A week ago we started social distancing and self isolation. We left school and work Friday the 13th of March and the kids and I haven’t been in a car nor building other than our home since. Mike worked Monday in the office and ran some essential errands. Wednesday Mike had to run to the pharmacy and Thursday we had a house repair guy in who wore a mask and gloves at our request. Friday was the start of 100% household Quarantine. It was also the day our Governor announced 100% workforce reduction except essential Starting Sunday 3/22/20 at 8pm. Everyone should stay home. It was new I had been waiting for all week and and my anxiety went down a lot.
The first weekend was spent reading up on the news and kids activities, making to do lists of home projects and lots and lots of laundry. You can read about Day 1 here.
What I imagined vs Reality
My idea was during the week the kids would do the activities I had planned I would still be saving an hour in the morning and evening from not having to commute. If mike made lunches, I would have 30 minutes at lunch to devote to them. We work staggered shifts so 8-9 am while I am working Mike would have the kids entertained and from 4-5 when he was working I would have the kids entertained. so it was only 7 hours and with the 30 min we each have for lunch 6 hrs we needed to keep them entertained while we worked. No bad right?
The reality was Mike was in his office mostly from 8am-6pm though he did make lunches. I was on calls for 4-6 hours of the day and doing work in between. Some how we had actually become busier (I think due to the transition). With Mike in his office I was the parent on duty while I worked. In all fairness he had a different impression of the situation and on Friday after my mini-melt down, took over for a few hours while I hid upstairs regaining my sanity.
The first day kids watched TV, iPad and computer all day by the second I got them to do a few things it took till day 4 before I was able to have them to do 5 30min education activities per school suggestions 4 core activities (online math, reading, scholastic and writing) plus one special. My hope is to continue those and maybe add in one more special.
It all hit us differently and at different times.
Monday Olivia was struggling and resulted in her needing to sit near me while watching a movie for the morning. Friday, was Michael turn for a break down and by afternoon it was my turn. This first week was a lot and was rough but change usually is at first.
We did have time together and the kids did get some education
We watched 2 movies together as a family. Olivia read to me several days and I think I got her reading independently by choice (this would be a huge win). Michael reads for 1-2 hours every night and is almost done with the chapter book that arrived early this week. We did not plan for the need of weeks worth of reading and we are already missing our library. We have mostly short stories for evening reading.
We watched loads of live animal cams and education talks (I think I enjoy them more than the kids). The kids did drawing with Mo. They played a ton of Roblox and played with Legos almost daily.
I was able to clean out both kids closets, order furniture, and some more Legos. we actually caught up on laundry! Suitcases are put away.
Eating in Quarantine
Friday before we lock-down, we ordered pizza figuring we didn’t know when we would be able to again. Thursday we ordered Chinese. During the week mike picked up sushi from the market for me while he was out. On the weekend, I made a double batch of chicken, collard greens and cauliflower rice soup. I froze half.
The kids don’t seem to eat as well at home. They aren’t on a good schedule and want to snack. Again we will get in a better routine as time goes on. Lunches were grilled cheese, spaghetti o’s hot dogs, pizza , home made soup. Breakfast was the normal things we have croissants , pancakes, french toast pancakes with fruit. Fridays is sugary cereal day.
Dinners I made chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, lamb chops. we had Chinese for 2 days. we were not able to get a ton of meat so that is on our list for our next trip out. I have a big ham frozen which i will defrost when there’s room in our fridge.
The kids cooked pigs in the blanket, cookies, and made their own pizzas this week. I hid a bag of assorted kids snacks because my concern is that they will eat up all of one kind of snack and then say they don’t like whats left.
How are we Feeling
It’s Saturday morning. I don’t have to work for 2 days. I can give the kids attention. Mike can give the kids attention. We can focus on some house work. I can blog. The Governor has asked everyone to stay home. Something I have bee anxiously waiting for. I feel less anxious. I feel hopeful. I feel blessed.
We are all struggling because of COVID-19 some more than others but you are not alone. Here’s why we are struggling ,what can we do and why we should count our blessings. My son is still a bit cranky. He is definitely going through a growth spurt but it could be too much technology or his emotions. He is a very social kid more so than my daughter. He seems happy and fine to be home but deep down it may be bothering him. Something we will work on together.
I am hopeful this week will be easier and better. The weekend is beautiful and sunny (but cold) here in New York. But we got out Sat and will Sunday. I am more prepared to balance out the responsibilities with my husband and getting more comfortable with working and keeping the kids entertained. I am better prepared. I am also feeling ok with the amount of technology time my kids will have. Our happiness right now is the priority. We will get enough education in and we will work toward utilizing our time we do have to spend time together and do educational fun.
I am praying for the World especially Italy, other european countries as their numbers rise and for America. We all need to do our part. Please stay home. Those who are essential have no choice. We all need to do are part. If you are an essential worker thank you for your service. You are the reason I can stay in the comfort of my home, working from home, cooking and spending time with my children. We will get through this. Lets make the world proud by standing together and doing our part.