Social Distancing Diaries


I saw something on Twitter yesterday that said, “So happy to see my favorite bloggers back to blogging during this time,” and I thought…Oops. I seemed to have stopped.

Here’s why, though. While everyone else’s life seems less busy and more contained, mine is much crazier than before the shut down. Imagine if there were suddenly 3 times more people in your office every day. Would you be able to get as more work done? What if those people expected you to feed them? And clean up after them? And keep the dog quiet during your meetings?

Yeah. I went from having plenty of solo time…6-7 hours a day to plan as I wish…to do housework and dishes and laundry and grocery shopping at leisure and listen to my podcasts and blog…so I could have my evenings free to do soccer and book club and watch movies with the family. But now? Now I spend all of Donnie’s work day trying to keep activity down to a minimum to reduce background chaos for his virtual meetings…while also trying to figure out how to enrich my kids…while also trying to go check on my Mom and walk her dog. So NONE of my “normal” daily activities are getting done in any sort of “normal” schedule.

So while everyone else is finding more quality time at home because they’re trapped there, I’m finding less time because EVERYONE ELSE IS NOW TRAPPED HERE TOO.

But this week is going better. We hung a curtain over the sliding glass door this weekend so Zoomie won’t jump at it every time the neighbor’s dog is outside. I’m also in a much better head space (last week was rough because the anxiety of getting my Mom settled and figuring out a good routine with her was crazy-making) and we’ve figured out good daily systems to give Donnie a decent work environment. On Monday I gave the kids good structure but yesterday was shit because the weather screwed up my schedule with Mom (I go over there more when it’s raining because I worry about her taking the dog out when it’s wet) and Wes had a rough night sleeping so I let everyone do what they wanted and stay in bed all day yesterday.

And I don’t feel bad about it.

At least not too bad about it.

I am going to have to mute a lot of my Mom friends on social media. So many of them are baking or getting their teenagers to spend quality time with them (HOW DO YOU DO THAT?) or working on their gardens and a lot of those Mom friends ARE ALSO WORKING FROM HOME SIMULTANEOUSLY and I am finally experiencing that shame from comparison that a lot of people talk about. Normally my Mom friends are pretty chill and I’m not intimidated by them at all but something about this time is making them all fucking superheroes and I’m over here literally wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row and I don’t even have a job. So you people and your great instastories of happy and productive families NEED TO BE SILENCED BEFORE I SHAME SPIRAL.

OH. Another “extra” that has been added to my life besides the 300% increase in people in my office every day…is my adult son’s hours got cut (he does marketing at a place that is now closed down so doesn’t need much marketing) and my Mom is now living in town. While I definitely worried about them both before, they are both now part of my daily worry list in that I want to make sure they have enough food and supplies. I’ve been bringing E leftovers to help him save money and I’m doing the grocery shopping for my Mom. So I basically added two single-person households to my care list this week and THAT IS ALSO WHY I AM STILL WEARING MONDAY’S CLOTHES.

Honestly though? We’re actually doing okay. I got my Xanax refilled but I haven’t needed it. We are settling into functioning systems and routines. Donnie is supposed to scream “ALL CLEAR!” when he’s off a meeting and no one is watching our house behind his head so I can rush to be loud and wash dishes and make lunches and take the dog out. It’s not that we can’t be in the background of his videos, he actually wants all of his team to be honest and not use digital backgrounds and stuff because he thinks it’s important they all understand each other’s work situations…but we just don’t like it so we all hide in our bedrooms and give him the main area of the house which, of course, includes the kitchen WHERE ALL OF THE FOOD IS.

Last week was rough. This week is better. Next week is technically our Spring Break but I’m still going to try to keep the kids on some activity/enrichment schedule.

OH. And before YOU start to shame spiral let me clarify: Of the 12-14 hours they’re awake our busiest schedule has separated 3 hours of “enrichment” time. SO IT IS NOT LIKE WE’RE WRITING DISSERTATIONS OVER HERE PEOPLE.

And yesterday we had ZERO HOURS.

Anyway…that is life in the Zoot House. How are you guys doing?

10 thoughts on “Better?”

  1. SO the same. Well not the exact same variables obviously but the same outcome. I am a mess. Last week was horrible. Virtual school sucks. It rained a lot here. I feel like I have 2 heads “school isnt everything, relax,” then later “have you done nothing??!! Are just DM ing your friends that whole time? What homework is done?”. 9h and I had to do PD on line (I’m a teacher) where the dog barked throughout. So I’m homeschooling my kids while learning to teach my students. And feel like I get nothing done. Last night I looked at a sticky note reminding me to make a phone call– which I didn’t make. How can I be too busy to make a phone call??!!!! And our spring break is next week too and I worry. We off until the 13th now so school will “start back up” on the 6th! And our state is on “essentials only” travel until the 13th too. It’s just kinda nuts and my peri-menopause is in high gear. Anxiety, depression, no energy. I have read a book though. That was nice. And today is supposed to be sunny. Not that that will give me a better relationship with my teenagers. I have guilt about that too.
    But i’m glad you are ok. Hang in there. One day at a time.

  2. Keep doing you and don’t shame yourself! My best friend and my sister are trying to “home school” their kids and work some from home and be socially distant………..Honey, it ain’t easy!!!

    Love ya!!!

  3. Oy. That’s a lot! I hope you figure out your pace and that helps settle things down.

  4. KIM. Why isn’t Donnie’s office setup in one of the bedrooms? This is an impossible situation for everyone, but if you have to keep doing your job and educating your kids and he needs to keep doing his job which involves many video calls, I don’t see how it’s rational or sustainable to have him based in the living area…

  5. My mantra of the week is: You are doing the best in the circumstance that we are in.

    What your new normal is what you can provide to you and your family. Don’t beat yourself up if things go off the rail. Just adjust the tracks to keep moving forward.

    My teenager is doing an hour of enrichment but we are still waiting for our E-Learning to kick in. We were supposed to go to our cabin tomorrow. Threw a monkey wrench into the plan. I’m scheduled for a kidney stone to be removed. As it will not pass. Winning this week.

  6. Your last part made me chuckle because I am, in fact, finishing my dissertation and will probably have to do a remote PhD defense. LOL.

  7. What many of us post on social media is usually the highlights, the best of our lives, and not the chaos. I know how facebook can be the catalyst for a shame spiral when we see everyone’s seemingly hyper-productive lives but many of us have chaos too that just doesnt get shared online. You’re amazing, and you have a gift for making people feel at ease. I think that many people love you, in part, because you’re genuine, and it definitely helps everyone else to feel better knowing they’re not the only ones who struggle sometimes.

    As for me, I’m still going to work. My main job is considered essential healthcare. My husband is working from home. I’m sad that my travel plans and gigs are cancelled. I was supposed to visit my family the first week of April. Feeling rather homesick. Somehow, I’m running again. I’ve been 30 pounds lighter and unable to run a single mile, so I’m celebrating my cardio health in spite of the weight gain.

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