(Editor's Note: I thought I would follow up Dr. Dee Kay's article on Post Z-Day child rearing by sharing A. K. Abby's take on the same topic. I am Curious how you readers will compare and contrast the two articles)
Disclaimer: Normally this article would begin with how to deal with a pregnancy following a zombie apocalypse. In this case we've moved on to the day to day survival tips for a parent with young children.
So the dead have risen and taken over the world, society as we know it is gone like last year's snow. But if you're a parent the world doesn't come to a screeching halt just because the undead have moved to the top of the food chain. As a parent, even during the best of times, raising your children is a full time, thankless job that can stretch the patience and imagination of Job. In a post apocalyptic world raising children becomes nearly impossible. I say nearly because if you're a parent you're capable of performing miracles on a day to day basis because your children's needs rise above everything else. Even a determined horde of shamblers isn't going to stand between a parent and their children's well being.
First and most importantly don't panic, you'll need all of your wits about you for the task ahead. Secure your house as well as possible, boarding up windows and securing all the doors. Address all your future needs one at a time, don't try to do too much at once or you'll be overwhelmed. Food and water should be your immediate concern. Whatever canned or prepackaged food you have on hand should be secured in a closet or pantry for later need. Anything in the refrigerator or freezer will have to be eaten before it spoils. It is unlikely you will have electricity for too long after the zombie uprising so don't count on refrigeration at all. If you have a flat roof on any part on your house or a second floor balcony you're in great shape for the next step.
Carefully, during the times when zombie activity is slow or nonexistent go outside and gather dirt into as many pots, plastic boxes and the like as you have around your house. Place these on the flat roof or balcony. Anything in your home which grows from a seed now becomes your starter crop. Plant seeds for whatever you have handy, carrots, potatoes, apples, cucumbers, beans, etc. You have your own potted garden of food that will sustain you through the good months and can be brought inside for the colder months. Save your canned and packaged good for the winter months when your plants will produce less. I will share more tips on this topic in another article.
If there's a well on your property you'll need to open it and rig a bucket and pulley system for getting water from it. If you don't have a well then fill every available seal-able container with water while it's running and set up containers to catch rainwater for future need. You've now got a food source and water, limit water use to cooking and drinking.
Next let's think long term security, you want your little ones to feel secure in their home and you want to sleep knowing that no deadheads going to get in while your napping to gobble up your kiddies. Remember the windows you boarded up? Let's cut small viewing ports in some of them, large enough to put a pistol or crossbow through but not large enough for a groping zombie hand to make it's way into.
Again, waiting for a period of zombie activity go outside (armed of course) and about fifty yards from your house dig a deep trench all the way around the house so you have some area of yard between you and the edge of the pit. Fill the bottom of this trench with sharpened sticks and hazardous objects. If you have access to thorny bushes plant them along the inner edge of the trench for added security. Don't forget to leave yourself one small opening from which you can escape if you need to.
With your outer defenses built up now focus on the house itself. If you have a second story knock out the steps between the two floors and install a rope ladder that can be pulled up in case the nasty buggers ever get inside. Be sure that sleeping areas and food stores are on the second level as well. Assure your children that this is for their protection.
Time to address the kids more fully than you've managed before this. Explain to them the dangers of infection and the undead. Teach them to use weapons their own size such as baseball bats, crow bars, and other bludgeoning objects. Remind them to keep one with them at all times and not be afraid to use them if they are attacked.
Do not allow them outside alone, always have an adult present to keep an eye on things. Make a game of it on light infestation days; knock down a shambler and let the kids whack it like a piñata. Or consider setting up a zombie petting zoo using captured infected animals. (Don't forget to pull out dangerous teeth and claws before displaying.)
Also, we know your kids are worried about friends and family. Reassure them, "Of course Grandma and Grandpa are okay in Florida, they didn't have enough brains to attract the zombies." Or other such advice like; "Aunt Sally is perfectly alright, she was a zombie long before it was fashionable." That will settle their little minds and make it easier for them to manage daily life. Lying is an okay thing in this scenario.
We all know how impressionable young children are, so if you have access to old Zombie movies, watch them! Make the survivors out to be heroes, applaud them when they get a zombie kill. Your kids will love the campy nature of the films while getting the idea that the Zeds are dangerous. And you can both enjoy the time spent together. If you impress on your children how important safety is and make them understand then every day chores can become routine, even pleasant.
You heard it here first, now SURVIVE THIS!
Editors Note: If you have any questions or comments about this article, or you have a suggestion for subject matter that you'd like to see the Twins write about, please use the comment section below