Can you believe it’s been 50 days??? Well, I know it’s different for everyone, but for us, we started isolating on March 12th. It feels like March lasted 100 years and April flew by in a blink. I read that’s because your brain slows down to process big changes, but registers the same old routine much faster. It’s true. We have definitely entered the phase of quarantine where every day is pretty much the same. I guess we should be thankful for that. Honestly, I think being isolated in my guest room for 10 days helped break up the monotony. While everyone else was fully sick of their house in week two, I was like— I get to go in the den?? I can sit at the kitchen table??? It’s a whole new world!
Another thing I’ve realized is that Mazzy and Harlow are the exact right age for being stuck at home. Old enough to be somewhat independent, but young enough to value time at home over time socializing with friends.
Harlow seems to be living her best life, being at home with her family 24/7. Mazzy is doing way better than I expected, making the most of texting, tiktok and gaming with her friends. I think being given access to technology she was not allowed to use pre-quarantine has really helped. It’s the only way for her to connect with friends right now, so I’m okay with the extra screen time. She also seems to be soaking up this opportunity for extra family time. School is another topic, but mentally, I think both Mazzy and Harlow are doing great. They seem relatively happy, which makes me happy and life easier in general.
Yesterday, I showered, changed and put on something that didn’t look like pajamas. That was my big news. Today, I bought my first derma planer. That’s a fancy way of saying face razor for ladies. What’s a girl in quarantine to do???
Is there anything else I can tell you?
Here’s a less-than-blog-worthy list of what’s going on at the Wiles house:
1) Our rules have relaxed big time. I’ve given up any lingering guilt about too much screen time (both for my kids and myself) and we’ve pretty much thrown out all the rules when it comes to meals and snacks. You want to eat on the couch? Fine. You want a piece of Laffy Taffy after breakfast? Sure. Why not. We have dessert every single night. And we watch a movie, which usually ends way later than their normal bedtime. Opportunities for joy are limited so I’m going to grab them wherever I can.
2) The kids are learning to do more things for themselves around the house. Mazzy does laundry and Harlow has expanded her pancakes breakfast repertoire to scrambled eggs and french toast. They can also both cut vegetables with a real knife.
3) Distance learning is a struggle, but all things considered, it’s going pretty well. Mazzy does almost everything on her own, which is great, but it also means we have no idea how much effort she is putting into anything. She sits at her computer most of the day and says that she is completing all of her work, so we take her word for it. Harlow is a different story. Not only is this her first time using a computer, she still struggles with reading, so we have to sit and work with her through all her lessons and worksheets. She tries really hard though and since we have been quarantined, she’s mastered both time and money. Part of me thinks that she is really benefiting from the one-on-one instruction. The thing I can’t stand is when she procrastinates or goofs off, and I just want to focus so we can get everything done, so I can get to my own work. When we have a bad day of distance learning, it means that we have wasted both her time and time I could have spent working. But, for the most part, my kids are adjusting to the new normal and doing what is expected of them. We actually had our parent-teacher conferences yesterday and both Mazzy and Harlow’s homeroom teachers said that they are consistently the first student logged on their Zoom sessions. Both teachers also said that they are frequent contributors and happy faces to see on the calls. I have no idea if and what they are learning, but I feel pretty proud of that.
4) If there is one thing I have learned in quarantine, it’s that I know a shit ton of people born in March and April. Does everyone feel like this? I feel like I’m on a surprise zoom birthday call every other day.
5) Mike and I have responsibilities pretty fairly split. I usually get up with the kids, make them breakfast and make sure they are ready for when their first live session starts at 9am. Mike prints out their schedules, hangs them above their desks and makes sure they have whatever worksheets and supplies they need for the day. We take turns helping Harlow with school work. I’ve got way more of my own work to do, so Mike has taken on cooking and a lot of the cleaning. I’m not going to lie— this has been a lifesaver. He’s also been the one going to the grocery store when necessary. I think he welcomes the opportunity to get out of the house. And he’s really stepping up his meal planning. He printed out menu options and posted them on the fridge for the kids to choose what they want for the week. There have always been a handful of favorites that are in his weekly rotation, but he’s been using this time to get more creative and really upping his game. I can’t think of a better hobby for your partner to focus on right now! It works to our whole family’s benefit. Then after dinner, he usually cleans the kitchen and I’m in charge of bedtime.
6) Harlow learned to ride a bike without training wheels! You can watch her first ride here. She can ride, turn and dismount successfully. Next up is teaching her how to get going on her own. Then, family bike rides here we come!!!
7) Work for me seems to be going pretty good. It seems like a lot of brands are shifting their strategies to free online resources to help out parents during this time, and they can’t do traditional advertising, so they are relying on influencers to get the word out. I am not complaining. When this all first started, we had a lot of conversations with clients asking if we were comfortable with doing sponsored campaigns at this time. I was like— this is my income and how I support my family. YES, I AM COMFORTABLE. We had a bunch of partnerships canceled or postponed at the onset (especially the ones that relied on live events), but now things are definitely coming back around. And as an added bonus, I’m home with the kids at all times, so it’s much easier figuring out when we can shoot things. I’m feeling really thankful that this is what I do for a living right now.
8) I feel like this time sheltering at home has been really invaluable to my relationship with Mazzy. Just as I was starting to feel her slipping away, focusing more on friendships than family, here we are at home, together 24/7. I know it came at a huge cost, but I am still grateful for this gift.
9) Now that the shock of everything has died down and we’ve been getting into more of a routine, we’ve been finding some new outlets for fun too. We started a new season of Survivor, built a pretty impressive giraffe out of garbage, and did a project called “a person in time, online” where we came up with social media posts for historical figures. Our other big family activity is making tiktoks. I know, I know, the Chinese are stealing all my information. Whatever. As I said earlier, I’m taking my fun where I can get it. I love watching the “for you” page with the kids and coming up with ideas for videos together. Mazzy still does a lot of dancing (she picks up the dances so fast!), Harlow prefers the funny videos where people mouth other people’s audio and I am really enjoying the videos that present an editing challenge. Here’s our latest!
10) I like being a homebody more than I thought. Seriously. If I had to name something I like about quarantine, it’s the complete absence of FOMO. I don’t have to wonder if my friends are hanging out without me. There is no one doing anything better than what I am doing. Also, can we all agree not to go back to regular clothes? Pajamas for life.
Welp. That about covers it. Obviously, there is so much that sucks right now. But all things considered, I know we are in a pretty fortunate set of circumstances. I’m not sure how much longer this will last, but I’m in it for the long haul. I’ll do whatever I can to keep my family safe and flatten the curve.
Whatever is happening right now, it appears to be working.