WILMINGTON — Self-isolation can be tough, especially if you’re a parent of three young boys.
Mariah Koch of Wilmington — mother of seven-year-old Wyatt, five-year-old Owen, and two-year-old Everett — was worried about how to keep them entertained and educated.
“My youngest two have high energy levels, so not being able to go to the parks to run off some energy was also a big concern,” said Mariah.
She told the News Journal that she and her husband, Adam, always have art supplies around the house for them.
“When in doubt, I pull the crayons, markers, paint, clay … anything I have to keep their hands and brains occupied,” said Mariah. “They love the Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari every day and doing a craft project, about the highlighted animal afterward.”
They also try to do three physical activities three times a day. Among the favorites are yoga in the morning and dance parties in the afternoon.
Another form of relief has been video chatting with family — in particular, the boys’ aunts and grandparents.
“Getting to see them every day while being able to distance ourselves and stay safe has really helped keep us sane,” she said.
But keeping them entertained isn’t Mariah’s only concern.
“My oldest (Wyatt) has several complicated health issues, and it was important to let him know why it was important for us to quarantine,” she said. “I found several informative and child-friendly videos online to keep them informed and ease their anxiety about the new normal.”
The worst part of this pandemic, she said, is the uncertainty.
“It’s a constant inner battle of whether I’m doing enough as a parent to educate them, but also not stressing them out,” she said.
Despite that, she’s really enjoyed spending this time with her kids and getting to know them better.
Mariah’s bit of advice for parents during this time: Be patient and gentle with yourself.
“Don’t feel guilty for sitting them in front of the TV or video games,” she said. “We’ve all been thrown into new roles and we need breaks and to take care of ourselves too.”