This week has not been what I’d call…a good one. Seemingly overnight, everything in Philly shut down, the kids are home full-time, and Mike has literally been sleeping only 2-4 hours a night — working the rest. He and his team have been building a tool to help hospitals and governments predict the number of COVID-19 patients their hospitals will need to treat in the weeks to come, and when those hospitals will likely reach max capacity.

At this point, even the best-case scenarios are terrifying. 

So while Mike shuts himself away in the room upstairs, venturing out only for food, a hug, and once even a good cry…I’m left trying to hold down the fort.

Spoiler: This fort is coming apart at the seams.

I started off on a high note. We cleaned out and organized the playroom last Sunday, and I had All of The Big Homeschooling Hopes and Dreams. 

By noon on Monday I was on my 2nd zoom call of the day, snapping at my kids; by 4PM they had gotten into some sort of physical altercation, and by the time I found myself making dinner at 8:45PM (seriously WTF)…I was in tears.

In desperation, I texted Linzi, “FINISH YOUR POST ALREADY” then logged into the TME backend so I could grab a pre-published copy of her schedules and suggested activities.

They were hung late Monday night. I have not looked at them since. 

In truth, I have no idea how my kids have been spending their time. I know Raines has been making vague school-related noises and I find bits of random paper all over the house  A few numbers are scribbled on one, a drawing on the other. He also spent the better part of one day making (and then painting) a WWII battleship which he claims may be “extra credit” when they return back to school.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that school may be done for the year. We’ll see.  

Raines did make some progress. Primarily because I sat down and did his work with him. It was fun — we messed around with a math problem whose solution involved a pattern we just weren’t seeing — puzzling it out together was great.

But it meant that I did none of my actual work. Okthen.  

This week, from a work perspective, was really tough. And yet, from a momming perspective, it also felt like a fail. There were no creative projects, no family game nights, no STEM enrichment activities. We didn’t even leave the house every day. Raines is not caught up on schoolwork. Mike is a barely functioning human, and my own stress level makes me want to hide under a blanket and read vapid books about girls finding love in the big city.

This week has been a doozy.  

My expectations were that by Week 2, I’d be feeling more hopeful. That we’d have some sort of schedule in mind, that I’d have a shot at a better work-life balance, and, quite frankly, that I’d have my husband back.

Well. It looks like none of those things are coming true.

Pax, on the other hand, has unexpectedly been living his best life. The classic second kid, he has flown under alllll of our school-related-radar, and instead has spent his time doing laundry, cooking us lunch, reading, and chatting with his friends on Zoom. I just…I have no words.

Pax also managed to convince me, Friday morning, to just pause my work and “make something delicious and chocolate”.  And after such a crappy week, it really did sound like, well, the only possible solution. So I looked up an old recipe I used to make when Raines and Pax were little, a gluten-free ‘gooey chocolate cake’ from La Tartine Gourmande (that you eat melty and warm out of the oven). Raines wandered into the kitchen and decided to help, we had Alexa play French music (to be on theme), and it ended up being the brightest spot in a really rough week. 

So…yeah. Week 2, here we come.

I hope we have enough chocolate.

Those gooey chocolate cakes. La Tartine Gourmande’s gooey chocolate cakes makes three little cakes if you use ramekins. If your ramekins have all inexplicably disappeared over the years…we made ours in silicone baking cups (on a cookie sheet). The recipe makes seven little cakes — just reduce the cook time by a few minutes. I always swap out the tahini for either peanut or almond butter…and any type of flour will work.

Our MVP right now. Our Amazon Show has been a lifesaver. We’ve been using it to drop in on our parents. Unlike Zoom, it takes 2 seconds to drop in (so the kids can do it whenever), and the image and sound is usually much better than Zoom. I don’t know what my Mom (who is currently in her apartment alone) would do without this thing.

Pajama jeans for video conferencing. These FRAME jeans are easily the softest jeans I own. They’re one of the few I’ve been willing to wear all day as I work from home (because Home Is For Sweatpants), and I love the classic, dark wash. Just clean and cool. (Oh geez – also on sale at Nordstrom, here.)

Possibly nobody cares. In case anyone has high hopes that they’ll need a swimsuit this summer…the massive order I had originally placed (before coronavirus — BCV?)…included this suit that happens to be the most comfortable swimsuit I’ve EVER put on. Fit is TTS, and so freaking cute.

Well…it does have pockets. We need to discuss AG’s t-shirt maxi dress. While it does have pockets…it also has, um, volume. I’ve been seeing this trend of late, these rather tent-like dresses and I can’t quite decide if they are actually pieces I will want to wear out of the house someday or pieces I want to wear RIGHT NOW ONLY. This house arrest is messing with my mind.

Shopping local….We had pulled together an article highlighting our favorite local businesses to support via online orders…and then many of them closed completely on Friday. We’re re-working that article, though, so hold tight. In the meantime…Morgan over at ShopBURU mentioned on IG that she and her husband live a couple of blocks from their distribution center, so any orders will literally be packed and shipped by them personally. She’s fantastic, and ShopBURU is a lovely website to get lost in. Cam’s outfit on our Girl’s Night In IG Live last Friday was ShopBURU, and I plan on ordering this set for warm weather lounging.

It’s Gen X’s time to shine. DYING. This article is totally cracking me up.

I had bookmarked a few other helpful COVID-19 articles…but I just don’t have it in me. Maybe next week. In the meantime, we’ve been having some great discussions in our new FB Group, The Mom Edit Insiders, we’ve been going live on IG almost daily (@themomedit), and our special Sunday night newsletter is What To Wear To Video Conference (the pants will be a surprise). If you haven’t already, you can subscribe here.

Here’s to health and sanity, gang.

xo,

S

28 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for all you do. And thank you for your HONESTY. This week was a doosey for us too – it’s nice to hear we are not alone.
    -Jess

  2. Yes, please say thanks to Mike (and anyone else out there) who is helping hospitals or in healthcare. Hang in there. Today in Seattle it was sunny and I actually saw some neighbors while in my front weed infestation. It was so encouraging. We need to just embrace the good times (like chocolate – and a kid who does laundry!) when we can.

  3. Thanks so much for your work and for sharing from the heart–it’s an awful time but part of what’s seeing me through it is the beauty of people coming together via what channels are currently available. Humanity finds its way. And thanks also for navigating the difficult balance between talking about what’s happening and providing creative distraction–it’s an impossible task, but I appreciate how you’ve taken it on.

  4. I love this little society you’ve created here. This week was a bitch and I’m afraid they’re not going to drastically improve very quickly. Know that you are not alone. Also, I’ve always known we GenXers were the most badass generation! The article just proves it! Hang in there, mama. We’ll get through it! 😘

  5. Thank you and your family, including all the the team. There is strength in the negative and through it we’ll find the positive… it’ll happen. On a lighter note, that AG dress is not a positive. 🙂 So glad your Pax and my own Pax are doing well… mine has a couple of hours of school o Google Classroom and then he’s hanging with his buddies on video games, reading, we’re biking, etc. We’re trying. We’re all just doing the best we can. One foot in front of the other. For us all

  6. Oh, Shana. Hang in there. I’m in a similar situation but my kids are older and more self sufficient. I have been thinking all week, how are working moms with young kids doing it all??? This is tough. You are doing fine. And it sounds like your kids are adjusting just fine without a schedule or creative activities.

    I think moms are asking far too much of themselves, to be honest. I look at my IG feed at all these schedules and activities and home schooling and just shake my head. I think we all need to give ourselves some grace. This school year is a bust, but at least the entire country is in the same boat. We’ll get through it somehow, and maybe we just need to start the 2nd semester over in the fall…. or whenever this stupid virus is under control.

  7. Hang in there Shana! We homeschooled our three boys for years until they were ready to (literally) get away from us during middle school. What you described is not just inexperience at homeschooling- that was pretty much our daily existence to some degree. We tried the whole rigid schedule the first few years and then drifted into an unschooling practice. Short story is our boys did great and now are thriving in regular school (before the shut down). Relax with the schooling and everyone will be much happier and receptive to learning moments. Just my small perspective.

  8. Oh and please tell Mike we are all thankful for his work. I am a nurse anesthetist at a level two trauma center. My work scope has expanded from providing anesthesia for surgeries to being on the algorithm as an airway expert for critical patients who need to airway /ventilator management. Go Mike!! We depend on people like you!!

  9. Your Friday night cocktail hour gave me life! Thank you so much! Please continue to show up for us, and I will continue to show up for you guys!

  10. Thank you Shana and your family and TME family for continuing to provide honesty mom POVs and education, as well as fun fashion and distraction right now. As others said please don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s a new crazy world. Take care.

  11. Love the real life updates that haunt so many of us moms. Hang in there! To piggy back off your pajama jeans–you need to binge Happy Endings on Hulu–there is an episode where they take it a step further…pajoveralls.

  12. I consider any post that pops up on TME a total bonus. nothing is expected. its just survival at this point. try not to beat yourself up–hang in there! these are surreal times! you’ve brought me an unexpected moment of lightness this morning. PS i lol’ed at “possibly nobody cares” but that IS an adorable bathing suit! will i ever need a bathing suit again??

  13. Thank you as always Shana for your honesty. I see all these moms on social media homeschooling LIKE A BOSS, and I feel like a total failure. It’s refreshing to hear that I’m not alone. Gosh I needed this today. Hang in there. I so appreciate what you do.

  14. Thank you so much Shana for your always honest, vulnerable, and thoughtful posts – especially at the end of one of the toughest weeks ever. Your blog has been a bright spot in my days for years (even before I was a Mama too!)

    Thank you to Mike for working tirelessly to help health care systems prepare the best we can. And to you and your family for supporting him while he does this.

    If you and the TME team do have it in you in the near future (and it is 1000% okay not to be there yet) – please consider sharing some ways your readers can help their communities in need as well as us health care workers facing this on the front lines. Loss of school lunches, loss of income, isolation of the elderly/most vulnerable, critical shortages of PPE, and profoundly limited testing capabilities are all very real issues we’re facing. I suspect the only way we will get through this is mobilizing our resources and supporting one another. And that those quarantined need a tangible way to help almost as much as we need the help.

    Thank you again for all that you do. Stay safe and hang in there.

  15. LOVED this Shana!! We’re all muddling through. My staff are working at about 50% productivity because two-income parents are tag-teaming the care load. This is going to be okay. At first I was furious about the delay in distance learning from our school (public) while the private schools seem to have already moved out on it. But then I realized that frankly, 6 months or whatever of missed school isn’t going to stop my kids from being contributing members of society when they leave the nest. So the optional distance learning that begins A Week From Monday(!!) will be okay I suppose. Thank you for your honesty and your commitment to telling it like it is. All the best.

  16. Hi Shana. Yes it is rough. Here are somethings we are doing over here in Southern California. I am doing facebook live videos at night where I dress up in different costumes and roller-skate in front of my house. I live on a culdesac. I do musical theater and we are doing Wonka right now (we were until it was cancelled I should clarify) So I have an oompa loompa costume and Violet Beauregard complete with blow up ‘fat’ suit. Tonight I am going to be Jafar, last seasons play was Aladdin. We have continued with rollerskating on our own in front of the house. My husband ordered some rollerblades at Dicks sporting goods yesterday – they have curbside pick up. My sister just ordered some for herself on amazon. I have roller-skated in my garage too so I do not specifically have to be outside but for now that is where we are. I have been art journalling .. which is a ‘craft’ so to speak and I know many are already crafted out. I am a college senior ( at the tender age of 52. hahaha ) so I am doing my school work. My 11 year old starts her zoom classes tomorrow. She has been doing group chats that she projects up on to the TV and she and her friend play Roblox together. I just found out on the ‘next door’ app you can find people who need help with getting groceries ; senior citizens and immune compromised folks so I will be moving into that. My daughter needs to read ‘I am Malala’ for school, starting that tonight. I recommend getting outside if you can. Rollerskating or otherwise. We will get through this Shana. And we will have gratitude for our freedom to make choices on activities and how to spend our time when this is over. We really are all in this together, we are all going through this together and we will make it together. Hugs to you

  17. oh and one more thing I am doing Shana .. selling stuff on Poshmark. Surprisingly people are buying stuff. I am a CASA volunteer – mentor and advocate for kids in foster care – and I am trying to raise money to send the kid I mentor and her sibs to Disneyland. Maybe selling stuff on Poshmark ( if you don’t do this already) would help distract you .. creating a slush fund for a future family trip. Just a thought. Again – hang in there. We can do this.

  18. Thank you for your honesty and big thanks to Mike for his work! We’re in a scary time here figuring out our new normal and having your blog really helps! It’s the one constant I’ve had since I started reading it, what, 4 years ago?! I’ve been looking at caftans to wear over my swimsuits, that’s IF we go on vacay in June (fingers crossed!!)
    Hang in there and know you’re doing a great job! We will come through this stronger than ever! Prayers and hugs!

  19. All of this past week I’ve been thinking “ok, tomorrow I’ll get us on some sort of schedule” and another day goes by and it doesn’t happen. It is nice to read I’m not the only one. My kids have spent a tremendous amount of time in front of screens while I shuffle around the house feeling stunned, anxious, and trying to breathe. Friday I put on some crazy 70’s music and danced it out with my 18 year old. While we were YMCA’ing in the kitchen my 8 year old was looking at us like we’d lost our ever loving minds and I think we kind of had. But that moment was exactly what I needed. I think we need more of that and less worrying about doing school or schedules.

  20. Had the same kind of week. My kids are same ages as yours, so I feel ya with the working and the homeschooling and the UGH. A lot of my colleagues are not having to deal with the homeschooling so that makes it even tougher (“we’re having this call at 12:30” but wait, I have to get them lunch and then get them started on their reading/writing!). Thank you for your honesty, it’s nice to know others out there in the same boat.

  21. Love your blog! It’s real, positive, informative and current (WFH ideas and how to dress up sweatpants-Hello!). It’s hard not to feel down, so know that you are making a difference with your posts. Thank you.

  22. Adding to the chorus of heartfelt thank yous: your writing, honesty and straightforwardness (not sugarcoating anything) were so helpful and truly bolstered my spirits. You guys are doing an absolutely beautiful, incredible job of anchoring us in this time — cannot thank you enough.

  23. Thanks for keeping it real and honest. Our first week has felt like a failure too and I’m definitely not holding down our fort well – those tears make a daily appearance as I try to cope with all the stress and worry. It’s not been all bad but it’s nice to know I’m not alone, especially now that I’m staring down two more months of this- at least. Your honesty has made for the best post I’ve read in a week.

  24. My favorite recipe. I remember making these when R was little! May have to introduce to B…life has come full circle.

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