So we’ve been running this fine line between what I’ll call ‘escapism content’ and ‘real stuff’ this week. (NOTE: the photo above was NOT taken this week.)
How have we been doing?
I’ll admit, I haven’t been at my best. While I am technically calling the thing I do all day “work”, if I were to break it down, it’s more like…stares at screen….starts random (unimportant) task…scrolls IG…suddenly remembers important task…finds necessary documents to do important task…stares…scrolls IG…gets coffee…thinks of third task…stares…gets interrupted and yells at interrupter “OMG MOMMY IS WORKING”….starts third task….scrolls IG…wait no – need to do important task…stares…re-finds all necessary documents for important task…gets distracted by unimportant task…stares…scrolls IG…gets interrupted “MOMMY HAS IMPORTAN—“
So yeah, ya know…work.
Homeschooling, on the other hand, is going much better than it did last week, probably because I dropped it altogether. Ha!
But in all seriousness, I did sit down with the kids and figure out the set of things they can actually do on their own. I was literally like “Mom cannot help you.” Thankfully my kids are just old enough that this approach seems to work. We agreed on 20 minutes each of the following:
They each have a Chromebook, so I just made sure they had logins to all of the above websites and DONE.
I’ve also started “remembering” chores whenever they ask me for something, which is turning out to be highly effective. “Raines, I’d love to make lunch. Ooo…look how dirty this floor is. Tell you what: While I make lunch, would you please sweep the floor? Oh hi Pax – ooo…that whine is hurting Mommy’s ears. Can you take this bucket and mop, and follow behind your brother? You don’t know how to mop? Well I’ll bet if you use your big strong brain….”
Yup. They figured out their own lunch the next day.
By using those big strong brains.
But I am reminded – daily – of how lucky I am to still have a job. I received an email from Molly, who has been a reader for a decade now. She wrote that she and her husband have had to close down their restaurant/club in Manhattan, and have no idea when they’ll be able to open up again. She’s sick to her stomach about the furloughing of staff and bands, and has been rage-unsubscribing (a perfect description) to emails about buying anything. “…I have not had the heart to do it to you guys,” she wrote. “How can I support you, a community of women, and still stay open? I am at a loss.”
I don’t have any answers, but I do understand. The Mom Edit, in addition to it’s contributors, has a staff of 5 full-time employees. Many of whom rely on The Mom Edit for their healthcare. One of whom is a single mother. These are responsibilities I take very seriously. And as retailers cancel their affiliate programs and back out of collaborations, as we all collectively take a step back from buying (even us ‘shopping enablers’)…I am worried. I am scared. I too am holding my breath, waiting to see what this means as the story eventually plays out.
We’ve had many discussions – the TME team and I, about what to do. What a company like The Mom Edit can do to stay afloat…while being true to what really is in our hearts and minds right now (’cause it sure as hell isn’t shopping). We are doing our best to be helpful, to be a space of support, and sometimes…to provide a much-needed distraction.
I genuinely want to know your thoughts: How are we doing?
Because the one thing I do know is that community matters. And this little community we have is worth fighting for. So if you, like Molly, cannot shop, let me be very clear:
I don’t care if you ever buy anything again – you are always welcome here, you are valued. Just stick with us – keep weighing in, keep helping us stay on the right track. If all we’re left with, when this is over, is a stronger community….well.
That’s still something.
The best way to support local restaurants? In our emails back and forth, Molly said something I found really helpful. I had asked her if there was any way we, this community, could help people in her situation. She said, “As for us small restaurateurs, we need our communities as well, and more than ever now. People have been so supportive and are buying gift cards to use towards future visits. To us (and the thousands more small businesses affected) this will be the way we will have the funds to be able to reopen as quickly as possible (once we are allowed to) and can rehire all of our staff and musicians.”
If you are one of the luckier ones, we’ve researched the best ways to give (see our full article here). But to reiterate Molly’s point, please consider buying gift cards from local business to help them get back on their feet. Linzi has been buying small gift cards from a local coffee shop and handing them out to our corner grocery store workers – an idea I love.
And if you happen to be in Manhattan (or are planning to visit someday)…Molly’s restaurant sounds so freaking cool. It’s the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I just picked up a gift card for…someday. Can’t wait.
We’re also working on a series of articles, highlighting our favorite local haunts. You can see Em’s Half-Moon Bay favorites here, Laura’s Portland favs here, and Annmarie’s Philly fav’s here (although, she admittedly left out a few additional favs because Linzi and I are both covering some, too, so stay tuned). Likewise…if any of you readers would love to play along with a little tribute to your local favorites….shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘local loves’. (My Denver girls, I’m going to be bugging you directly. xoxo)
Reader plea: NJ Jersey hospitals need old baby video monitors. A few enterprising nurses started using baby video monitors to check on COVID patients. It’s proven so helpful that some New Jersey hospitals are now accepting them as donations. If you have one to donate, it might be worth a call to your local hospital. JFK Medical is one such hospital. (Thanks, Beth!)
I think they made this top for Linzi. The TME team fell in love with Philadelpha-based Voloshin’s Ella top years ago (and keep stealing it from each other). Amy, the designer behind the brand, had remarked last year that they might discontinue the top and I think Linzi cried. Well…Voloshin came out with a black one, and Linzi has been wearing it on basically every zoom call. It’s a little dressier than a tee…yet comfier, too. And I know Amy and Leo are personally handling shipping during these crazy times, so ordering from Voloshin both supports a local business AND doesn’t violate social distancing measures.
Eternally optimistic. Well…that tinted face oil I had such high hopes for was a total bust – it’s going back. So I’m still looking for a little something to wear at home…something lighter than a foundation, but something glowy. Gwen started a discussion on Facebook about Laura Mercier’s Tinted Skin Perfector, and everyone seems to either be raving about that product, OR Bare Minerals’ Complexion Rescue which is interesting because it’s a gel cream. Or maybe I’ll just douse my face in Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter because that is pretty much foolproof, now that I think about it. (If you recall, Scotti explained how to use it, here.)
Expensive, but worth it. Remember those Vince sneaker boots? Well…they’re 40% off at Nordstrom, and I ordered a pair last week. I’m completely blown away. The new version (which is also on sale at Saks) is made from insanely soft leather, has a cushy, flexible sole, and my years-long search for classic black Chelsea boots is finally at an end.
Dear god no. I physically recoiled when I came upon this bizarrely expensive crocheted top in Nordstrom’s sale section. Two words for you: kangaroo pocket.
Wanderlusting… All of our upcoming trips are cancelled. Obviously that’s not the worst thing in the world, it just makes me feel…itchy. I’m fighting back with some serious armchair travel. Starting with The Travel Book – A Journey Through Every Country in the World, and maybe even Wanderlust, a Traveler’s Guide To the Globe, which has lists like ‘the best places to stargaze’ and other tips for building up a bucket list.
I’m just over here, smugly cooking dried beans. For some reason, canned beans are still hard to come by in grocery stores right now…and since we rarely eat meat, I’ve been (low-key) wondering if there’s any issue with eating so many canned beans. I keep meaning to make my own beans from dried but…ugh. Even typing “make my own beans from dried” makes me both tired and annoyed (sounds so smug). But thanks to Alton Brown’s article, I successfully made a batch of dried chickpeas in the slow cooker. I literally dumped them in (rinsed first), and let it go all night (well into the morning because I forgot they were there). They were perfect and brainless. Huh.
To offset all of that sitting. One of my beloved pilates instructors, Sue, is doing mat classes on Zoom, and I’ve now learned that she doesn’t need to be physically present to kick my ass. She’s offering a first class for $5, click here to schedule. (And here’s a link to Sue’s main scheduling page, as well as her IG, @opal_wellness_studio.)
Best thing on IG right now. Kevin Hart’s “Confessions from the Hart”. Mike and I both DIE laughing. It’s a nice break at the end of the day.