COVID-19 Social Distancing w/ 3 kids 5 and under + running a business!

Canoe Lake by Grant Harder

I’m not going to lie… the last three days have been less productive than anticipated and anxiety filled (and those who know me well, know I’m not an anxious person!).  We made the decision to close our flagship on Saturday, March 14th and then we watched as more and more businesses began to follow. On Saturday morning when we left Toronto for The Blue Mountains area we thought we had a fully programmed week for our kids and that I would be able to get to a lot of work done (designs, production management, planning for our upcoming SS20 launch and a some brainstorming for a new concept we are working on) plus some skiing and visiting with friends.  By Saturday evening, all programming had been cancelled and I was beginning to panic. By Sunday morning our ski club advised us that it would close completely as of noon that day. It was a perfect bluebird day and sitting at zero degrees, it could not have been a better spring skiing day… while my heart sank, my five year old and I strapped on our boots and headed out for our last laps of the season and it was beautiful.

Upon heading home to the chalet our new reality began to sink in.  No programs or playdates for the foreseeable future. Within a day of this new reality our ski community began to step up with social distance activities. Led by Caron Irwin of Roo Parenting (we’ll introduce you to her and her business in a following post), our group of seven families suddenly had an outdoor activity that we could all do in our family units - a social distance scavenger hunt!  In turn, the other mothers have set up art activities, facetime Name that Tune, and a social distance Amazing Race. It’s pretty incredible how quickly a group of mothers can swing into action.    

Back to the work front… to be perfectly honest… very little on my to do list is being accomplished as we try to entertain a 5, 2.5 and 9 month old.  Between meal prep, snack attacks, breast feeding, tidying, laundry and making up activities on the fly it’s been difficult to sit down and give my full attention to Tuck Shop. Let me be completely transparent: we have a caregiver, a grandmother and two parents tackling this… our ratio is better than most and we’re still struggling to get things done.

Being a mother and entrepreneur is no easy task on the regular…….but COVID-19 is really testing my capabilities.  I hope when we look back on this period that I will have used the time effectively from both business and family standpoints.  I hope my kids look back on it as a fun time that they had with their siblings, parents and grandmothers. I hope we look at this time as a gift…one wrapped in uncertainty but nonetheless an opportunity to spend time with loved ones and a time to reflect on my business and its direction once we emerge from this strange time.

Canoe Lake by Grant Harder

We hope that you are able to see the silver lining in these uncertain times. How are you passing the time? We’d love to hear from you - we don’t want our store closure to mean that we don’t get to interact with you.  Drop us a line to let us in on any awesome parent hacks, product ideas, favorite Netflix binge or go-to recipe!

Photography by Grant Harder for Cottage Life