Social Distancing in a Tiny Home with Kids.

Well the world has certainly changed since I last posted. At least our little corner of it has. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like we're living in some kind of science fiction alternate timeline.

Yet here we are, social distancing in our tiny house.

It's ironic to me that last March, we were told by authorities to evacuate our home, and now, a year later, we're being instructed to stay put. I thought evacuating was scary.

This is so much worse. So what's it like isolating in a small home with two energetic young children?

Honestly, I wouldn't have thought it would be such a big deal to us personally. Chris and I are introverted people, and we spend many a day at home with our little family, enjoying each other's company. When schools closed, it wasn't a big deal for us (other than the psychological impact of how big a deal COVID-19 itself really is). We already homeschool, and we only have a few weeks left of our required 180 days anyway. We'll be done long before any schools are back in session.

Something I didn't consider, though, is how much the world really is our living room and backyard.

We have no enrichment classes to look forward to attending. The playgrounds are off-limits. Our zoo trips and science museum outings are done. We can't take our kids to the local indoor playplace anymore. We can't get new books or movies from the library. There are no more playdates or weekly family get-togethers to break up the monotony of life. Even Sunday school and church have gone by the wayside.

I think I took for granted just how much bigger our house felt when the world was at our feet.

The walls seem to be closing in by the day.

We've had to make some changes and instigate a new schedule to keep us from going insane. Our gentle routine just isn't cutting it anymore. We need more structure to ensure our girls aren't a whiny mess long before bedtime. (It's just the girls. It's not us. *ahem*)

The stress of the entire situation hasn't helped. We're scared. We don't know what's going to happen next. We don't know if all of our loved ones will be okay. We don't know if we'll be okay, though statistically it's quite likely to leave us alive, if not unscathed. We don't know what the world will look like when this is over or how long it will be before we can pick up the pieces and resume some kind of normal. I imagine we will probably be living in a new normal when all is said and done.

What do we tell our kids? Sunshine is six, and she sort of understands, though we haven't shared the worst parts with her. Sweetheart is four and has no idea why we can't go do all the fun things she's used to doing. I'm hopeful that things will fall into a new routine where we do more than simply exist from morning to night, hoping that the news today is better than the day before. (I think it might be a while before that happens.)

Meanwhile, I've been trying to think of more things we can do in our own backyard just to get our children out of the house. We live on acreage, so we're lucky that we can easily maintain our distance from others on our own corner of creation, but most of it is wooded, and nature just takes over before you realize what's happening. We've never maintained much of a personal outdoor play space because it never really seemed necessary before when we could just drive to the nearest playground where new friends awaited.

Now I'm looking at swings and water tables and jungle gyms on Amazon while trying to decide how wise it is to spend the extra money we have in savings that we might end up needing for other things before this whole thing is over. Chris works in an essential industry, but what happens if his hours are cut or he gets sick and the money stops flowing?

I'm sure we're not alone in any of this. In fact, it's a fun kind of feeling knowing that everyone else is homeschooling now, too.

But most of this is not fun.

And this virus is not fun (or funny) at all.

It could be worse, though. So much worse. I'm hoping and praying that we can avoid that outcome for as many people as possible. That would make all of this worth it.