One reason the stay-at-home experience has been so surreal for me, particularly initially, is I prefer doing many of the things I now have to do. I like working from home because I can control the temperature environment, I can sleep in later, and I have very minimal interaction with people. Right before this happened, I had determined I should be more sociable so I had made a goal to invite people over to our house at least once a month. Now, I don’t have to feel any guilt for not doing so. I don’t like driving in the city and now I’m encouraged to stay in my neighborhood.
However, as time went on I realized the biggest downside for me is that everyone else in the family is staying in my house also. In the past, when I worked from home, I might hear one of the kids but I wouldn’t be responsible for them in any way and could ignore them. Once I started work, I no longer had to worry about any household problem. This is no longer true. Now while I work I also have to make sure Calvin is staying on track with his schooling and when I take a break from work, I try to give our au pair a break from Julian. While I don’t miss having a commute, I do miss the time I had to read coming home.
6:30 – Wake Up
6:40 – Exercise, alternate upper body and abs
7:00 – Shower/Get dressed
7:25 – Unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast
7:45 – Start work
10:00 – Take a 15 min break and try to convince Julian to take a walk around the block with me.
12:15 – Take a 1/2 hr “lunch” break and try to convince Julian to take a longer walk with me
2:15 – Take a 15 min break and try to convince Julian to take a walk around the block with me.
4:15 – Stop working for the day. Often at this point Julian will request I play a game with him but sometimes I can convince him to go outside and help me with the yard.
5:00 – Start making supper.
6:00 – Eat Supper.
6:30 – Clean up kitchen.
7:15 – Misc – sometimes pick up the house, sometimes look at real estate websites down in the Bay Area, sometimes read a book.
8:00 – Usually watch TV with Jaeger and Calvin
9:00 – Read, obsess over the most recent house I love, or some other sort of entertainment.
9:45-10:30 – Go to bed.
The one big change Jaeger and I have made during this stay at home period is I now clean up the dishes and he supervises Julian’s bath and puts him to bed. This is lovely. With both Julian and I home all day sometimes he gets very clingy and is constantly touching me. Even when I’m working he’ll come into the office and want to be around Calvin and I. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t allow it. However, I think he feels very isolated with everyone except him and our au pair working on something so I now let him come in and use the ipad or color while I’m working1 However, all this constant interaction with Julian is extremely tiring. After a couple of particularly trying days I realized I wasn’t getting enough alone time so I requested to switch jobs with Jaeger and he agreed. I enjoy cleaning up the dishes as I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Plus, it’s easier to tidy up non-meal things in the vicinity of the kitchen and/or make something else for the next day without interfering with Jaeger’s cleaning process.
On Saturdays I usually wake up around 8, or when either Julian or Willow start complaining. Julian can now make his own breakfast, which is fantastic. However, we recently started feeding Willow wet food2 so now she complains when I don’t feed her quickly enough. Once I get up, I usually make some sort of involved breakfast: Blueberry buckle, crepes, muffins, etc. By then, it’s often time for the Logan family video conference. This often takes 2+ hours. I also often call my mom and sometimes talk to my brother (or, more precisely, Julian and Caleb perform for each other).
I also try to make 1-2 masks each Saturday, usually while watching something on Netflix3. I usually only wear 1-2 masks a week because I usually walk in our neighborhood and just go to the other side of the street, or the middle of the street, when someone is coming towards me. However, Jaeger usually wears one when going out because he likes walking around Gas Works Park which has a lot more people. Also, I suspect we all will be wearing masks more once we start going out in public so I’ve been trying to make fun masks the kids will like wearing. When I ordered fabric I let Julian pick out some options and he chose a colorful dragon print as well as strawberries. I made matching strawberry masks for us. I also made matching Star Wars masks for Calvin, Julian, and their cousin. Their cousin seems pretty enamored with the mask but my kids aren’t super interested and haven’t really left the house recently so they don’t need them.
Often it feels like I just got up but it’s already time for supper. Jaeger is in charge of supper on Saturday’s so I just have to show up. After Julian goes to bed Jaeger, Calvin, and I usually play a board game together.
On Sunday I wake up around 7:30 so I can eat and get to the grocery store right as it opens up at 8:00am. It seems the least crowded at that time and there’s a particular checker on duty who always religiously wears his mask and disinfects his hands between customers. This is the one time I’m usually close enough to people that I put on a mask.
After I get home and put away groceries, if Jaeger is still asleep I’ll go back to bed for an early morning nap. Otherwise I’ll start on my weekend chore list. I try to pay bills and balance the credit card weekly because it’s much faster than if I wait a month between. Our roses require constant attention so there’s always weeding, deadheading, spraying, or some other yard activity that would like to be done. I usually try to tidy up the house for the week ahead. If I didn’t get a morning nap, I’ll often take an afternoon nap. Then it’s time for supper (Jaeger usually orders pizza) and preparing for going back to work.
- Naturally, Julian decided to have office time during one of the few meetings where I had to extensively talk. In the middle of my explanation about something Julian loudly interrupts and says, “Mommy, can you please be quiet, you’re interrupting my story!”. Fortunately, I was not the only person on the call trying to juggle children at the same time. ↩
- I discovered she had lost a significant amount of weight and was down to 8.8 lbs. I took her to the vet and it doesn’t appear like anything is wrong but she shouldn’t lose any more weight. On the vet’s recommendations we are trying a kidney disease diet. ↩
- I’ve found Netflix’ Tidying Up with Marie Kondo to be soothing and it also has the benefit of not really having a plot so it doesn’t matter if I can’t hear small segments over the sewing machine. ↩