ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE
Parenting under normal circumstances is already one of the most challenging experiences in life. Currently, most of us are under stay-at-home orders mandated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and most schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year. Parents now have to deal with increased uncertainty and anxiety, while balancing work responsibilities and having kids at home all day every day. This episode features Jon Vroman, Angie Macdougall, and Amber Vilhauer. All three are fantastic parents, successful business leaders, and amazing human beings. Their experiences and ideas can help you navigate this once-in-a-lifetime challenge that we are all facing.
Q: Tell us a bit about how life looks like right now for you and your family.
- Angie: My husband and I both already worked from home, except that I travel a lot more. Once everything started going virtual my work got busier than ever. With the kids at home, it’s been more challenging as we navigate this new normal.
- Amber: In some ways it’s not that different since I run a virtual business. The biggest change is at home with my three-year-old son not being able to go to daycare while I’m working. Since he’s three he’s not that independent and it’s very hands on.
- Jon: I’m grateful for the challenges but it also breaks my heart to see some of the things that are happening around the world. We miss going to the gym and socializing and that brings a little bit of anxiety.
Q: How are you guys viewing this situation as an opportunity?
- Angie: One of the things I ask myself is, how do I want to look back on this? What are some of the things I can gain from this? Some opportunities that we found was doing family activities together. Such as painting, having lunch together, playing hockey, having conversations around emotions.
- Amber: I think one of the biggest opportunities is having a more open and honest conversations. It’s one thing to talk to your spouse when everything is good but another when things aren’t going as well and you’re trying to trouble shoot.
Q: What are you guys doing to keep yourself and your kids fit during this time?
- Jon: It wasn’t a great start in the beginning but then we started a quest of 21 trails in 21 days. We use AllTrails app to find trails close by our home and were constantly surprised that we live so close to these amazing trails. We’ve also starting using Click and Grow to grow food and the kids are loving it.
- Angie: We’ve also been using the trails around our home and found some new trails that I didn’t even know existed. They now officially closed all the public parks so we’ll be getting to know our neighborhood really well. We have a trampoline in our backyard that the kids are using during their recesses.
Q: How are you guys ensuring that your children’s education continues moving forward with some reasonable pace?
- Amber: With a three-year-old it’s challenging because he may or may not understand what you’re trying to teach him so we’ve had to be really creative. I look for anything that can be a teaching moment, like cleaning our room, to help him understand how and why we do it.
- Angie: We’ve been picking more games that can have an educational component, like CASHFLOW for Kids and Scrabble. There’s also a great coloring book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod that is fun but also talks about having gratitude.
- Jon: We’re more concerned with, what are they learning about life right now? What are they learning about the human emotions? How should they respond to a challenge? I want to know what values they walked away with during this experience. I’m trying to raise a child to be a human in a world that they will feel empowered by.
- Angie: Amber brought up self-care and I think that’s very important so we can be a better version of ourselves for others. At the same, we need to schedule one-on-one time with our spouse or partner. That can be a date in the other room or watching a movie together.
- Amber: I try to be very open and honest about what I’m thinking and feeling so I can make sure that I’m not keeping anything bottled up. It also gives my husband and son permission to be open and honest as well.
- We’re all in this and we’re all facing different challenges. With these challenges comes opportunities and instead of focusing on the negative side, it’s important to focus on the potential gifts that are being given to us. What are the opportunities that are being presented to you and your family?
- Take the opportunity to define how you want to live your life. What’s most important that’s coming to the surface? It’s a good time to reflect and journal about what went well, what we want to maintain when things back to normal, and how we want to live our lives.
- Getting some time to take long walks outside and getting the kids outside to be able to play in the fresh air. Self-care is a big part of health and fitness and making sure that you’re keeping yourself well.
- The educational ideas such as the hunt around the house for items that start with a certain letter for little kids, games for the older kids. Angie mentioned CASHFLOW for Kids and The Miracle Morning.
Show Notes for this episode provided by Darien Romero.
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