Surviving the first week of quarantine

We have survived the first week of quarantine! What a ride it was. My company has officially closed the doors to the physical space and we are all now working from home. I feel very fortunate to have this option and to still be working! The girls’ school is officially closed until May 1; however, when we ran into Maddie’s teacher at the grocery store, he alluded to a time frame for closing through the end of the year. Wild.

I have to admit our transition to this new, temporary normal has not been the smoothest. Day 1 was rough. I didn’t know how I was going to be a teacher at the same time as a full-time businesswoman, and the girls didn’t have a clue about what it’s like to be home with no structure. Let’s just say we all had a few meltdowns.

By Wednesday, though, things were looking up. I gave up the notion that following the school curriculum set out by the district would be feasible, and the girls started to settle into entertaining themselves. We even started to build a bit of a routine. Mom and Dad were nice enough to gift the girls their old iPad for educational purposes, which has been a blessing. The girls now have their own Skype, Facebook Messenger, and email accounts. If you want to chat with them let me know! Fair warning – they like to call. A lot.

Now that it’s Friday I’m feeling really good about getting through this and have started to see some silver linings to it all. Here are some silver linings from this week:

1) The girls are learning to be bored

The girls have been in structured activities since they were born: daycare, school, summer camps, before-school care, after-school care. It all comes with set agendas full of activities someone else has designed for them. They have never had to be actually, fully, unendingly bored. And it’s good for them.

2) We want to spend time with each other at the end of the day

Suddenly commutes and the stress of getting out the door in the morning have been cut out of our lives. Meals don’t have the same time crunch and cleaning can happen at different times than it used to. With all of that out of the way, we are all less tired at the end of the day and have more time. Our energized selves are spending lots of time outside together after the work day. And it turns out, if you have kids at home all day with you but without the option of talking to you, they actually want to talk! I have heard way more about Riley’s life this week than I have in the past year. It’s pretty great.

3) I’ve added weights to my workouts!

I have to confess that I’m not wearing work pants as I write. I put on my workout bottoms in the morning and wear them the first half of the day. This leaves me with less changing time before my lunch workouts, which has given me the time to add weights and abs into my workout routine. I’ve been wanting to do that for months!

4) Mom and I have resumed daily calls

Right in line with having more time, Mom and I have been able to resume our daily calls! We used to have a chat each day after work during my daycare commute. Since daycare turned to elementary school we’ve only been able to talk once or twice a week. Now, we’ve been able to resume our after-work talks without the stress of the commute!

5) The girls finally know what I do at work

Before this happened the girls thought that all I did at work was play with Play-Doh, eat candy, and have parties. Everything they knew about my work was based on trick-or-treating at the office and the holiday party. Now they are getting a close-up picture of what it’s like during my work day and seeing that work is just that – work.

6) We’re hearing more from extended family

Everyone is home and the extended family is banding together, separately. Our family chat has been active, including almost daily updates from my Gran’s nursing home. The aunts have made their own song parodies about the virus and one of my aunts gave my nephew a virtual math lesson. We have a Zoom date planned to do something special – but that’s a surprise so I’ll share more on that later 🙂