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Social Distancing Phases (Mom Edition)

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Phase 1: Preparation You’ve been watching the news and saw this coming a mile away. You already went to the store and stocked up on TP and water long before it hit home because you saw the situation in Washington. You were ready, you warrior.

Phase 2: Panic Okay, so while you may have stocked up on TP and water, you definitely did not stock up on enough snacks to feed your brood for two weeks while they’re home from school. Schools haven’t announced anything yet but you see the writing on the wall... you do not have enough cereal to last two weeks. Get to the store NOW because you know once the announcement hits everyone will be at the store. Go now Clever girl!

Phase 3: Relief A wave of relief hits once you realize you’re in control once again. Don’t even ask to visit a friend because we are officially “socially distancing” for at least two weeks. We have enough food and supplies. You see the Facebook pictures of lines at the store and sit back with your Merlot. Don’t underestimate a planning mom. Ever.

Phase 4: Ready Alright, you’re in charge. Bread has been baked (because, you know, you do that sort of thing when you’re nervous). Deep cleaning of house is done. You’re researched how to reuse leftovers. Your meat is portioned out. Classroom is prepared. Computers are loaded. Schedule has been established. School is in session. Screen time is balanced. Kids tell you how much they love having you as a teacher. ❤️. You’re the best. You got this!

Phase 5: Reality On top of caring for the littles and work, you can’t keep up with the planning for homeschool. Screen time increases. Husband coughs - get the thermometer to take his temp (which is normal). Snacks are running out. You’re going to need to venture out to the store even though you vowed you wouldn’t. Remember to get three gallons of milk this time.

Phase 6: Homesteading (i.e. Panic #2) No, you’re not going to the store for snacks. You refuse. “We were made for this,” my husband says after counting his ammo. We’re all going to have to adapt and change together. “I don’t care if you don’t like what I made for dinner, I’m not going to the store again. So you can choose to eat or starve.” This time you mean it. The times they are changing. You plant seeds, knowing full well it’s too early and nothing will grow but it makes you feel like your ancestors. You consider living off the land.

Phase 7: Pure Chaos Personal space has been invaded. Yelling ensued. There is blood involved. The penalty box is full. You thought you were out of the woods but now realize you never even made into the woods. There is no homeschooling today because you can’t keep up. The news is depressing. People are dying. The virus is in your backyard and then you come to the realization that you’ll probably know someone who gets it... and you hope they don’t die.

Phase 8: Gratitude Phase 7 was a test. You needed to go through it to get to the next phase. You start to think about the bigger picture. You realize that even though you’re out of cereal bars, you have food in the pantry. You realize that even though you may not be able to leave the house, you have other people in your house to keep you company. You realize that this time is unprecedented and how you react with be remembered for years to come. When your grandchildren are learning about this time in history, your children won’t remember that they played on their iPad all day. They’ll only remember how it felt to be safe with you.

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