COVID19 Fashion Parenting Planners

Day 7: Strategizing & Randomness

March 22, 2020

Changing planners, for me, was a good move.

You know all of those color coded schedules? (Or even the analog version I posted)?

They are great, and to some extent helpful, when they are realistic. But . . . THEY ARE ONLY SHOWING THE KIDS’ ACTIVITIES. What about US, the adults? Especially the parents! We have to help the kids but also do our jobs and theoretically stay calm and sane throughout this whole ordeal.

It is definitely a sign of the times that I haven’t seen any non-kid-focused schedule go viral yet. But I needed to create one.

Thankfully, my COVID-19-era planner has a page designed for just that. Whew.

Writing this out did make me feel better. It also woke me up to the fact that I will not be able to homeschool and do my job. Cannot. Will not. Should not.

Starting March 30, the kids are going to have resources posted online by our school system. I think they may even have some video “classes” with their regular teachers. And our nanny is going to have to help them access those resources and classes. I have confidence in her ability to do this (and yes, G will likely get screen time while she gets them started). If I am home/available/not seeing a telemedicine patent at the time, I can help them get started. But then they will have to work independently. I will spend some time daily reading with C and discussing with them what they accomplished in their virtual classrooms.

But I will not be standing over them for hours playing cruise director for some elaborate educational experience. I have confidence that this will be okay.

In other news . . . thus far, the kids are taking this extremely well. They are happy not to have to wake up early for school. They are happy that daddy is home more (he still has to work, but no elective cases means his load is lighter). They are happy to have extra outside time. They are generally just . . . happy.

Annabel misses her two best friends, but enjoyed writing them letters (and we’ll let her Skype with them at some point too). I am sure at some point the novelty will wear off, but for now things are good. They have been going to bed later and later, though. Last night: G @ 8:45, A @ 9:10, C @ 9:20. In some ways, this is good (they sleep in a bit, giving me more precious morning time!). In other ways, it is bad because it encroaches on our kid-free time in the evening.

Few pix . . .

That last one is me trying on some jeans from Madewell which are being returned (along with most of the rest of the haul). I like the high-ish waist BUT I felt like the rise was too long esp on the bottom part. And this was in petite sizing. #O%*$ ONLINE SHOPPING IS SO HARD.

(I did keep the rust-colored tee though! I love it.)

Okay! BB Yoga time. I’m almost done with 21DF week one! LOVE having that structure to cling to.

PS: The kids didn’t watch Sound of Music last night – Josh had them watch The Sword and the Stone instead. If we do have them watch SoM I definitely agree with 2 (if not 3!) sessions!! They don’t seem to be terribly disturbed by movie content (though Annabel has been known to jump ship if the movie gets too dark) but at the same time appreciate that in that movie it might hit closer to home, since it’s a family/kids facing some of the stress. I will let you all know if we watch it!


  • Reply MBC March 22, 2020 at 7:39 am

    Love the new planner idea. I’ve started a journal to let me vent my feelings which is very useful and I’d highly recommend. Kids are 4.5 and 1 and fairly unaffected by it all. 2 ‘essential services’ parents is stressful but taking it one day at a time. I’ll be home with the kids all week and was thinking I would try following the normal daycare/preschool schedule for some structure (for me as much as them!) Keep posting. It’s really comforting to read how others are handling it.

  • Reply Heather March 22, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Our e-learning also starts 3/30. We are two full-time working parents now both home but expected to put in full time hours and be available for crisis calls at all times. Kids are 7 and 4. Our childcare was daycare and an after-school program so now our care is non-existent. I don’t really know how we’re going to pull e-learning off for our second grader. Hiring new help is off the table because we need to be able to have contact with my MIL who is in a risk group and is alone otherwise.

  • Reply Gillian March 22, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Our online learning has been going on for a week. It has gotten progressively more advanced as the week went on. Some teachers post videos explaining concepts and there have been a few zoom sessions. My 6th and 4th graders work very independently (in fact they work in separate rooms). Our first grader needs lots of help logging into different resources etc and our 4 yo feels super left out and engages in all types of attention getting behavior. We have printed various assignments for him to try during this time, but because he is 4 they keep him busy for about 30 seconds. This week I at times have telehealth visits at the same time as they are getting started, so our babysitter is on her own. It will be interesting. So far patients have been very understanding about background noise.

  • Reply Chelsea March 22, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Stuff gets real for us next week. We’ve been lucky in that last week was (the least fun ever) spring break for all of us, so neither D nor I nor the kids had face to face teaching/instruction. D and I have just been trading off getting ready for our classes and doing other work (all my online classes were still running last week). But starting tomorrow, we are expected to run our F2F classes on the same schedule as normal… and keep detailed attendance records… Fortunately we don’t have any overlap in our teaching schedules so we don’t have to just plunk the kids in front of Frozen 2 and hope for the best (kids are 7, 5 and 2 so not very self directed yet). Also, having made a career transition while working only side-hustle/second-shift hours, I know for myself, it *is* possible to get a lot done working early in the morning, late at night and during every second the kids are occupied with anything. We are in the same boat as far as getting outside help because we want to maintain some contact with my parents who live in town and are almost 70 with pre-existing conditions, etc.

    Because last week was spring break, we haven’t even thought about “school” for the kids… I just keep telling myself that it’s not going to be ideal, but it is going to be okay.

  • Reply Liz March 22, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Yay for switching planners! Thank you for your realism, positivity, and sharing. You make me feel less alone. Such a fantastic point about so many people just focusing on kids schedules. Sending you and your family ❤️

  • Reply Tsh March 22, 2020 at 10:09 am

    “It is definitely a sign of the times that I haven’t seen any non-kid-focused schedule go viral yet.” <– truth. I'm on maternity leave right now, so my family is lucky that my partner can work while I take on kid responsibility. And even this feels like a lot! My kid misses her friends and I miss mine. Plus there is still about a foot of snow here. But, I've instituted exercise in the morning at 8:30. The baby crawls around, the preschooler does half the workout with me (very cute) and I get to feel accomplished right after breakfast. I won't feel bad for not doing something educational for this morning hour. Because even though I'm essentially a stay at home parent right now, I'm still a person with my own needs and I'd rather sleep in than wake up early to workout without the kids. But also, I'm nervous about returning to work (soon…). No clue how that's going to go, especially if the kids are still at home with me.

  • Reply Laura V March 22, 2020 at 10:42 am

    One thing I am despising is all of the homeschooling one-upping I see on social media. I really hope the schools acknowledge that there will be some inequity in families ability to achieve providing education during this time.

    • Reply Omdg March 22, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      Personally, I despise the articles on, “I’ve homeschooled for years! Thanks for finally clicking over!! This is what I do, and you should too — see how successful and well adjusted my kids are!! You’ll eventually see that this is the right way to do this anyway.” No, I don’t want advice on how to do this if you are a sahm who has devoted your life to this one thing. It just doesn’t apply to me. Please go away now. Hang in there, the kids are going to do better than all of us adults.

      • Reply Sarah March 23, 2020 at 6:25 am

        Amen OMDG and Laura!

    • Reply Erin R March 22, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      The Philadelphia school district is forbidding any grading of assignments or tests during this time because of the inequity in time/access: – it’s a tough call! (I’m not in Philly, but someone told me about that)

  • Reply CBS March 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    We did something similar. My husband is essential staff but we’re hopeful he can work from home after next week. Sat down and figured out a schedule which will give each of us 4 hours a day. My son is a bit older than G so again, not super independent. Trying to figure out how to capture his attention beyond screens because fulltime parenting is mentally and physically exhausting. We’ve had two days of lovely weather, not necessarily the norm for Scotland, and have been working in the garden and going for socially distanced scoots.

  • Reply Lori C March 22, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Ready for a completely unrelated question that is not tied to the news at all? 🙂 on a recent episode you mentioned your toaster oven. It had served you successfully for many years and you loved it so much you bought the same one again. Do you know which one it is? I recently bought one on Craigslist (in an effort to save cash and the planet) but I am realizing I got what I paid for….Lol.

    • Reply Danielle March 22, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      Oh! This is a good question. My husband is very unsatisfied with our current toaster oven and I hear about it a few times a month, lol.

    • Reply Rachel March 22, 2020 at 7:23 pm

      I’m not sure what Sara has, but I have a basic Black and Decker one, about $20 at Target. We use it CONSTANTLY and it’s held up well so far! (Several years)

      • Reply Lori C March 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

        ohhh wow! Sounds like one worth trying! Do you have a link?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 23, 2020 at 6:15 am

      Ours is a KRUPS! Given that it is ~14 years old, I can’t link to the model. We actually decided it wasn’t broken enough to replace and are still using it! GOOOOO Krups toaster oven!!

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