Notes from Our Quarantine


How are you doing?

We are two weeks into our quarantine now. I am much less anxious than I was last week but do still have bouts of worry. I am willing myself to be more disciplined and minimize the late-night Googling, which benefits no one, and trying instead to prioritize sleep to help maintain health and sanity. I'm trying to filter out the hysteria. I still don't understand so much about this time.

I know so many people's worlds have been turned upside down by this whole disaster and we're trying to help where we can. If we're being honest, not too much has changed for me, and I've been thankful for and enjoying the extra family time.

I am still home with my kids all day every day. The days are still busy and long. It is still mostly impossible to get anything done aside from the basics of keeping everyone fed and in clean clothes. There are still messes all day every day.

The laundry might kill me, but again that's nothing new aside from washing and changing the sheets/towels/bath mats, which our cleaning lady typically does.

Cooking is more onerous than usual, so I'm relying more than ever on simple meals, and often prepared foods I had frozen. I will go down in history as an expert reheater—dump and bake.

Nick is working from home full-time and often puts in long hours, but it's nice having him around for all the meals. There have been a couple times now where he's even cooked dinner which is a rarity in our household, and he enjoys cooking and is a much better cook than I am, so that's been a treat.

What has been almost as stressful to me as all the virus hysteria are all the ideas for how to "keep busy" during this time, both for kids and adults. At first I appreciated this type of information, but it has reached such a point of overkill that I need to tune it out. I never have trouble filling our days. They are already full to the brim. I'm lucky if I get an hour to myself on the couch at night before falling asleep in the 8:00 hour.

I think these things can be good, but I also think they can become just another thing to do. I want my kids to remember this time as being full of family time, not a mom who was always fretting or yelling or marching everyone from one task to the next. In order for that to happen, for us that means keeping it simple.

This applies to activities, and also to school. We are going for zero world records in how much schooling we're doing during this time. Eloise's wonderful kindergarten teacher had reached out to the parents last week taking the pressure off, and I honestly let her know that it's a challenge to homeschool two different ages while also caring for a toddler and an infant. We're doing the best we can.

We're settling into some new kind of flexible flow, and most days that means accomplishing just one subject in the morning while Alice naps and George "follows along," (or this morning, played in his Pack and Play with a shape sorter).

In the afternoons Eloise is taking an online crochet class with a local woman, which she adores. We are learning lots of practical skills like how to clean the house and care for younger siblings. And we're spending as much time outside as possible.

By filtering out the noise, I'm better able to remain as centered as I can during this scary time and hold my people close. My heart hurts to not know when we'll be able to see family and friends again. We're just taking it one day at a time, just like everyone else.

Pre-pandemic, I'd spend a bit of time on Sundays coming up with my plan for the week ahead. These days, there is so much to keep track of on a daily basis—homeschool! meals! chores!—I take a little time each night after the kids are in bed and jot down my plan for the next day.

I've been writing myself a Bible verse at the top of the page to keep coming back to during the day, and it's been providing some comfort in all the uncertainty. When we don't know what's ahead, I've been clinging to what I do know to be true.

Today's is this:

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