This quarantine has been a doozy. It has forced all of us to accept where our decisions up to this point has landed us, and I know over here at the Robert’s household, that has taught us a lot. Ranging from financial decisions that may or may not have been the wisest, to friendships that have been neglected and need a bit of rekindling, each thing gives us a glimpse into what our priorities were before this all happened. While I feel like Trev and I have done a pretty good job at prioritizing things for our family, I have definitely realized that I want to make some changes in my life. So, I decided to comprise a list of things that I have learned either to do, or about myself through this social distancing.
- A New Routine is Ok:
When I started my maternity leave in January, I had to create a new routine for the mornings and the evenings that included little Savannah. With some rearranging and mastery of some time management, I was able to create the perfect little morning and bedtime routine for us. When quarantine began and Trevor began working from home, I tried my hardest to maintain that routine that I worked so hard to build – but it just didn’t make sense anymore. What initially started out as kind of frustrating, quickly turned into a fun, little blessing. Trevor is now able to see Savy first thing as she wakes up in the morning when she’s the happiest, he gets to spend his lunch break hanging out with her instead of sitting at his cubicle, and he gets to pop his head around the corner from his office whenever he wants to just say hi. Even though those things don’t include me, I’m still so happy he get these things and it makes the dynamic in our house more contented.
- Drinking copious amounts of coffee is ok, but try to keep it low on the wine:
Coffee is the number 1 reason I enjoy waking up in the morning and I’m not ashamed to say that! I’ve always loved brewing coffee at home and going to any and all coffee shops. I honestly don’t know why or when it started, but it’s just one of those things that just makes me ridiculously happy! I also really love wine. So while neither are particularly healthy in large quantities, I figured the safer of the two is most likely coffee! I haven’t expanded my barista skills to anything comparable to my favorite coffee shops, but it’s been so fun and VERY tasty. So far I’ve made the ever popular Dalgona Whipped Coffee, cold brew coffee, and I like to think I’ve perfected the ice coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore my barefoot Rose, but I prefer to save that for the weekends! I think that finding pleasure out of little things can go a long way with how you view the rest of your day and the mornings with coffee have been the perfect place to start.
- DIY Projects Are Actually Really Fun:
We moved into this house last June and as soon as we did, I made a list of projects I wanted to do. I’ve never really did DIY projects before but when you get a house, it’s basically a right of passage, am I right? When we first moved in, we painted 3 rooms from some truly hideous colors to some very light neutrals, and that was it. We literally put everything else on the back burner for no particular reason. Well, since I’ve had unlimited amount of time, I’ve really wanted to tackle the rest of that list and surprise! I’ve been loving it! And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m actually pretty good at it too! Toot toot! I’ve painted a bookshelf, my makeshift kitchen coffee bar, a barstool that I use as a nightstand, a cabinet, the bathroom cabinets and the bathroom walls. Twice. After this is all over, I want to try my hand at buying old furniture from the goodwill or Facebook Market place and doing some refurbishing! There is a store here in Lincoln called Home and Closet that offers a class on how to reupholster furniture that I have been dying to do! I’m hoping that when this is all over, I can sign up and try my hand at that too. I’ve never really had hobbies, mostly because I just couldn’t find something that I enjoyed doing for no reason besides the fact that I just like to do it! But this is definitely one for me now. Who knows where this all can go! For now though, It just feels really good to finally have a hobby that I look forward to doing!
- Having Fun In The Kitchen Baking:
I’ve really enjoyed trying new recipes with my Dairy, Soy, Egg Free diet! I have never been particularly good at cooking so I’ve kind of always let that stop me from really trying. I’m still no baker or chef, but I’ve had so much fun trying new recipes and ACTUALLY having them turn out pretty good! This week I have made Vegan Banana Bread and Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies! Both were so so good – even Trev loved them! I also got a recipe for Vegan Lemon Loaf from a friend so I’m super excited to try that out. Now that I’ve gotten a little confidence, who knows where this road is going to take me! I think I’ll tackle brownies next.
- Really soak in all of this time with savannah and Trevor
I’ve mentioned this before, but I do truly feel lucky that Trev and I both get to spend this much time with Savannah in the early months of her life. It’s pretty normal for 1 parent to stay home with their child, but it’s so rare that both parents get to. I know some people are really struggling with this in their lives right now and that’s not to say that we don’t find juggling Savannah with other work difficult either. We just really want to look at this time with her as something special and unique, also completely unplanned! I want to take all of the cheesy pictures in our backyard, I want to eat together at our little kitchen table with us trading Savy off so we can take turns eating lunch, and I want us both to see her roll over for the first time (she actually just did that yesterday!) and other landmark things moments like that. We won’t ever get this time back, so why not cherish it?
- I truly did marry my best friend
Man, this quarantine has made me hyper aware of the fact that I truly did marry my best friend. Only with best friends can you drive each other completely crazy one second, and then be hugging and professing your love for each other the next. Since becoming a mom, I have become a little feistier (basically I little patience for nonsense) and since this social distancing has happened, it’s only gotten a tad more intense. Trev has been an absolute saint throughout all of this and has also really handled my postpartum with compassion and love. For those who have experienced the incredible rush of hormones and mood shifts during postpartum, it’s incredibly relieving to have someone look at you with understanding rather than confusion. We may be vastly different in some areas, but our friendship and love for each other makes this insane time just a little bit more sane.
- Rereading all of my old favorite books has reignited my love for actual books:
Before college, I would basically read a book a week. I read all the time. I always kept a book in my purse in case I was out somewhere with people and I spontaneously got bored (this mostly happened at parties.) So when it was time to go to college, I figured there was nothing I did better than read so why not get my degree in English? Well, that was a pretty big mistake. Because I was reading book after book, analyzing every single sentence and the structure of a sentence, I slowly lost my passion for reading. I couldn’t read a book for fun anymore – I was too busy deconstructing the sentences and judging whether the writer was good or not. Once I graduated, I had zero desire to read on my own. I have always wanted to get back to it but it’s hard to un-train your mind with something like that. Well, I have been watching waaaay too much TV and I just needed to find something else to fill my time, so I decided to reread my favorite books by my favorite author. I figured now is as good a time as any! “The Sugar Queen,” by Sarah Addison Allen is hands down my favorite book of all time. After I finished that one, I decided I would just read the rest of her books. Now, I look forward each day to carving out a little time to myself and just reading these books.
- Take it easy on the days where waking up is hard and Take advantage on the days where it isn’t:
There is no award for getting the most things done during this period in our lives. Some people are enjoying trying new things and checking off the tasks that have been building up on To-Do lists, but some people just want to be able to just take a shower in the morning before calling it quits. As long as you aren’t physically or emotionally hurting somebody, there is no right or wrong way to do this. These things that I have listed above are versions of me on a good day. The days I wake up and feel excited to be at home and to do that one thing that I have been thinking of doing for a long time, are my favorite days. But I have many days where mentally, I just can’t do it. It takes everything out of me just to get myself and Savannah out of bed and into some fresh clothes. Those days, I show myself some grace and just do what I can. I don’t push myself to clean the house, do the laundry, paint a bookshelf, or put up some pictures. I snuggle with savannah, make myself some coffee, and sit on the couch in front of the TV doing whatever makes me feel good that day. And that’s ok.
- Consistent communication with family and friends is actually making us closer:
Maybe it’s the fact that we all feel like we took being able to be in the same room for granted, or we just all feel a little extra lonely these days, but something about this has actually made me feel closer to my friends and family. I have made the effort to call or message more frequently and consistently, and I find myself actually listening to what we are talking about when we do. It’s not like I didn’t pay attention before, but I always felt like I was juggling multiple things at once before so it wasn’t uncommon to find myself spacing out from conversations. I have multiple group chats going now and we message back and forth in it every day. Which is such a nice feeling! Maintaining those relationships have been an active part of my day, each day, because even if there is a day where I feel like I don’t need to respond, you never know what those texts are doing for that person. It’s just a good thing to keep an eye on each other like that, you know?
- I Want All The Babies:
When Trev and I got married, he would always say he wants 4 kids in 4 years. And I would say, you are absolutely insane. But the thing is, after having Savannah I don’t think he is anymore. We have actually kind of flip flopped in that area now that I’m thinking about it! He is totally fine if we take another year to spend with Savannah and just figuring out this new role we are in, and I’m like no, I WANT more babies. I want all the babies! I know it might sound slightly dramatic but I absolutely love being a mother! I truly believe this is something that I was meant to do – maybe not the only thing – but it feels right. I’m going to be 30 in July and it’s just a fact that conceiving a child gets harder and harder after that, so if we are unable to have any more kids, I am so, so incredibly grateful that we were able to conceive Savannah. She is more than enough, and I remind myself that any other children would be added little blessings for our family, but man! I really do hope we have more!
List’s are my way of organizing and taking stock of my life. They allow me to write down the things I wish to improve on, and also point out what I should be grateful for. Writing this list has been really nice because it does feel at times like I don’t have a lot going on or to fill my time with. That couldn’t be further from the truth! If you find yourself in a similar position, I encourage you to take some time a write your own list. You may be surprised by the results!