What’s your daily routine like these days at home? I’m sharing mine, and asked 9 other women to share their coronavirus quarantine routines as well…
Here’s what my routine is these days:
I do a couple hours of work each day, and then I work most Saturdays and Sundays now (which used to be precious family time but now every day is precious family time??).
On weekdays, we get up and eat breakfast, and then start our homeschool by 9:30. Henry is independent in his middle school work. He has about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of work in his different courses sent to him daily.
I work with Edie on her school assignments until about 11. Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it’s tricky. Dot is a wild card here. She loves to sit on my lap (which gets old quick) and just watch, or we do a puzzle or something on the side if Edie’s working independently or on a zoom call with her class.
At about 11am the girls can play on their educational apps (like ABC Mouse or Khan Academy Kids, EPIC reading).
11:30 or 12 Henry and I do a HIIT workout around for his PE. Something on Youtube. We love The Body Coach and the SELF HIIT videos. If Jared’s not on a call he sometimes joins us as well.
12/12:30 is lunch and then the girls and I do some art in the studio until 2pm. Henry does a typing program after lunch and reads/practices bass.
At 2pm all three kids can pick an educational show to watch around a specific topic like animals or science. This is when I get some work done.
At 3pm school is out and the kids can have free time (honestly, a lot of times it’s a movie or video games). I work during this time as well and at 4pm do a yoga workout or take a walk.
Then dinner at 5/5:30, clean up, bedtime etc.
I try not to work too much at nights. Lately, we’ve been watching The Office with Henry until his bedtime at 9:30. I forget how good that show is!
Nina Molayem, Dentist. Mother of two. Los Angelos, CA.
My husband is a doctor, so he is still going to work every day. I am a dentist, probably the most dangerous work to do during the pandemic (we create saliva aerosols, which make it impossible to stay safe), so I’ve been home with my kids. This is the most time I’ve spent with my kids since they were 8 months old.
8 am: get ready (this usually takes ten minutes, then they get a lot of free time; sometimes we have fashion emergencies and getting ready takes the whole hour)
9 am: breakfast
10: PE (usually yoga or dance; I work out during this time too)
11: snack + quiet time
1pm: group project (painting, drawing, baking, Hebrew/holidays, planting, science, geography)
2: PE (if we didn’t go for a walk in the morning, then this is a mandatory outdoor activity)
3: snack + journal (Full disclosure, I often fall asleep either during journal time or when they read to be at 4)
4: Natalie reads to me while Sivan watches a video on BrainPop Jr; then they switch
5: Clean up the house (I can not believe how big the mess can be)
5:30: Dinner (this is the first time since the girls were born that we are doing dinner as a family. It is definitely the bright spot in this pandemic)
6:30: bath (every other day) or free time
7: get ready for bed, read books, bed
8pm: kids are asleep, my husband cleans up the dinner mess, I get to start my work day! Even though I am a dentist, I also consult for workers compensation cases, which means I am often writing until mid-night. If I don’t have a repot to write, then I’m getting ready to the project the next day, folding laundry, looking up new project ideas.
I am as busy, if not more, than before.
Mardi Fuller, Director of External Relations at Boston Plan for Excellence. Boston, MA
I am fortunate to be able to work from home, and, outside of meetings, I have the freedom to structure much of my work day. Because of my flexibility, I think of my day in moveable modules rather than hour by hour.
Exercise: 3-4 days per week I run 3 miles plus I walk 2 miles. The other days of the week I just walk 4-5 miles. (this much exercise is a luxury that will not be sustainable once things are “back to normal”) I do an hour long body resistance workout once a week. I stretch and do some yoga postures afterwards, (otherwise my body would fall apart).
Work: 8 hours a day, but I might start early, or late, depending on when I get fit my exercise in. I look at the hourly weather the night before to aid in my decision.
Dance module: I dance Afro-Latin/Salsa and take lessons for an hour or two online, with my dance company.
Social time: I spend an hour or more in the evening with friends or family either on Marco Polo, What’s App or Facetime video, or a Zoom happy hour
Cooking: Fortunately, when cooking for one person you can cook a few times and stretch it out for the week. I freeze some servings so that I can have a variety of meals over time, and also to have prepared meals in case I get the virus.
Spiritual practice: Currently failing at integrating meditation into my life, but I do drink my coffee on the back deck and stick my face into the sun, when there is sun.
Reading/TV: After dance in the evenings I read or watch TV programming to wind down a bit – I’m keeping it light; no intense shows right now.
Service: I spend 5-10 hours a week on political organizing or volunteering.
Showering: 50/50 success rate.
Jen Pinkston, CEO and founder of The Effortless Chic. Mother of two. Austin, TX.
I get up at 6a and am in my office until 7a. I drink coffee. I get some work done. I look at our day and make a quick priority list. I am alone and it is glorious! I work out in my office, shower and get clothes on from 7-8. Then I take over kid duties, make breakfast, clean the kitchen and get my six year-old on her daily Zoom call with her class at 8:30.
We do school in 30-45 minute chunks from 9-12. We might do 30 minutes of Spanish Bingo, 45 minutes on Seesaw (the app that P’s school is using for assignments), 30 minutes on reading, sightwords or her math workbook and so forth and so on. I try to alternate straight up ipad or workbook learning with something more play-based like magnatiles or looking for symmetry in nature. We take a morning snack and going outside play break during that time, too.
At 12 we do lunch. My youngest sleeps from 1-3 every day and that’s the biggest uninterrupted work time I get all day so I try to take advantage. Part of the priority list I make in the morning is so that I am ready to get the most that I can out of this part of my day. While E naps, P does 30 minutes on a reading program on her iPad and then she can watch TV until 3. I don’t even try to fight it. It is what it is.
From 3-5:30 is art, playing inside, playing outside, going for walks or whatever seems to be making everyone happy and sane that day. Dinner at 5:30, bath at 6:30, in bed by 7:30 and asleep by 8 most nights. This is a little later than our pre-quarantine days but what are you gonna do?
When the kids wake up, they hang with their babysitter (the TV) so we can sleep a little more. Then my husband and/or I are up to make breakfast and coffee.
We pass the kids back and forth, while I work (still trying to build for my business) or while he bakes (like everyone else who decided to become Martha Stuart in quarantine) and we do a lot of hanging out together.
Every other day I take a Hipline online dance class and husband works out.
We do at least one neighborhood bike ride a day – sometimes two.
We try to make a schedule every day, but it usually goes out the window. Most days the kids do some khan academy, maybe some art – occasional house help and SO MUCH wrestling with each other.
After dinner, bath, books and bed (this part has stayed the same before and during quarantine) we talk about the cute or annoying things they did, or talk about how we’re going to try to be better parents the next day.
Giti Morris, Associate at an urban design and architecture firm. Mother of two. Berkeley, CA
My husband and I both work full-time, so every day looks a little different around here. I’ve noticed some patterns that help us move through the day, and we try to keep this structure consistent no matter which parent is leading with the kids that morning.
We usually have breakfast by 8, get dressed, have free play time, and start our school day at 9:30 am. Our first grader watches pre-recorded lessons from her teacher and completes accompanying worksheets. Our preschooler isn’t so interested in his Zoom circle time, so we offer him blocks, lettering, or printable coloring sheets.
By 10:30, everyone needs a snack. My daughter started calling this snack recess like they do at school, and it helps make things playful. We either play in the backyard or go for a bike ride, depending on parent availability. Twice a week, our first grader has Zoom meetings with her teacher and small groups at 11 am. She never wants to go on Zoom, but once it gets going, she gets into it.
After that, at 11:30, we let the kids have unstructured time while we prepare lunch. What it actually looks like depends on the day, the weather, and how we as parents are doing juggling work and our own emotions. Our preference is to keep avoiding screens (until the afternoon) and find an activity that allows them to feel independent and that doesn’t require a lot of parent oversight. I like to pack their lunches in their colorful containers they are used to taking to school. I observe they eat their lunch differently that way, rather than just on a plate at home. I think it triggers something in their brain and also helps differentiate all the meals at home.
The afternoons are the most flexible around here. Frankly, I feel the most exhausted around 1 pm. I might make a new game called “Mama Naptime” where they need to put me to bed and put on the white noise! Sometimes we do art projects, bake, follow instructions for a science experiment posted by one of our preschool teachers, or go on a bike ride. Sometimes, none of this works!
We finish our school day at 3 PM, clear away school work, let them watch their favorite shows. I workout consistently every day at 4 PM, which has been a much-needed anchor in my day. Then, we roll into the evening with baths and dinner.
Devon Cone, Senior Advocate at Refugees International. Crested Butte, CO
5:30 am- 6:30 am: Media interviews– most of the journalists are based in Europe so because of the 9+ time difference, they interview me early in the morning– if I am on camera I put on a collared shirt, but keep the leggings or sweatpants on my bottom half
6:30 am- 7:30 am: Work on the computer in the living room/kitchen—answer emails and prepare for meetings
7:30 am- 8:00 am: Wake up my boyfriend’s kids, eat breakfast (usually cereal) and make coffee for Andrew
8:00 am- 9:00 am: Use video conferencing in the basement laundry/utility room which I have turned into an office for department team meetings with my colleagues in DC. I do my video meetings and daytime interviews in the laundry room in the basement because it is the only place in the house that is quiet.
9:00 am- 10:00 am: Get the kids set up with their online school work
10:00 am- 1:00 pm: Work on the computer moving between the bed, the couch, and sometimes the laundry room
1:00 pm- 1:30 pm: Try to eat something, usually some avocado toast and stretch my legs by standing up for a few minutes.
1:30 pm- 5:00 pm: Work on the computer– this includes writing reports, having virtual meetings with co-workers, having virtual meetings with Congressional offices, and/or speaking on webinars or panels
5:30 pm- 6:30 pm: Skinning up the ski resort for exercise and skiing down!
6:30 pm- 7:15 pm: Make dinner— I am working on learning how to cook a lot of vegetarian dishes
8pm Shower, laundry, read
10:00 pm- midnight: work on the computer to meet constant deadlines I have– usually working from the bed
Gaby Viglas, co-founder of Small Lot. Mother of two. Albany, CA.
Our typical weekday starts with a family breakfast, with my 2 daughters, whose school has been closed, and my husband who is attempting to work from home.
Then, I try to get some exercise, like going for a run, while my kids do some reading or math problems and my husband gets “ready for work”. My husband generally goes out to the camper-van-made-office afterwards and the kids and I gear up for their online classes.
Both kids are having virtual lessons with their classmates and teachers, usually in the morning or early afternoon via Zoom.
During “recess” the kids usually hit the backyard and get some sillies out on the swing set, the new tether ball set we ordered, or the skateboarding/roller-blading hobbies they’ve recently begun.
We’ve also stepped up our gardening game by building a bunch of raised-bed planters and getting the kids to help grow seedlings and keep track of what we’ve planted and how the veggies are doing. Daily watering and peaking at the plants to watch their growth is a nice little distraction.
Usually in the afternoons, I try to have an activity that generates a new skill for the kids like attempting some easy recipes (their egg noodles were pretty terrible) or doing some French language-learning videos that I’ve downloaded. We still have some after-school activities that have gone virtual in the late afternoon as well.
My oldest daughter works on her ukulele, while my youngest takes her hip hop class, for example. Meanwhile, I try to squeeze in some work on my online store, which I have unfortunately had to slow down during the shelter-in-place. By near dinner time, I am fairly spent, as you can imagine.
Around then, my husband comes home and takes the kids in the yard to run around with walkie-talkies or play ball while we try to figure out what recipe we want to make that we’re not completely bored of!
Etienne Fang, Staff Insights Strategist at Uber, and founder of Redefining Having it All. Mother of two. Piedmont, CA
The first thing I do when I wake up in the mornings is make chai from scratch from black tea and spice blend from Oaktown Spice and have a moment to myself.
I used to workout at X’Core, but now I do a HIIT workout with my friend Reichi Lee or on do a short but effective ride with Ally Love on our new Peloton. My husband and I workout separately, and both do it in the morning before the kids get up. Working out has become even more important during this period of sheltering in place for our own sanity and physical wellness.
Then the workday and school day begins — our 8 year-old starts the day now with a new “math club” with a few of his friends through Firecracker Math while my 11 year-old gets started in Google Classroom for a very rigorous day of independent learning. I have set up tiny desk in our bedroom and my husband works at our dining room table, and do our best to check in on the kids’ learning throughout the day—which is the hardest part of this quarantine life with distance learning!
We all sit outside for lunch to soak up some vitamin D, and do our best to get away from our screens.
The afternoon is filled with a remote art class with grandpa, a retired art teacher in DC (the highlight of our day), followed by Fortnite, and a visit to my parents’ house for basketball, and a walk for our puppy.
My husband has been cooking up a storm, with the new addition of themed dinners where we are “transported” to a place we’ve traveled — China, Mexico, and New York City!
After dinner, we’ve been watching Blackish, which is just risqué enough for our kids, and teaching our biracial family about race and class issues, with a lot of laughs! We end the night with some classics read aloud — currently we are on The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia).