April 20, 2020

A Day In The Life Of A Teacher Mom During The COVID-19 Pandemic

It's Friday, the last day of the work week, though I'll be honest when I say that the days feel a bit ambiguous. It doesn't feel like a Friday. Nothing feels normal right now. 

We are "up and at em" around 8:00 and the mornings always seem to be a quick rush of breakfast, nursing Cruz, changing his diaper, and etc. I need to login to my email and Google Classroom to check things for the day. It is still early, so there isn't much to respond to yet. 

We are out of k-cups (I am picking up groceries later in the day), so I make a pot of French Press using some of my favorite Cincinnati coffee, Highlander Grogg. It makes the morning feel a bit more luxurious. While making coffee, I am texting a good friend about potty training her son and the current housing market (Wow, I don't know if I have ever written something that makes me feel more "thirty-something.")

The kids eat their blueberry waffles and Cruz is ready to nurse again. He has already nursed once this morning, but is extra clingy lately. I go back and forth between feeling frustrated that I can't seem to separate myself from him to feel productive, to being overwhelmingly thankful to have all this time at home with him and Jade.  

Cruz is about ready for his morning nap. The kids curl up on me for a few minutes. I put Cruz down in his crib and Jade notices that it is snowing (It's mid-April, by the way). She immediately asks if we can play outside. I somehow divert the subject and get out my computer to begin working on emails and grading assignments. 

Not pictured: Getting my heart checked by my four year old doctor while responding to emails! 

Jade dresses herself and I feel pleased with her outfit choice! I fix her hair and we go brush our teeth. I continue working on grading until Cruz wakes up. 

Cruz wakes and I nurse him again. Then he crawls off my lap to play with Jade. The kids are playing well together, hallelujah. 

Brian works on some things from the table and I get lunch ready for the kids.  

Jade really enjoys washing dishes and asks to "wash" some after lunch (We always rewash if we are not standing right there with her). While she is doing this, I sneak off to get ready for a conference call. 

I conduct a conference call in my bedroom closet while Brian has the kids and cleans up from lunch. 

A little later, both kids are supposed to nap. I put both in their shared room, but hear a lot of giggling and chatter for awhile! During this time I grade online work, do some parent communication, catch up with my kids' babysitter on the phone, and text with my sister in law. I feel overwhelmed with the online grading, which feels ironic since it is less grading than when we are in the classroom. I set a goal to grade work until 4:00, since I need to pick up our groceries at Kroger between 4 and 5. 

I end up grading until 4:20 since the kids finally fell asleep and are still napping. I make myself get up and bundle up to go out in the cold.

I go to Kroger to pick up my online order. They are out of cilantro, black beans, and chick peas, three staples I really need for the next few meals I planned. So I decide to quickly run in the store to see if I can find them. I do find them and inevitably grab a few more things. 

I come home and nurse Cruz. Then it is the mad rush of putting everything away, making dinner, and eating together. Neither Brian nor I have eaten since the morning and the kids are always hungry, so I make a quick "breakfast for dinner" of eggs, hashbrowns (from the freezer), tofu sausage (I am trying out some basic vegetarian things), and fruit.  I barricade Cruz in the living room with some furniture so I can make dinner and he is NOT happy (and let's us all know)!

While I am making dinner, Jade snacks on some apples and carrots. Getting her to snack on carrots is a huge win for us because we struggle to get her to eat vegetables. 

We eat our breakfast for dinner and then begin the process of cleaning up and winding down for bedtime. Once the kids are finally in bed, Brian and I watch a couple episodes of The Office together before we crash for the night. 

This was our fourth week of working from home. Every day looks different and I can't say that I have found a great groove. Some days I feel strong and other days I feel like everything is falling off my plate. I think it is important to document our days and to write since we are making history. I am encouraging my students to write and I am doing the same...maybe not super creatively right now, but just to get something written that I can look back on when we are on the other side. There is no doubt that this experience will shape our future. 

We keep on keepin' on, in hopes that this experience will make us stronger, kinder, and more grounded in the future. We will move on, and we will overcome, but we will never be able to be the same. 

“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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