For those used to the structure of an office job, learning to work from home can be a challenge in and of itself. But for those with kids who are off from school for the next two (four, six, eight?) weeks, striking a balance between career and being daycare is beyond daunting. Here, our senior editor—a single mom to a 3-year-old—shares how she’s staying on top of the daily grind while not letting anyone lose their mind (yet).
If there’s one thing I miss from my pre-child life, it’s that 40 minutes to myself in the morning where I would enjoy the sunrise, a double-shot of Hair Bender coffee and last night’s Late Show. So, I’ve reinstated that ritual. Only now it’s an hour and a half, two espressos—and as much work as I can squeeze in before It (I kid—her name is Lake) wakes up.
Setting up my workstation between her place mat and playroom allows me to tackle tasks like email, scheduling and even writing/editing while she goes about her own routine. Being within line of sight or ear shot makes us both more connected and comfortable tending to our individual needs.
While my usual TV rules were the first to get broken, there’s only so much Moana she’ll watch—and therefore, work I’ll get done—before she gets antsy. So after breakfast, we’re in the car and off to the park (as of now, Delaware State Parks are still open) to run wild in the woods. This morning we wandered the path at Winterthur, which is currently permitting nonmembers to explore its grounds. The exercise and fresh air are a win-win: They energize me while they tire Lake out, all but guaranteeing a long snooze after lunch.
My daughter is 3. I’m not homeschooling—save for art and home econ. Taking a break in the afternoon to bake a new recipe or work on an art project not only offers us more bonding time but puts her in a lasting creative mood that enables me to sneak in, say, another story when she’s not even looking.
Without the normal school pickup and rush hour to make dinner, our evenings are more leisurely. Normally by the time we’re done with bubble baths and books, I was ready for bed three hours earlier. But now after we give kisses goodnight—because no, I’m not elbow-bumping my child amid the new coronavirus—I enjoy a cup of half-caf and am ready to put in my best work (unless it’s Monday and Good Girls is on Hulu.)