Day 40: Halfway Point?

April 24, 2020

Not really. But I did predict this series might be 80 days long, so . . . theoretical halfway point? [[NOTE: According to Healthdata modeling for FL, “After June 14, 2020, relaxing social distancing may be possible with containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.” Which would be day 91. Okay then.]]

It has actually gone . . . rather quickly. Even each day has gone pretty quickly.

And I have found myself more cheerful (ie less miserable/missing things) as the time has gone on. So that is a good thing. In lieu of my typical “5 on a Friday”, I will share 5 things I miss and 5 things that I definitely do not.

I do miss:

  • Working at work. I didn’t appreciate how well my work computer/dual monitor system worked and how I could get some relative peace as long as my door was closed! It’s harder to focus at home. I’m doing it, but I have to be very concrete about which tasks I am trying to accomplish.
  • Feeling good that my children are at school and being occupied in a largely productive manner while I am at work
  • Seeing my patients and coworkers in person (telemed . . . is okay. And very convenient for some things! But I do miss the ‘in person’ connection, perhaps more than I thought I would)
  • Having fun trips to look forward to. Not even the trips THEMSELVES but I miss that anticipation! Which is why it would be so nice to have a known “end date” to all this. Not really possible though.
  • Play dates. I do miss that lovely feeling of meeting up with a friend who has similar aged kids and just bonding over the craziness of it all. Viva misses her BFF Jake (she calls him “Jakie”).

I do not miss:

  • My husband working late. Honestly, having Josh home more almost cancels out all of the negatives. I’d tell him to retire but it would not be a great financial move for our family at this juncture. (I bring in more than 1/3 but far less than 1/2 of our family’s income). PLUS he likes his work and definitely helps many people.
  • Date nights/extra babysitter coverage. INTERESTING and surprising finding! I sort of flipped out several months ago and arranged more weekend babysitting, but I’m not missing it at all. I used to use it to take G to MyGym (actually, I do kind of miss that!) and to work out at the gym (don’t miss that). You know what is a far less expensive babysitter? The TV/Minecraft. Yeah, I said it.
  • The Kids’ Activities. OMG. I don’t miss these one bit! I will still allow then to do things they want to do, but I am not going to bend over backwards to sign them up for things unless they are particularly motivated. I do want them to get exercise, but I will drag them out for walks and have them play in the pool if they are not interested in organized activities. Maybe A/C/G will be destined to excel in some sport someday, but it probably won’t be because I put them in formal training in something at age 3. (Well, in A&C’s case it DEFINITELY won’t b/c that ship has sailed.)
  • Getting up before 5. I have been getting up at ~5:30 most days (today I slept until 7!) and that has been plenty of time. Of course, that is because many of my days are more flexible and the kids are getting up later. But still, it’s nice not to be passing out every night at 9:30pm.
  • Commuting. Replacing “drive 30 minutes each way” with “walk around my neighborhood for 45 min” (sometimes even while on a work call) has been an amazing exchange. I know some are mourning the lack of transition at the beginning/end of the day, but man — you can’t beat the convenience! And I am all about that.

5 Things I am Grateful For (b/c why not)

  • That we can still order books and other items to be delivered (this is not true in every country – my South African friend Marcia (aka Organising Queen!) notes that in her country they can only order true essentials. This makes sense actually, but since we do not have those restrictions here I am glad I was able to at least get some new paper books to read (I really prefer paper to kindle!).
  • Takeout!! Like my (online) friend Lagliv, we have developed a Saturday night takeout ritual. We are deciding between burgers and Mexican for tomorrow night!
  • That thus far it appears that the local COVID-19 peak is past. HOPING this is accurate and remains true.
  • That Genevieve is by far the best of my 3 at playing independently. Last night we watched Big. It was a little (a lot) over her head but she just went and played with legos and Calico Critters for about an hour until we were done. CANNOT IMAGINE my older two doing this when they were toddlers. Not sure if it’s “3rd child” stuff, her Montessori school experience (though she was only there ~6m!), or just temperament but THANK GOD.
  • Our FL weather has been amazing. I’m so sorry if it isn’t true for where you are! (If it’s a consolation, our summers are the worst and well – it’s almost May!). March & April were great.
Nature Walk . . .
A strawberry we grew!
(This is a potted plant and thus will not have a high yield, but still – exciting!)


  • Reply Sunny April 24, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Thank you so much for your daily blog posts, I enjoy starting my day with your posts! I thought you and your readers might enjoy the latest episode of the Balanced Life with Robin Long podcast. She is an online Pilates instructor and though I get notices of her podcast episodes, this was the first I actually listened to so I can’t speak for the podcast as a whole. She goes over her day-to-day schedule in this season with 2 WFH parents and 4 kids, but not in annoying perfectionist way that makes you want to throw your phone! It was pretty relaxed and relatable. I know BoBW like hearing logistics too.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 24, 2020 at 11:47 am

      I did listen to that one!!!! Agree, I really liked it. Practical and positive without being over the top or unrealistic.

  • Reply Heather April 24, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Hoping to get some advice from you and readers on childcare. Our previous childcare was school + afterschool program for our 7 yo and daycare for our 4 yo. During the summer, daycare continues and our 7 yo goes to day camp. Everything is closed now – in our state, school is e-learning for the rest of the academic year and daycare is closed. Who knows when/if daycare and day camp will open. My husband and I both have full-time jobs where we are working from home, but are frequently on calls and working in shifts is simply not feasible. This results in very little opportunity for “deep” work for either of us, lots of interruptions on calls, and a TON of screen time for both kids. We both essentially work 6am-6pm every day with lots of interrupted time in between, and sometimes e-mail catch up after bedtime.

    So – do we throw in the towel and hire some childcare? I’m really afraid to do this because I don’t want to bring another person in to my house that may be exposed to someone else (even if they say they are their household are quarantining – can you ever really know for sure?) We make good income but not enough for “professional nanny”/au pair territory – more like a college student that is stuck home for the time being. Or do we just suck it up and keep doing this until whenever childcare is available again? The talk of school potentially not starting in the fall again really has me nervous. My husband’s work is supportive of our situation and my work is tolerating it, but I’m afraid as shelter-in-place becomes the “new normal”, and even as things start to reopen but schools and daycare stay closed, we’ll reach a point where we cannot continue to keep our kids home during the workday without childcare.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 24, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      I vote for college student as long as regulations allow in your area. If possible, could they live in your home? Some may be willing (free room and board?) and then you would know what was happening with respect to their distancing. I agree if they are going back and forth and you don’t know them well would be important to verify that they are otherwise isolating appropriately.

    • Reply omdg April 24, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      AP program likely no longer supported anyway, as all visa programs have been suspended (AP costs about $25,000, nanny costs $40,000-$50,000 for similar hours). I’d go with a college or graduate student. If they live-out, you will have to make peace with the fact that you can’t control their every movement, and frankly will probably have to make peace with that anyway if they live with you. We will likely go down this road ourselves after we move if the immigration ban remains in place. I am thanking God my kid is almost old enough not to need one.

    • Reply Marthe April 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Yes, a college student coming over for up to 5 days from say 8-6 would be great! Great income for the student and uninterrupted working days for you. Maybe the student could do household tasks / laundry / cooking as well…. good luck!

      • Reply omdg April 25, 2020 at 11:05 am

        Lol! How little do you plan to pay the college student! 8-6 M-F is still not going to be cheap.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 25, 2020 at 11:27 am

          This is true. Might still be worth it though if doable.

  • Reply Krista April 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Same with activities. I love watching my kids play sports, but not juggling their schedules and not having to be anywhere has been great. That said, I think part of why I’m so okay with it is the knowledge that everyone else is in the same boat. We aren’t missing out on anything and that makes it easier.

  • Reply gwinne April 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Yeah. I also do not miss driving, and I didn’t really have a commute (I live a mile from campus). Just the picking up/dropping off etc. Also LG’s nightly activity.

    Playdates…. I hear you. Oh, I hear you. I will say we’ve managed to have a few social distance playdates. They need to be supervised by at least one parent and involve things like scooters that generally go better with SPACE between kids.

  • Reply Emily April 24, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    I have LOVED that your daily blogging is back! (selfishly hoping you’ll be able to keep up at least more frequent posts if not daily when this is over) I’m in NYC but it’s been really interesting to read what this time is like in other parts of the country. I also am really curious to see what new parts of everyone’s daily routines will stick and what others will return to when we’re back to more of a state of ‘normalcy.’ I’m glad Josh has been able to be around more; I’m sure that makes a ton of difference.

    Again glad to read your blog and hope you have a nice weekend!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 24, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you so much!!

      • Reply Elizabeth April 24, 2020 at 5:32 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more! Sarah your blog is such a joy to read—even on days when you’re reporting about having a hard time, it’s so nice to commiserate; and on the good days, it’s so uplifting! Thank you so much for the time you spend to post. It really is a highlight of my days during this time!

  • Reply Irene April 24, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    My younger one is also more independent than the older one but not to the extent G is (based on your description). We are planning to switch to a Montessori preschool in the fall (assuming it opens, sigh we paid an extremely large deposit there as well as continuing to pay our daycare tuition despite you know, not getting daycare). I hope it’s a great fit for him but it’s close to our house and ifs it’s equally as good, I’ll be delighted. I feel I have learned SO much over 5 years of managing child care and he’s definitely benefiting from it compared to my older one.

  • Reply Melissa April 24, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    “You know what is a far less expensive babysitter?…” 🙌🏻 YES! Love this! Thanks for saying it. I’ve been living it but not saying it for a long time!

  • Reply Anna Marks April 24, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I totally agree with one, two, and four. I really miss having events and trips to look forward to. But, yes, there are silver linings…

  • Reply 5 Things I Miss (and 5 Things I Don't) | A Healthy Slice of Life April 27, 2020 at 11:20 am

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  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) April 27, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out. We move to Level 4 on Friday which just means more industries open. Still nothing other than essential goods, meds and now they’ve opened up the sale of cigarettes 🙂 (we don’t smoke) Actually I’ve been despairing a bit because I thought with Level 4, they might allow walks outside our properties but we’re still locked down properly.

    I am about to write a blog post and think I’m going to do the same one – 5 things I miss, 5 things I don’t and 5 things I’m grateful for.

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