I’m writing this on Day 61 of self-isolation from the makeshift desk I’ve created on our dining room table. The same dining room table also currently contains a changing pad, a jigsaw puzzle, and a half-eaten shortbread cookie. This is what quarantine looks like.
I’ve always been a bit of a voyeur: I love seeing inside the lives and minds of other women. How are other mothers surviving? Are they getting stuff done or barely making it? Are they spending or saving? Blogs and social media have had an even greater pull on me than ever before as I look to others to validate the current state of my kitchen floors.
I am a forty-year-old working mom. I spend four days a week working in a legal office an hour away while my husband works remotely from our home. We have a twenty month old, a ten year old, and a thirteen year old. We have loads of extracurricular activities to manage, I write for Birmingham Moms Blog as well as my personal blog, and we’re currently renovating my childhood home. Did I mention we’ve been at home together since March 16th?! In the spirit of curiosity, here is a peek behind the curtain of our home during quarantine.
5:30 a.m. // Wake up and make coffee, read a few chapters of my book, and get as much get as much work done as I can before Polly (20 months) wakes up for the day.
6:15 a.m. // Polly’s up a little earlier than usual. I change her diaper, grab a squeezie yogurt, and put her and Minnie Mouse in the bed with my husband. Since he doesn’t have to be at his desk until 8:00, I have more than an hour to work while they snuggle.
8:00 a.m. // Daddy is off to work (in our bedroom), so I fix Polly eggs, blueberries, and a waffle while I clean the kitchen and make breakfast for myself. We wake the big girls up for school (they have to report downstairs by 9:00 a.m.). I attempt to get a little work done while Polly watches Frozen II (for the 874th time this year).
9:00 a.m. // Ella (13) and Sophie (10) are getting their weekly schoolwork done. Our school only offers one assignment per class per week, so we are usually finished with school on Monday afternoons. I continue working on the couch while Polly finishes her movie and occasionally sits on my laptop.
9:30 a.m. // My parents are currently living with us while they build a tiny house next door. I am so fortunate that my mom has continued to help with Polly a few hours every day. They head outside to play while I eat breakfast and get ready for the day. I’m able to tackle some housework, the grocery list, and water all my plants before sitting back down to work for a bit.
11:30 a.m. // The big girls are done with school for the morning, so Ella takes Polly for an hour while I help Sophie in her room. We’ve been slowly renovating the girls’ rooms and are trying to carve out some space for an office/art studio in Sophie’s closet.
12:30 p.m. // Polly and Sophie enjoy a “picnic lunch” in our sunroom, and I play catch-up with work. It hasn’t been a busy day, but I try to stay on top of things when I can. The balloon garland is left over from our quarantine 10th birthday celebration a few weeks earlier.
1:00 p.m. // Polly is finally down for a nap. While the big girls rest and watch television, I eat a frozen pizza and do a little more work from home. Getting started early in the day means I can usually finish up while Polly is napping. That way we can spend our afternoons doing fun things outside! Today I had enough time to watch an episode of something with Ella and read a few more chapters of my book before returning to work.
3:30 p.m. // Polly got up from her nap and played with Ella while Sophie and I worked in her bedroom for another hour. My husband helped us put together Polly’s new crib, and we finally moved that Pack-n-Play out for good. We snuggled kitties and ate a snack before deciding to head off on a little adventure.
5:00 p.m. // While my husband worked out, we piled in the car to visit my grandparents for the first time in six weeks. We’ve seen them in our yard at a distance, but this was the first time we enjoyed hugs and an extended visit in a very long time. We helped water plants, called the cows home for dinner, and picked two gallons of strawberries to enjoy!
7:00 p.m. // I fed Polly a quick meal of leftovers and let her enjoy a bubble bath while Ella cooked dinner. The big girls have been a huge help with housework and meal prep during quarantine. It’s been a nice reprieve for me!
8:00 p.m. // The baby was in bed a little later than usual, and we were able to sit down for a quiet, albeit late, dinner.
11:30 p.m. // Ella and I stayed up way too late bingeing Outer Banks. By the time I fell into bed, my husband was already asleep.
Some days are easier than others, but we’ve tried to squeeze in as much summer fun as we can between work, school, and grocery trips. We’re still staying close to home and limiting our interaction with others. Doing fun house projects and visiting my grandparents’ farm have helped keep the kids entertained. It’s also kept our days from feeling like Groundhog Day.
We’re looking forward to a little more freedom in the coming months. But I know I’ll look back on this spring and be thankful for the extended time at home with my children.