3 WAYS WE IMPROVED OUR MARRIAGE IN QUARANTINE
Over the weekend, I read an article from today.com Titled: “Will Your Marriage Survive Quarantine?” The article is hilarious, and you should check it out if you need a good laugh!
They selected several funny tweets from spouses about their marriage during Quarantine. After reading the article, I started to reflect on how being in Quarantine had impacted my marriage.
Back in March (before we knew how long this thing would last.) I remember thinking, “This is going to be so much fun! We will be able to do all the things that we usually don’t have time for! And we did- We took Netflix and Chill to another level! We tie-dyed shirts with the kids, enjoyed picnics in the backyard, and took time to cook dinner together.
Then reality set in that this was not just a break/ “honeymoon,” but instead, our new way of life, and we had to work together and figure out what our normal as a family would look like.
Our biggest struggle was learning how to coexist during the day and be productive.
Pre-Quarantine, we were a typical family with a busy schedule, and Monday-Friday, we ripped and ran in all directions to school, work, and extracurriculars. Even though it was chaotic, we had our schedules and roles down pact.
We knew who was going to cook dinner; who was transporting which kid where and when date night was.
But in March, all of that changed suddenly, and we had to figure out how to manage our day jobs+distance learning+household responsibilities.
It was tough at first, but we figured it out! Every family dynamic is different, but these are three things that we did to reestablish balance in our home, and hopefully, they will help you too:
Communication is always a pillar of a healthy marriage, but a Pandemic requires MORE communication than ever. COVID presented us with so many different scenarios that we had never considered or discussed before. We had to communicate and figure how we would grocery shop safely, how to adjust our budget for the influx of utilities and groceries now that we are all at home, and how we would handle things if someone was to get sick.
One issue at a time, we worked together and made a plan on how to navigate these unique and scary times.
I am all about routines and schedules because without them, I am a hot mess. We started by creating a schedule for our most impactful responsibilities, and it looked like this:
- Who would prepare meals and when
- Who would do chores and when
- Who would be in charge of the kid’s Distance Learning
We found that our biggest task was acclimating our kids to distance learning; it was also one of the most time-consuming tasks. So we decided that we would rotate daily. On Monday and Wednesday, I would help the kids with their school work, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Elliot would support them, and we rotated Fridays. That helped us tremendously because it allowed us to work uninterrupted kid-free for a few days a week.
Once we created a plan and schedules, the next step that we took to create more balance was implementing systems. We knew that it was essential for us to put systems in place to help us execute our plan and schedule more efficiently.
❌Pre-pandemic I was in the grocery store more than the groceries! I mean, I have three kids, so we ALWAYS need something!
✅Now we use a grocery delivery service for 90% of our shopping.
At first, my husband was apprehensive about ordering our groceries because he thought it would cost more. While some companies charge a small service fee and, of course, a tip, we figured out the time pay off is worth it. Plus, it lessens our risk of being out and about and potentially getting sick.
The upside to everyone being at home is that there are more hands-on-deck to help with chores. The downside to everyone being at home is more people at home to make a mess.
I believe that everyone is responsible for the cleanliness of the house. Like I don’t wear all these clothes, why should I wash and fold them all by myself? However, due to our hectic work and school schedules, typically, I was doing the bulk of the housework.
❌Mama does most of the laundry and kitchen work.
✅ Now, if you use a dish, you wash a dish, and every one sorts their own laundry. The kids also rotate between who will fold and hang the delicate clothes, and they all pitch in on cleaning their bathroom.
At first, it was a little nerve-wracking watching the kids get the chores wrong, and we all sacrificed a few shirts because they were accidentally washed with bleach. But now, after three months, they are equipped to do just about everything that Elliot and I do.
I had a little experience with homeschooling, because I briefly homeschooled Jada, while she was recovering from some health issues.
But Distance Learning is a different Beast. All three of our kids were required to be on Zoom calls at three different times on any given day, and their curriculums and requirements were all SUPER different.
Like I mentioned above, Elliot and I rotated days for who was responsible for supporting the kids during Distance Learning, but it was still pretty hectic.
So, we also incentivized and placed some responsibility on the kids, to make sure that they were doing their Zoom calls and school work.
❌We managed their schedules for them and sat over them and made sure that they did every little thing.
✅ We helped them to set up their google calendar notifications to notify them of assignments and Zoom Calls. If they met all their expectations at the end of the week, we would have a “Fun Friday.”
A FEW MORE TIPS FOR MARRIED PEOPLE IN QUARANTINE
- Plan some time without your spouse: even if it’s just a bubble bath and a glass of wine, this will help alleviate the feeling of always being up under each other.
- Don’t be petty. When you have been together for 100 days straight, EVERYTHING can start to annoy you.
- Check-in with your partner, with so much going on its important that we check in on our partners and see how they are really feeling. Are they anxious or stressed out?
- Don’t forget to have fun! There are so many at-home date nights you can plan. Check out my post here for ideas.
- Be gentle to yourself and your spouse we are in the middle of a global pandemic, remember there are no clear guidelines on how to handle this, somedays will be great, and some will be hard. You will make mistakes, and that is OK!
What I learned
Overall, Quarantine has improved our marriage and our family. We have had the opportunity to spend real quality time with each other.
I have learned how to communicate and plan more effectively with my husband and delegate more responsibilities to the whole family.
Honestly, COVID-19 is like New York if you can make it here you can make it anywhere!
How has Quarantine impacted your marriage or relationship?