Before Covid-19 began infiltrating every aspect of our lives, I was just a normal working mom. I found joy in spending as much quality time as possible with my toddler, and I also valued some good mom-time. As a Type A, super planner, my weekly goal was to ensure each day had a mix of family and alone time. Easier said than done, right? Because of our crazy schedules, this often meant waking up an hour and a half early to exercise, write, pay bills, etc. and then throwing on a face mask and squeezing in a few pages of a book before bed.
I had also re-framed the way I thought of my morning commute. After daycare drop off, this became my time to decompress and focus on the day ahead. I had built in more time in the morning (most days) to take the more leisurely, albeit longer, route to work. This gave me an extra few minutes to listen to my audio-books, voice record a blog, or jam out to some 90’s hip hop and R&B (don’t judge). I seriously cherished my mom-time commute!
In walks Covid-19
By March 16th, my office had mostly shut its doors and employees were working from home. Ten days later, I was furloughed. Beyond the stark reality that I wasn’t getting a paycheck or that I wouldn’t be doing the job that I loved, my commute to the office was no more. Send help.
As we found ourselves in a “shelter-in-place” order, our lives quickly took on a whole other routine. Admittedly, it took me a week or two to figure out a routine. I was completely exhausted, mentally drained, and losing patience way too fast. I had to change things up. I needed my mom-time.
Turning Sleep-time into Mom-time
I took a good look at the overall flow of our day. While still being flexible (because hello, toddler!), I knew we worked best with more of a routine. Mornings looked mostly the same with very little alone time. So if I find myself up early (this is still pretty typical), I now force myself out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and do something – anything that will get my mind ready for the day ahead. There’s just something about this time of day. Maybe it’s the gorgeous light outside, the quietness of the house, or the extra cuddles with my dogs, but this time before everyone else wakes up is so relaxing and special to me.
Sometimes, I even nap! WHO AM I?
Fast forward to the afternoon. Most days our son is down for a nap by noon until about 3:00 (praise the sleep gods!). In the beginning of quarantine, I didn’t quite understand how little time I would have for me. I would tackle housework, laundry, etc. while he slept and this did NOTHING for my mental health. Now, my husband and I have our own routines during nap-time. Mine includes a good workout, a hot shower, a healthy lunch, crafting, writing, doing my nails, and binge-watching my current Netflix obsession. Sometimes, I even nap! WHO AM I? I just chill out – something that has always been so hard for me. Honestly, this time alone makes the rest of the afternoon so much better for all of us.
Pre-quarantine Lauren would never be okay doing mom-time during nap-time. After all, weekend nap-times were spent running ragged and cramming everything I could into this short window. As difficult as this time has been, I like to think of this as a bit of a silver lining. Even though the days still blur into each other and feel like they are on repeat, mom-time now is a regular occurrence, and that’s a good thing for everyone!
How are you finding time for you?