A Day in the Quarantine Life with 4 Kids
Oh boy. A post I never thought I'd have to pen. A day in the quarantine life with 4 kids. And I want to note that no one -- ABSOLUTELY NO ONE -- signed up for this. Even if you chose to homeschool your kids, you didn't choose to be literally AT HOME 24/7 with them. You still have outings, adventures, meetups with other kids and families... so yeah. This just sucks. And I never ever wanted to be a stay at home mom nor a homeschooling mom. I love my photography job and the flexibility it gives me to set my hours and work (edit) from home when I'm not snapping, but I AM STILL WORKING. I am usually out and about with at least one photoshoot a day...and my big kids are all in school (or grandparent activities) at least 4 hours a day Monday through Friday...so this is a huge change for them too. Overall, as we are starting week 5 at home, I HATE THIS AND AM SO DONE. I will say I am so thankful for technology and electricity and the internet -- those are the non-living heroes in all of this. I am doing my best to make the best of this, but as we are starting our fifth week of this I am just over it and miss my job, miss my clients and birth families, miss my kids getting to go to school...and SO MUCH MORE.
Okay. So let me give you a bit of insight into 90% of our days thus far...the other 10% is this but Mike is awake and not sleeping (cause those are his days off). And the weekends look just like this but replace any schoolwork with my half-assed attempts at art projects and playtime.
I will say Mike and I's schedule is the same -- he still has to work, still works overnights, and I am still home during the day...however instead of the kids not being home during and having a million activities in the evenings, they are here all of the time. So I know some families are doing a 'new normal' with mom and dad both home all day AND the kids and that's not really new for us as this is how it's always been.
So here's a typical weekday day in the life for ya...per request from a few of my loyal readers 😉
7:00 - 7:30am
Mike gets home from work, showers, goes to get breakfast started in the kitchen. Unloads the dishwasher from the night before if it's clean and full. I start to stir as soon as I hear him pull in the driveway...but I lay in bed until the last possible moment before I have to get up.
I roll out of bed, get dressed, put the laundry away from the night before, get the kids up (who actually have been up for maybe an hour (just the big three; I usually have to wake Teddy up) but have been hanging in their rooms watching their iPads).
Help the big 3 pick out their clothes for the day, brush and style the girls' hair, send them off to breakfast with Mike in the kitchen.
Big 3 are eating breakfast; I get Teddy up and changed and plop down on the couch to feed him and then pump.
Mike is cleaning up from breakfast, I'm wrapping up pumping, the big 3 are running around like crazy, teetering between playing with Teddy and chasing each other. I get everyone's jammies and such from breakfast gathered and toss it in the washing machine.
We get everyone settled, try to set Teddy down but he just wants to be held so I pick him up, Mike gets Patrick started with his assignments for the day and then heads off to bed, I get the girls setup with an activity.
The girls are bored with whatever activity I set them up with (usually their activity books), so I try and get another activity going with them. Patrick is whining because he wants to play and I try and tell him he can as soon as he finishes his work. The girls usually come over and see what he's doing and Patrick demands that Teddy can help him with his work too.
Alert goes off on Patrick's iPad that he's got a Zoom meeting with his class at 10am, so he wraps up whatever he's working on (usually math) and I tell him not to turn it in yet -- he can do it after his meeting once I check over it. He's running around now with the girls who've retreated to their room to play with their Barbies and Teddy is whining like crazy wanting to eat. I go get the girls from their room and shoo them downstairs or outside to play so I can feed Teddy and Patrick can do his Zoom meeting. Patrick is whining because he wants to go out and play with them and I remind him he's got a meeting with his teacher so he's going to have to do that.
Patrick is settled at the kitchen counter with his iPad for his Zoom meeting and his teacher starts talking. The girls are playing nicely (I assume) somewhere where I can't see them and I start feeding Teddy. He eats for 15 minutes and dozes off. Woot. I sit browsing social media on my phone and Annie and Rosie come running in declaring they need to go potty and 'need help afterwards.' Great. Both go poop in two different bathrooms so I set Teddy down who wakes up from his cat nap to go help them wipe. Everyone washes their hands and I scurry the girls back downstairs or outside. I toss the laundry in the dryer and make a note to make sure to fold it once everyone goes down for rest time.
The girls are DONE playing whatever they were doing and want to play in their room. Fine. I tell them they have to be silent as Mike is sleeping in the room next door. Patrick is getting restless with his meeting and I remind him to sit up straight and keep participating. Teddy starts getting fussy and Patrick scolds me for 'interrupting' his meeting so I scoop him up and try to keep him quiet.
Patrick's meeting is wrapping up and the girls are saying they're hungry. I can tell Teddy is getting restless too so I give everyone a quick snack of yogurt or applesauce or crackers and tell everyone to get their shoes on. I give Teddy a quick snack too. We look quickly over what Patrick has still left to do the rest of the day and make a quick plan to finish up his work in the afternoon.
We finally make it outside and the kids play for a bit and say they're bored so I decide to go for a quick walk around the block before we head in for lunch.
Back inside for lunch -- the kids finally get their iPads and they are perched with those in the kitchen waiting for me to fix their lunch. I set Teddy down and he is screaming his head off cause he's hungry so I speed through fixing the big kids' lunch, which is usually a rotation between PB&J sandwiches, mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, lunchables, or leftover dinner from the night before. All sided with fresh fruit, yogurt, chips or veggie straws, and chewable gummies.
The big kids all have their lunch and I scoop up Teddy, get him changed and into a sleeper and feed him. He eats like crazy and eventually passes out. I scroll Facebook and Instagram and have Rosie telling me she's done and needs to go potty.
I put Teddy in his crib and come back to get the girls cleaned up and settled for nap time. I find Patrick polishing off any leftover food on the girls' plates and get Annie in to go potty and wash her hands and face. Rosie gets settled into the couch in the living room for her rest time and I get Annie back in her bed.
Patrick grabs his iPad and we start working on his next assignment (usually reading or writing) and Annie comes out of her room with 10 different crises before she finally gets settled and falls asleep.
Patrick is working on his writing and I finally sit down to have my lunch. I remember I need to fold the clothes in the dryer and woof down my lunch to go fold those.
I hear Teddy stirring but thankfully he falls back asleep. I check Patrick's work from the morning and he submits it. He grabs his phone to play a game on and I flip on the TV for background noise while I grab my computer to get caught up on some 'work' (yes. I am still trying to keep my social media current and engagement up and work 'from home' on things like my presets and such that I can still offer people)
I doze off on the couch for literally 10 - 15 minutes until I hear Teddy stirring for good that he's up and hungry.
I get Teddy up and changed and feed him and then Patrick notices he's up and wants to hold him. They're making noise and almost immediately Rosie and Annie are up too.
I have everyone go potty and wash their hands, hand out snacks, and then shuffle everyone outside to play to let Mike sleep a bit longer.
Mike is up and we are talking about dinner plans. The kids are bombarding Mike wanting to play and he's trying to make some coffee and wake up 'for his day.' The kids are now screaming and running in circles and Teddy is wanting to eat again.
I start making dinner. We have been really good about eating at home and cooking every meal (although tbh it's getting old and we're totally doing more to go pickups now) The kids are still being crazy and we're trying to keep them outside or downstairs until dinner time.
DINNER. Everyone comes in and the kids get their iPads again to watch during dinner and Mike and I are able to have a conversation for 2 minutes before Teddy starts squeaking and wants to be held. We all eat and then there's a mountain of dishes awaiting us but we elect to go play outside to play or for a late walk.
Some late playtime outside and/or a walk. Sometimes with popsicles or another messy treat that is best suited for outside.
Bath time. Patrick usually hangs around to help Mike with the dishes and cleanup while I give the girls and Teddy a bath. The girls play for a bit and Teddy loves splashing around.
The girls get out of the bath, I dry them off and brush their hair then they go and pick a show to watch (usually it's one of the halftime shows) while they have a snack (usually milk and apples). Patrick goes and runs to take a shower and I finish getting Teddy out of the bath and into his jammies and sleepsack (and owlet monitor that I'm sure he'll wear forever and ever). I start feeding Teddy just as Mike finishes cleaning the kitchen and is off to deal with the girls and Patrick.
Teddy is asleep and I lay him down in his crib. I head back out and the girls are finishing up their snack and we're ushering them in to go potty and brush their teeth. Mike is having Patrick pick out his current book they're reading (they've been pounding through the Magic Treehouse series) and I'm filling the girls water cups and getting them to bed.
After literally 30 minutes of Annie coming out about 10 times for various reason (needing to pee, needing to poop, needing a tissue, needing a bandaid, wanting to say goodnight again, needing a hug, etc...) she's finally in bed and Rosie is passed out. Mike and Patrick are settling in to read their book.
Patrick brushes his teeth and heads off to bed. Mike goes to take a shower and I finish cleaning up the family room. Mike starts the second load of laundry for the day and I start the dishwasher.
The kids are alllllll finally in bed asleep and Mike and I sit down for approximately 59 minutes to crank out one episode of our current TV show we're watching (we've finished Hunters, Jack Ryan (both seasons), and Ozark) before he has to hustle come 10pm to get his stuff together and head out the door by 10:20pm to get to work.
Mike leaves for work, I finish watching the end of the news, get caught up on any emails/work stuff I need to. I go fold the laundry and put away whatever I can, leaving the rest to put away in the morning when everyone is up.
I flip on an episode of Malcolm in the Middle to watch while I pump, eat a very late night snack (breastfeeding hunger is SO REAL!), and then get everything cleaned up, lights and TV turned off, iPads left in the kids rooms so they can watch in the morning, and head to bed.
Finally doze off to sleep after watching a good part of a movie or TV show and mindlessly scrolling through social media on my phone -- I usually take a good while to fall asleep cause #anxiety and sleeping solo just sucks...but sleeping solo during a pandemic while your husband is out working with all of the idiots who keep breaking the law and not staying home REALLLLLLY SUCKS.
And then 7am hits real hard and we start alllllll over again. 🙃 And some days are tougher (like yesterday) when it's cold or rainy out and we are literally stuck inside all day. Replace any 'outside' time with down in the basement on those days. The girls do still have dance class one night a week, so those nights we eat a bit later and they are doing dance in separate rooms in the basement and we just don't do a walk or outside play then since they had dance and we ate late. But yeah. This is our new normal and I am HOPING AND PRAYING it's temporary for just a bit longer. School is already out the rest of the year (DAMN DAMN DAMN!) and I'm hoping and praying their summer camps don't get canceled too...cause if/when they go back to school it'll have been over 5 months since they last were there and that is a long long time.
So yeah. There you have it friends: a day in the life of this mama lately. I'm not gonna lie: shit is tough. And I'm tired and emotionally spent and drained. I miss my job and friends and actually seeing other people in person and interacting with them. I'm hoping and praying the end is in sight soon so we can start getting back to some bit of our old lives soon. I am grateful for all of this 'slow down' home time, especially when Teddy is young, but I am also mourning what I know we're missing too.
Stay safe and healthy out there my friends.