I used to look forward to Flagstaff summer because we get to be outside and enjoy the farmers markets, Concerts in the Park, and Movies on the Square. Since the pandemic has started, we have had to limit our time outside and be creative about ways we can spend our time inside. But here was the problem: I’m not a creative person by nature and I also have three young children, four and under, who demand a lot of energy and attention.
So what do I do?
I looked for ways to simplify but still enjoy my life indoors.
My first strategy was to let someone else do my groceries. It was hard enough to drag three kids to a grocery store before the pandemic, but it got too challenging to put masks on them and endlessly remind them to not touch things during the pandemic. I decided it is okay to let someone else pick the best-looking apples and appropriately ripe avocados. The control freak in me had a hard time in the beginning, but I was relatively happy when (most of*) the groceries showed up on my doorstep within a designated time frame. There are several grocery delivery services out there, but I use Instacart that waives delivery fees on orders over $35. There is still a small service fee with each order, but I believe it is worth my time to not strap three kids in their car seats, unstrap them upon arriving, watch them as they fight over who gets to sit in the shopping cart, search for masks in the car, etc etc…
*Sometimes, the items I chose are unavailable at the store at the time of shopping.
My second strategy was to bring the bar to me. Why not have an awesome home happy hour on zoom with friends or in person with a significant other? I love sitting out on the bar patio in the summer and sip on local beer. Nonetheless, I want an excuse to sit out on my own backyard patio and sip on something. I have been exposed to new flavors and cocktails upon joining a monthly cocktail club at Shaker & Spoon. It has been fun making my own drinks with ingredients I have not heard of while expanding my very little knowledge of spirits.
My third strategy was to utilize audiobooks for kids. I love reading books to the kids, but some nights, I just don’t have the energy to read. Because stories keep my kids engaged and help them BE KIDS despite what is going on in the world, I turn to Audible (https://stories.audible.com/start-listen) for help. This has been a more effective alternative than turning on a screen or forcing them to go to bed when it is still too bright outside. For as long as schools remain closed, Audible is offering an incredible collection of stories for FREE for streaming on a computer, phone, or tablet. My kids are currently enjoying Story Party: The Complete Collection by Joel be Izzy.