Another week is just around the corner and as much as you love having all of this family time, it’s beginning to drive you a little crazy. Read on for a few tips to help you get through this week. Check back each week for a new batch of tips.

On a different note, today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. This year, more than ever, it is so important for everyone to make a conscious effort to support small businesses. Ordering takeout from the local deli or picking up some fruit from the corner market are two simple and easy ways you can do that. Chances are, these places are also offering delivery if you are hesitant to leave the house.

When you’re shopping online, I know it’s so, so easy to go to Amazon and order things, but please, take a moment to look at the brand’s website before you place that order. For instance, you could buy our Sparkle Farms Shorts from Amazon, but if you take a moment to go to our website, www.sparklefarms.com, you’ll see that the price is a little lower, you have more selection, we offer free shipping, and you can use this promo code: momandpop2020 to save 25% on your purchase. Even better, when you shop directly, the mom and pop shop gets to keep the 18% selling fee that Amazon charges.

Most brand websites also offer gift cards for future use. Order one for Easter, Mother’s Day, or upcoming birthdays. If everyone makes an effort to remember the little guy when they’re shopping, there’s a better chance that these businesses will still be around after everything goes back to normal.

Home

Organize! If you’re like 99.9% of people, there is at least one closet or drawer in your house that could use some cleaning out and organization. Check out Pinterest for some great organization inspiration. If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of Marie Kondo’s, Spark Joy. You’ll find yourself with plenty to do once you finish reading it! And check out this blog for some great visuals: www.justagirlandherblog.com.

Work

If you’re fortunate enough to be working from home, these past few weeks may have been a little chaotic while you and your family were figuring things out. The most important step is to set up office hours. It can be confusing for kids, especially younger ones, to understand that just because you are home, doesn’t mean that you’re available for their entertainment. Have specific hours set up so that everyone knows that during this time, you are not available. Train your kids to think twice before shouting for you. You might need to train your spouse too. When I was teaching elementary school, I had to teach the students to work independently while I was working with a small group. If anyone walked over to interrupt, the first question I always asked was, “Is anyone bleeding or hurt?” Chances are, no one was. Then I would ask, “Is this a question someone else can answer for you?” Chances are, yes. It didn’t take long for the kids, even first graders, to learn.

Kids

Obviously, you do want to spend meaningful time with your children. If you need a break from board games and movies, spend some time doing good. Dog toys are easy to make from things that you most likely already have in your house. We decided to make chew toys from a ripped bedsheet. Our dog, Zander, came over and commandeered one while we were still working. A Cal King fitted sheet makes a lot of dog toys! Even if you don’t have a dog, your local animal shelter would appreciate them. Maybe there’s a neighborhood dog that would like one? (Please double-check with the dog’s owner before you give it a toy.) Check out this link for some great ways to repurpose things to make dog toys: https://barkpost.com/life/3-dog-toys-you-can-make-from-things-around-the-house/ (A common-sense precaution: make sure pets are always supervised when playing with toys.)

You

Bath bombs! Look under your bathroom sink and I bet you’ll find a few. It’s exhausting to care for a house full of people while remaining sunny and chipper. You don’t necessarily want your kids to see how worried you are. So, don’t forget to take some time for yourself to recharge. Use a bath bomb, light a candle, and spend some time clearing your mind. If you can’t stop the thoughts from buzzing around in your head, then read a book to distract yourself. Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite authors when I’m looking for something fun to read.

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