I know I am not the only one who feels they were completing thrown into being a working from home mom WFHM this past week. I give mad props to SAHM’s (I did my stent for a hot second) and homeschooling parents. Part of me feels like this is a social experiment to see how well I can balance working from home, homeschooling, being a mom and wife. My days have officially turned into the longest days ever and I’m not getting paid overtime.
The Coronavirus pandemic has turned not only our lives, but the entire world upside down. Sociology 101 couldn’t prepare me for what lies ahead. For the unseeable future my days consist of juggling work, feeding three children, keeping the house clean all while trying not to get sick and gain fifteen pounds. In all of the madness, it is easy to grab lots of canned items, chips, cookies and then bam you’ve added on that freshman fifteen you’ve been trying to lose for 10 years. In an effort to combat that, I’m utilizing my skills as a health promotions coordinator and developing a healthy and budget friendly meal plan for homeschooling.
I don’t think there is a single place left that hasn’t dismissed school for a minimum of a few weeks to the outwards extend of the remaining school year. If you are one of the lucky few, take this time to prepare because your time is coming when you will join the ranks of millions of homeschooling parents. I am by no means an expert in homeschooling. I’m sure the next few weeks will bring many lessons learned for both my children and I. I am however, excited to spend time with my children and tapping into their brains and being more of a contributor to their mental stimulation and education. Additionally, homeschooling provides the opportunity to influence what your children eat. No more paying for school lunches you deem mediocre.
As I mentioned previously, it is easy to just give our children chips and cookies for a snack and call it a day. Half the time that is what they beg for anyways right? I’m learning more and more that children will eat what you allow them to eat. What I mean is, if I can beat them to the hunger stage and give them fruit or crackers, they never ask for the chips or cookies. It did not dawn on me until one day when I was preparing dinner (pre-pandemic) and I cut up an apple for them to eat. I had to endure roughly 10 minutes of crying from one child, but eventually she gave in and ate the apple slices. Since that moment I make a conscientious effort to have a healthy snack on hand.
Healthy and Budget Friendly Meals
As I set out to prepare for the upcoming weeks, I am keeping one thought in mind. My goal throughout this new normal is to reset how my children eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are relatively cheap and when stored correctly, can last up to two weeks in most cases. Staying healthy does not just consist of hand-washing, it consists of what we eat too. Foods that are high in Vitamin A, C, E and zinc are important parts of our diet that help keep us healthy. I look at resources such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for guidance on nutrient rich foods. Here is a great article that covers ways to use nutrition to combat illness. With this knowledge in hand, I set out and created a template for healthy and budget friendly meal ideas while homeschooling. Having an idea of what you will prepare throughout the day helps save on both time and unnecessary costs.
As I embark on this new journey as a working at home mom, homeschooling mom and just mom I hope that you join me along for the ride. I hope that you find some type of routine that works for your family. Be safe and stay well.