After three months, I finally got it down. A routine. One that works for all of us as a family with me working full time from home. One that I never thought would ever fall into place. And one that I have really taken a liking to. Of course, I finally figured it all out and now I have to go back to the office.
Twelve weeks ago, I would have happily walked straight back into that office and kept working (you know, if COVID-19 never happened and all). Never would I have opted to work at home while trying to teach the end of my daughter’s first grade year, wrangle my wild one, somewhat keep this house livable and attempt to not eat snacks all day long. I knew my old routine and schedule and there was comfort in that.
But now, I know this one. And while I know I will jump back into it when I get going, I can’t help but feel some sadness in saying goodbye to this previously odd schedule that turned into something so special.
For starters, after my maternity leave with Reagan, I never thought I would get this kind of time at home with my kids. While challenging at first, I look forward to extra snuggles on my lap and dodging heads so I can see my computer screen in the morning before I take them to the sitters (because, let’s be real, this really could not work without our sitter!)
Normally, I do not get those extra hours to chat in the mornings with my girls. And while it may seem subtle, even driving them to the sitter (something Paul does daily when I am at the office), has been full of fun — singing, conversing and just being with them.
And speaking of driving, I have literally only gotten gas two times in the last three months — normally I get it two times a week! Pretty much, I have only driven to the sitters and home. The other day, I had to get on the highway and almost forgot how to do it. And this is from someone who drove I-75 35 minutes each way daily. I am truly going to miss my commute (or lack thereof) from my bed to the couch.
Not only that, but it has been wonderful to close my computer when I am done and take five steps into my kitchen and be present with my family for the evening. Heck, even if my work wasn’t finished for the evening, it was so easy to just set it down and come back to it after the kids were in bed. I don’t think I missed one dinner in three months.
But what I may be dreading the most is actually getting ready for work. Listen, my idea of dressing up in the last three months has been changing from my sweatpants to yoga pants. Seriously, I haven’t even tried on my work pants (fingers crossed that they still fit). Other than some rare occasions, the only make up I have had on is from Reagan giving me a makeover — which was um, interesting.
That air-dry look, yeah, my hair has been rocking it. Mom bun, or straggly pony-tail, it didn’t matter! No one would be seeing me but my fam and the neighbors (sorry, neighbors ha!). Seriously, I don’t even want to think about putting on heels, and I haven’t even attempted to look for my summer work shoes. I’m sure those will need dusted.
But, I guess it will be kind of nice to not have to empty the trash at least once a day (who knew being home filled the garbage can so quick), do an extra two to three loads of laundry a week because my kids think they need to change outfits four times a day and run my dishwasher constantly (or so it seems).
Now that I think about it, I do miss my chats with my mom on my commute — along with time to pray on my way there and some time to unwind on the way home. Plus, it will be nice to actually interact with my coworkers in person, as opposed to virtual meetings. And it should allow me to get back to setting a line between work and home.
I never expected (or at that time wanted) all this time at home, but I am so thankful for it now. And I know just like we finally figured this out, we will implement some new best practices that we have learned along the way, and we will again succeed at a new routine.
So, ready or not, here we go.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.