible on those days when extracurricular activities, work obligations, home projects and beyond seem endless and ever building. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do it all, let alone leave us with extra time for ourselves or quiet time with our spouse. Books, social media, online articles, and other resources remind us of the importance of quality time with our family, friends, partner, and selves, yet it takes time to carve out that quality time. For my family to have quality time as a whole and in different parent-child combinations, we focus on just that: quality time.  With my former teacher, type-A self, I function well with predictability and solid laid out plans, but also know my kids love same day surprises. So, we prioritize and try to stick to a plan, with a few spontaneous adventures thrown in for good measure.

A wise mentor once told me that it was crucial to “date” my children. Here I was with a newborn baby, and the only date I could dream of was a hot shower and a glass of wine. As that baby grew and another was added to our family, her words began to make sense. Being a stay at home mom to babies and toddlers allows your days to revolve around naps, meals, and occasional library and open gym outings. However, when preschool and elementary-aged kiddos make up half of your family, a shift occurs which means those precious and carefree days are a thing of the past. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving this stage of parenting, but struggled in the beginning to find my rhythm with mornings all to myself. My youngest and I still have a few afternoons together where we can be found at the park, library, or engaged in some serious Lego building at home. Those afternoons together afford us the one-on-one time that I was able to give to my oldest before his arrival while he still loved taking two naps a day. The struggle with quality time with my oldest is real and evident on most days. While the weekends make the dividing and conquering a bit easier, I knew we needed something different. Something away from the regular hustle and bustle of life. It just so happened that something came in the form of a Mother/Daughter weekend at a camp just outside of San Antonio and gave us exactly what we didn’t know we needed.

In all honesty, I was dreading this weekend. Not the ‘spending time with my daughter’ part, but the actual “camp” aspect. For those of you that saw and can remember the original Parent Trap movie (NOT the Lindsay Lohan version), the scene where Hayley Mills tells her soon to be stepmother that cracking two sticks together would keep the bears away kept replaying in my mind. Bears, Bugs, and bunk beds, OH MY! I was starting to work myself up into a semi-respectable panic thinking of all the things that freak me out, not to mention the lack of sleep and sharing a bunkhouse with 12 other people. My husband and youngest found great humor in my antics, which included buying all new sheets and pillows in case I needed to burn them afterward, an estimated 17 outfits in case all the natural disasters happen at once, shower shoes that will be thrown away upon departure of the weekend, and many more to list. In fact, I was told that watching me try to get everything together and prepare for the worst of all cases was like watching the behaviors of an ant farm colony, rushing and not really knowing what was to come. Even though I can’t really disagree with him, I have to say that in my defense, I NEVER attended camp as a kid, let alone as a mother in my mid-thirties who has a realistic view of germs and all the “what ifs.” Despite my harried behavior, my daughter knew nothing of my camping fears and focused on the smores, ziplines, and campfires to come.

As dramatic as I made our weekend seem, it wasn’t one hundred percent the disaster I had prepared for. The lack of showers and sleep was canceled out by the amazing food and engaging activities. We shimmied up telephone poles as if we were squirrels to then zipline through the treetops as if we were birds of the rainforest. She witnessed me take a step outside my comfort zone during a ropes course and I encouraged her to engage during breakout sessions that were held periodically throughout the weekend. We indulged ourselves in the spa night amenities provided and drank more hot chocolate and coffee than we probably should have. The bunkhouse atmosphere allowed us to make new friends from all over the state, along with a special mother/daughter duo that lives not too far from us. Perhaps the camp organizers knew what they were doing when they arranged the cabins, for we believe that we would not have gotten to know each other as well as we did had it not been for the bunkhouse experience.

Spending one-on-one time with your child will look different for all families. It doesn’t have to be a full weekend away or some lavish vacation by any means. It can take the form of an afternoon frozen yogurt date where you can focus just on that child and his/her day. Quality time can look like a dad and a son throwing a ball around in the front yard, or a mother and son taking a much-needed afterschool dip in the pool. It isn’t the action that matters, but more the act. It’s taking the rush out of our daily lives so we can listen to their little voices. It’s replacing the “in just a minute” response to “tell me about your day” conversation starters. It’s the nourishment their little souls need and the pause buttons our mama hearts so desire. So even though my weekend alone with my oldest may have only spanned 36 hours, I am hopeful the memories will last a lifetime.

Little Free Libraries: A Great Resource During Trying Times

I’m a lover of libraries in all sizes and categories. Academic libraries put me in awe of all the specialized materials they house in those university walls. Museum libraries are often small but are a great resource for hidden, unusual gems like digitized images. City library branch libraries provide so much from programming to materials in all forms and fashion. Small, independent libraries have their own personal, local charm. But in the last few years, a new type of library has sprung up in increasing numbers. Small, book cabinets, called Little Free Libraries, provide book sharing practically in our backyards.

While I had seen these around me, I had never known that Little Free Libraries is actually a non-profit organization that started with the goal to provide more people with access to books. There are actually these small, unique libraries all over the world! There is even a grant opportunity application if you want to build one but need the funding. You can purchase a pre-made cabinet or find the plans to build one. There are ideas for community events related to these book sharing sites and ideas on how to promote them as well. Who knew? 

Why are these small libraries becoming so popular? The idea is that these libraries are truly for everyone. No library card needed! There is no need to provide an address, proof of identification, or any other documentation. Often times, these are built in areas considered “book desserts.”  Anyone walking by can just open up the cabinet, reach in, and grab a free book. Little Free Libraries can be found in pedestrian-friendly areas. This is book sharing in its simplest form. 

Who builds these book-sharing cabinets? Often a youth organization such as a Boy Scout/Girl Scout troop provides the financial resources and physical resources to build one as a community service project. Sometimes a school club or organization spearheads one of these projects. Lions Clubs, businesses, university groups, churches, and so many more have donated time and money to provide a Little Free Library. There have been individuals who have gone solo in undertaking such a task. 

These Little Free Libraries also bring together a sense of community. Once built, the locals keep it going. It’s so easy to donate a book that you have already read or that your son/daughter has outgrown. It provides a good feeling to have donated and added to a common, local cause. It also provides books from area people and that brings a connection. Who knew that someone close by also had a book from your favorite author?  It makes you feel grateful to some unknown community member who provides a book that your son or daughter is delighted to receive. Is that Little Free Library looking a little low? It’s time to help out your neighbors by adding more books! Conversations also start around that Little Free Library that might not have started otherwise. 

I recently thought of how many of these types of libraries were in my area. There is one in my very own subdivision in our community park. There is one at my local YMCA, city hall, one at three local elementary schools, an area coffee shop, and a few in surrounding neighborhood subdivisions. I know that the one in my neighborhood is used quite frequently. My ten year old daughter likes to check it out about every two weeks. She is thrilled when she finds something that she would like to read. She also likes to donate to it on the regular. I add to it at times as well with a novel I’ve finished or perhaps a magazine I’ve picked up. Yes, I’ve found something for myself at times! When we visit our community park, I always see someone checking it out. Our neighborhood social site always alerts us when our book supply is low and someone is always quick to donate. 

You might want to check out a Little Free Library in your area. You might be surprised as to how many there are right in your own neighborhood. Often times, a short walk from your work, school, or home will get you to one of these small gems. The Little Free Library World Map provides a place to enter your zip code and find a registered library. So hop onto the site, grab the kids, and go for a walk to find a new book to read! 


Library Virtual Doors Still Open

As a librarian, I am always talking up the services that our libraries provide and that makes them community centers. Now, as their physical doors are temporarily closed, it’s time to explore their virtual resources more. Reading is a great escape and it is definitely a good time to transport ourselves out of our homes and into a different world with a good book. It’s a given that all libraries will have ebooks, audiobooks, and various other resources. Ebooks can be great when you can’t get the physical book and oh so portable! You can read an ebook on a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. I love audiobooks for all the wonderful voices that read those books to us and entertain me while I’m cleaning, walking, etc. My 10-year-old daughter, an avid reader, especially likes audiobooks.

Every public library has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Follow your local library – you won’t be disappointed. They make announcements about online story times, virtual concerts, author streaming live-reads, and book illustrator demos are just a few of the services provided. It is great to be able to go to a central place to find this. Rich, book-centered, and cultural activities that libraries have always promoted and provided for all ages and diverse groups of people can be found right on their social media channels.

San Antonio Public Library

Bexar County Residents: Your current San Antonio Public Library card opens the door to ebooks, eAudio, and eMagazines and streaming of STARZ.  Normally, you must present your Bexar County proof of residence and picture ID at a local branch but you can get a 90-day ecard by registering online. 

Access the Digital Library and you will find adult, young adult, and children’s materials. I think you will be surprised at how much can be found. There is a detailed how-to for all of their offerings. I would recommend playing with the filters so that you can find items for yourself and for your family. Romance? Graphic novels? Young adult? Children’s books? You can find these and more! Some items are downloadable and some are available through a browser. There are Spanish resources as well. 


Bibliotech is an all-digital resource library for those who reside or work in Bexar County. If you don’t have a card, registration is easy. There are seven different apps that you can get or pick and choose. Lynda offers courses in business, technology and creative skills, taught by experts. Mango provides learning in over 70 languages. This can be a fun one for the kids, too. Hoopla provides ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music. My teenager loves this app!

City Public Libraries

City libraries don’t have as many resources as those larger organizations. But don’t discount them. If you have a card already, you are good to go! There is no online registration, however. Check out your local library at Converse Public Library or Leon Public Library. Converse Public Library is even putting a box of physical books outside their doors that have been cleaned and are ready for a new home. What a great idea! 

Guadalupe County Residents

Guadalupe County is served by several city libraries that each have their unique e-resources. 

Schertz Public Library

If you already have a card, great! If not, register for a free digital card online that anyone who lives in Texas is eligible for. Their digital resources include newspapers, movies, e-books, and audiobooks. They offer driving test prep for those preparing for their Texas driving test. I really like the Online Book Clubs for adults and kids. I love this interactive activity. 

Universal City Public Library

You must already have that golden library card to access online materials. The ebooks and audiobooks are available in the library catalog.  Library Express Library provides GED, ACT, SAT, and citizenship test prep.

Seguin Public Library

All Guadalupe County residents are eligible for a library card. However, there is no online application. With a card, you can access ebooks and audiobooks at all levels for children through adults. They have some great links for FREE, no-library-card needed computer training. From Grandma to your pre-teen, there is something for everyone. 

Comal County

Garden Ridge Public Library

If you have that library card, the online resources include ebooks, audiobooks, and movies! They have provided public domain audiobooks and ebooks. 

New Braunfels Public Library

Unfortunately, there is no online registration for a card. If you have a NBPL library card, the 50+ digital resources are plentiful. I love that they include Tumblebooks and Tumblebooks Math for the younger readers! Both of these are animated picture books that the kids will love. Tumblebooks Math even includes quizzes.

Additional Resources

Military families can access military library resources. You should definitely check your child’s school library website for what their school provides. As a school librarian, I am providing resources and fun activities for my middle school students and ongoing updates. Don’t forget about Little Free Libraries that can be found in your neighborhoods. Go for a walk outside and find a reading treasure! 

Just keep reading and enjoying the virtual resources that our wonderful libraries have provided for us. It’s a great way to have fun and enrich our families during this time! 

Social Distancing in the Wild

Social distancing. It’s a term I’d never even heard of until last week. Now it’s the phrase that’s supposed to dictate how we live our lives, at least for right now. I’ve read the articles and watched the visual representations of how the virus spreads. I understand the importance of social distancing. But when you have active children at home, the house starts to feel a little bit smaller every day. Not to mention the fact that I am now their math, reading, history, art, and PE teacher. Sometimes you just have to get out of the house.

Please use your best judgment when deciding to take your family to a public location and always follow the current city, state, and federal restrictions pertaining to leaving your home. If anyone in your family is exhibiting symptoms of sickness, or if you have been exposed to anyone who has, please stay home.

I’ve put together a list of ideas for getting out of the house with your family, while still practicing social distancing. You know your children best. If a park has a playground, and your children will throw an all-out, on the floor tantrum when they have to pass by it to get to the walking trails, choose another park! Talk with them about the importance of keeping our hands to ourselves right now and discuss what types of surfaces might have germs on them before you get there. Set some expectations and then let them explore! Fresh air and sunshine are good for the soul.

San Antonio Parks with Trails

San Antonio boasts many beautiful parks, but parks with hiking, walking, and biking trails are especially attractive right now. Why not visit a new park (or parks) and see what you can find? The San Antonio Parks and Recreation web page has a full list of San Antonio parks and the length of the trails at each park. Take note of the following parks with large trail systems:

  1. Apache Creek Park
  2. Bamberger Nature Park
  3. Comanche Lookout Park

  4. Eisenhower Park
  5. Friedrich Wilderness Park (Note: no pets allowed)
  6. The Greenline
  7. McAllister Park
  8. Medina River Natural Area
  9. Mission Parkway Park
  10. OP Schnabel Park
  11. Panther Springs Park
  12. Phil Hardberger Park
  13. Stone Oak Park
  14. Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park

Nature Centers: These locations have lots of room to roam.

  1. Mitchell Lake Audubon Center ––All indoor areas are currently closed. Entry is free during this time; there will be signage asking you to check-in via your smart phone and maps and a donation box available on the front porch.
  2. Cibolo Nature Center

State Parks Near San Antonio

  1. Government Canyon State Natural Area (closed Tuesday-Thursday)*
  2. Guadalupe River State Park*
  3. Palmetto State Park*
  4. Lockhart State Park*
  5. Blanco State Park*
  6. Lost Maples State Natural Area*
  7. Pedernales Falls State Park*

Historical Cemeteries: 

(This may sound strange, but cemeteries can be a wonderful lesson in history! Research where famous Texans in history are buried and go find their graves. A great lesson for older students learning about Texas history!)

  • Texas State Cemetery in Austin (Graves include Stephen F. Austin, Barbara Jordan, Chris Kyle, John B. Connally, Susanna Dickinson, Jose Antonio Navarro, among others.) This cemetery has a beautiful, park-like setting with a peaceful pond flowing through the center and a Texas-flag-lined path. You will also find a September 11 monument with pieces from the World Trade Center, monuments dedicated to Texas veterans, and over 2,000 confederate graves.

Other Ideas:

  • Pick up a few plants or seeds the next time you go to a grocery store, and start a garden together.
  • Write positive notes on the sidewalk using chalk for neighbors to see on their daily walks.

As we all know, circumstances are changing quickly, and some or all of these locations may be closed at some point in the future. Check web sites for information before visiting. You can also print out park maps and tickets at home to eliminate time spent in the park office. Please use your best judgment when deciding to take your family to a public location. We can not stress it enough: If anyone in your family is exhibiting symptoms of sickness, or if you have been exposed to anyone who has, please stay home.

*Entrance fees apply.




Viva Small Businesses–Why Shopping Local is More Important Than Ever

How has COVID-19 affected you? Two weeks ago most of us would have shrugged our shoulders in response. By now, however, you’ve probably waited in a mile-long grocery store line, researched how to homeschool your children, and locked down your high risk family members indefinitely. That being said, I think we can all agree that we knew this was the real deal when they started talking about Fiesta

Why Shopping Local is More Important Than Ever

San Antonians collectively mourned when Fiesta celebrations were postponed. Over the four years that I’ve lived here, I have grown to love the Fiesta season and its traditions. So much that I’ve already purchased Fiesta-wear for my kids this year. When I caught a glimpse of my daughter’s dress hanging in her closet today, my heart sank.

My sadness, however, pales in comparison to the worry and stress many small business owners are experiencing right now. Can you imagine the preparation that’s already taken place for Fiesta vendors?  From tacos to flower crowns–things have been planned, purchased, and put together. Now instead of getting ready for thousands of parade and carnival-goers, these local entrepreneurs are wondering what to do with their surplus product and unmet financial goals. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Think about the server in a local restaurant that depends on extra tips coming from the Fiesta crowds. The owner of a local boutique who has shelves overflowing with Fiesta apparel and decor. The DJs, face painters, photographers–all looking at an empty calendar for the next month. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of small businesses affected by the drastic shift in our every day lives. Everyone has been affected. Because when we say “local businesses” what we are really saying is “local families.” Your neighbors and friends who, I’m willing to bet, have already sacrificed much for their small business dreams to thrive. Now not only their dreams but also their livelihoods are at stake. 

What Can You Do?

If you’ve been looking for a way to help your community during this time, supporting small businesses is it. Buy local whenever and however you can. Many shops are adapting to the social distancing situation. For example, stores like Feliz Modern are offering curbside delivery when you order from their website. No. 9 Florals-Chocolates-Gifts is continuing delivery even though their retail storefront is closed. Local farmers such as The Betsy Blue Farm have produce boxes you can purchase and pick up on a bi-weekly basis. Before opening your Amazon app when needs arise, try thinking of a local business that could fit the bill. No disrespect to Amazon (who I’m sure would understand because they too were once a small business). 

Alternatively, you can buy gift certificates. Think ahead to holidays and family gatherings later this year–whatever local businesses you would use then, consider buying a gift certificate from them now. Remember that they will be getting very little foot traffic while we practice social distancing and gift certificate purchases can really help bridge the gap. Understandably, this may not be for everyone because of life, budgets, etc. If you have the means, however, please consider the gift certificate option.

Now, what should be done if you’ve already paid for goods or services that are no longer needed due to quarantines and social distancing? If possible, allow some time before asking for a refund. That local baker was most likely counting on the business coming from your daughter’s birthday cake, and as a result, already purchased the ingredients and tools to prepare it. If the birthday party is a no-go, perhaps your cake funds can be re-routed for your future use. No events on the horizon requiring cake? Personally I’m not about that life, but no worries. The bottom line here is to be patient and flexible until a reasonable solution is found. Let the dust settle, so to speak. All of the panic-canceling takes its toll on small business owners who have invested upfront in these events. 

On that note, let’s all be nice humans. Everyone is facing uncertainty and hardship. When the chips don’t fall in our favor, we should take a deep breath. Walk away if we need to. Before our frustration causes us to email, tweet, text, post, or otherwise say something that we may regret. We can choose kindness over rudeness and empathy over judgement. Let’s take a break from social media and the news. Go outside for a breath of fresh air. Put on our favorite song and have a dance party. Whatever is needed to stay centered and stay kind.

Viva Small Businesses!

When Fiesta rolls around in November, this will all be a memory. Perhaps not one of our favorites, but nonetheless one that taught us important lessons. I think that this will be one of them. Let’s support our friends running small businesses in San Antonio. Because they depend on us, and the future of our city depends on them. 

If you know a local business offering services that will help during COVID-19, please leave a comment below!

San Antonio Delivery or Curbside Options for March


Looking for alternative dining options while we’re home for a few weeks? Here’s a running list of some local restaurants offering San Antonio delivery or curbside service in and around the area as of March 18, 2020.

Pearl Farmer’s Market – Keep an eye out for curbside offerings. Build your custom order online or order a seasonal produce bag for $25 with a weekly selection of 6 to 7 varieties. This week’s bag will include: 2 heads of lettuce, 2 lbs sweet potatoes, 1 celery bunch, 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch green or purple spring onions, 1 bunch of kale, and 1 head of broccoli. Produce, meat, dairy, eggs, pantry items, and specialty food will also be available. Place your orders by Wednesday night and pick up curbside on Fridays at Pearl Stable.

Muck & Fuss – New Braunfels – Offering Carry Out for food. Call 830-255-7055 for pick up.

Copa Wine Bar – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food & wine. Call (210) 495-2672 for pick up. Will be offering delivery of food & wine via Favor soon.

Poke Planet – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 627-6060 for pick up. Delivery Available.

Little Italy – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 349-2060 for pick up. Delivery and Family Style Meals are available. Hosting drive for San Antonio Food Bank:

Yummi Japanese Restaurant – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Bitters Location: Call (210) 236-8003 for pick up. Leon Springs Location: Call (210) 698-1650 for pick up. Delivery Available.

Eastside Kitchenette – San Antonio Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 507-2568 for pick up.

Crepeccino – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 600-3362 for pick up. Delivery Available Through Uber & Doordash

Maverick Whiskey – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call 210) 447-7010 for pick up. Delivery Available Through Door Dash & Favor.

Lion & Rose – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 798-LION for pick up. Delivery Available Through Chow Now.

The Good Kind – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 801-5892 for pick up. Delivery Available through Uber Eats, Offering Family Style Meals. 

Bistr09 – San Antonio – Offering Carry Out for food. Call (210) 245-8156 for pick up. – Offering Family Style Meals.

Stouts – Offering Carry Out for food. Delivery through Favor.

Other San Antonio options currently listing delivery or curbside:

  • Fratellos
  • Barbaro
  • Pinch Boil House
  • South BBQ
  • The Jerk Shack
  • The Bread Box
  • Snooze AM 
  • Chas Korean bbq
  • Shotgun Roasters
  • Sushi Seven
  • Hot Joy
  • Sabor 
  • Jason Dady Restaurants
  • La Botanica
  • The Art of Donut
  • Panaderia Jimenez
  • Li’s Restaurant
  • Sangria on the Burg
  • BBQ Station
  • Kung Fu Noodle
  • Order Up
  • Taco Palenque

**When in doubt, check with your favorite San Antonio restaurant directly to see what their operating plans are.***

And don’t forget these:

Restaurants are working hard to ensure the safety of their staff and yours while in operation.

Also. This situation is scary. I said that out loud and it felt great to let it out amidst sobs, even if I was hiding in the laundry room talking to my mom on the phone. It doesn’t mean we won’t make it through. We will. It may look totally different, but we’ll come out the other side of this together, maybe no longer 6 to 10 feet apart. For now, we can at least keep our favorite restaurants busy and eat our favorite comfort foods, to-go.

Staying Organized with the Kids Home

Sorry friend, no easy button here. But whether your kids are home for summer, school holiday, or an unexpectedly lengthened spring break we’ve got some simple and practical ideas for staying organized while everyone is stuck at home together.

Think Like A Teacher

Think back to a traditional pre-kindergarten or kindergarten room. There were centers and stations for all the things. Housekeeping was in one section, blocks in another, and before you moved on you cleaned up what you got out.

Set zones for activities that work with your house flow. If that means Legos on the dining room table or on a towel on the living room floor, do what works for you. Why a towel? It defines the space and gives boundaries for littles. A hula hoop or painter’s tape box (or something similar to define the space) works just as well. For ongoing activities (i.e. a Lego set that is being built, or a painting that you want to come back to) try keeping it contained on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. It will take some explaining and perhaps a reminder – or seventeen – but it’s a fantastic way of containing messes.

In the same spirit, rotate toys and set timers. By all means, be flexible, but there is something to be said about limiting favorite toys to an hour or two or getting out lightly-used toys. Again, if all that is working to keep the peace is the Legos, then, by all means, don’t interfere! By setting timers, you’re setting limits and expectations. It would be lovely to watch the iPad for 4 hours, but if all we’ve got is 1 (or like my precious angel, behavior goes downhill with extended screen time) blaming the timer for time being up is a savior. “Sorry! The timer said it was time to be done!” works wonders in our home.

Keep the Mess to a Minimum

Clean up before moving on to the next activity. We’ve got an unusual benefit to this whole situation – lots of time. So there is no reason that an activity can’t be contained, cleaned or put away before moving on. It will help keep a mess from building and becoming overwhelming.

Try to be really specific with clean up instructions. Name the task and the items involved – “We’re going to get the blocks back in the bucket” or “Put the books back on the bookshelf, please.” Plan on being involved with cleaning up – for whatever magical reason, it seems to go faster and is more efficient when a supervising adult is participating.

Keep public work surfaces clutter-free. This could include the kitchen counter, living room floor, the couch (why do things get piled on the couch??) – any space that is in the line of sight. Keeping those surfaces cleared will help give an overall sense of organization and peace.

Above all else, adjust your expectation and if all else fails, sweep it into a laundry basket and call it a day. You can always try again tomorrow.


Neighborhood Egg Hunt

How many eggs will you find in your neighborhood? Join Alamo City Moms and families across San Antonio for this epic (social distancing appropriate)...