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So many of my Wisconsin law school friends will be out voting and working polls today. I am spitting mad.
That is all.
I live in Wisconsin and usually volunteer at the polls. It is crazy.
I was talking to a childless colleague who was asking how things were going. His quote: “You’re not really a stay at home mom, are you? You’re a cafe and museum, followed by a bookshop mom!” Yep, and that sums up all our Covid-19 problems. I hate staying at home and have no coping skills for staying at home with my toddler. If he ever goes down for his nap, we’re going to pretend his play table is a cafe and order coffee and cake.
What kind of mom are yo?
I am that kind of mom too. On the way home from the hospital with the baby, I cried because my husband refused to stop for a veggie burger (I was literally starving after nine months of hyperemesis).
OK but WHY DIDN’T HE LET YOU GET A BURGER?! YOU EARNED THAT BURGER AND THEN SOME!
That was how I felt about it!
WTF? Are you serious?
Even though my hospital delivered good food to my recovery room, my husband went out to get me Thai food and the fancy local ice cream that I love.
WHAT? We’ve stopped to get five guys on my way home from the hospital both times.
what no that’s crazy talk! My husband actually went out when our first was about 12 hours old to pick up a giant tray of sushi from our favorite place (they didn’t deliver) and bring it back to the hospital. Despite the fact that I was also freaked out about being ‘alone’ with a newborn, I definitely appreciated the sushi.
I am pleasantly surprised by these responses. My husband had me convinced that only a terrible, selfish person would want to stop for a burger instead of taking the precious new baby straight home. I was citing this incident as an example of how extreme a not-at-home person I am!
Your husband is a jacka$$
Hahahaha knowing how old your child is, I LOVE that this is still a thing you vividly remember. Nothing will make you remember offenses committed by your spouse for years to come like being a new mother will! hahahahahahahahahha
A new mother denied a burger never forgets, not even 13 years later.
I am a lot like you. It is an anxiety thing for me – like “oh my gosh, how can I possibly entertain this little human all day???” I’ve found that having 2-3 ideas for projects or games up my sleeve helps. That way I have something to fall back on.
True! We’re doing half days and I’m on duty 8-12, I try to stay in bed reading with my son until nearly 9 as that kills a quarter of my shift. Then at 10:30 we go out for a walk or cycle until 12.
Hahahahaha I love that.
I am immunocompromised and live somewhere that gets cold, so, to be honest, we don’t get out a lot during the winter because of influenza and norovirus concerns. It’s getting really tough now that the weather is finally getting warmer, though!
I’m a “walk to the farmer’s market with the kids just to get myself an iced coffee and them a blueberry muffin, but not walk away with any actual produce” mom.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I think even in regular times, stay at home parents don’t literally “stay at home” all day – there are playgrounds, exercise classes, parents’ groups, etc. I am the kind of mom that believes it takes a village to raise kids and that trying to do everything yourself, while stuck at home no less, is unnatural and misery-inducing. Sure I will do it for a few weeks for public health, but to try to do this for months or years on end? No thank you. That is not living.
This. We’re not made to parent in isolation in tiny discrete groups. This isn’t full-time parenting, nor is it true homeschooling!
I am a library mom. I was raised (happily) by my local library, pretty much. And I miss playgrounds. Even the nicest local parks are shut because people can’t adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Chiming in as a current SAHM to agree that yes, SAHMs (mostly) do not actually stay at home with their kids. The ones that do usually aren’t coping with stay at home motherhood well and are not happy. Pre-COVID I was out every morning with my kids at preschool/playground/library/play dates/nature centers. Weekends at the playground or picnic as a family. Live in the DC area so tons to do (for free!). This is an adjustment for us too, although we are not trying to do a full-time job on top of full-time mothering/homeschooling. I miss my friends and the carefree time of my older child just being able to play with friends with minimal supervision.
Cb, I’m similar but in my experience, it does get better – son is 7 now and staying home with him all day is less overwhelming.
I work, and DH is a SAHD. In our family, Kiddo and DH are homebodies, and I am the person who wants to fill the weekend with activities out of the house. We go to all the class birthday parties. We have a large extended family in town, so there’s some type of family event every few weeks. We host playdates or go to a friend’s house for a playdate pretty frequently. We go the playground and either call someone to meet us or just run into friends there. If it’s my turn to take Kiddo to swim lessons, I follow it up with brunch or a trip to the zoo. I take Kiddo on errands with me, to the library, etc. I enjoy going to different seasonal events with the family (Mardi Gras parades, Easter egg hunts, Christmas in the park, etc.).
Now, I cope by taking Kiddo on walks, doing yoga videos, and planning structured activities (baking, yoga videos, etc.). I have a short attention span for just sitting and playing. I also love reading to Kiddo, and he’s finally old enough that there are a couple of non-cartoon shows we can watch together (Lego Masters and The Great British Baking Show). Honestly, I’m pretty bored and miss just being out and about with people.
After that vent, I decided to set up a cafe in our sitting room. Got the bears in a circle with some food from the play kitchen and set up cake and ‘coffee’ at my son’s play table, and some reading bears on the arm chairs. Took my afternoon break and joined them, and then my husband and son are now playing with the set-up.
My main vent about the SAH situation for dual working parent households is that almost all of the things we suggest during a busy season (throw money at it!) is gone – takeout worries me (we still do it sometimes, but daily isn’t feasible, neither are runs to multiple grocery stores), our cleaners aren’t coming, we can’t go to the gym to decompress/out to indoor playspaces to wear the kids out, we can’t hire help, we can’t bring in family to help, etc. So it is just really really f’in hard right now.
YES. I can’t throw money at this problem. It is a privileged problem to have, of course. There is simply no solution to this problem, especially when the weather is bad. The last two days of sun here in Boston have REALLY helped. Getting LO outside (and myself too!) is so, so helpful.
Oh, so much this. The cleaning and cooking on top of both of us working and taking care of mini marshmallow is just never-ending. We are relying a lot on prepared foods from our local farm share subscription (seriously a lifesaver) but there is nothing to do for the rest of the chores except, do them. FWP for sure.
I am definitely a “go to the farmers market just to get out of the house” kind of mom. During maternity leave we took walks all over the place just so I could move around and get some fresh air. I would buy iced coffee and an empanada at the farmers market just to have something to do. Being home-bound is awful. Fortunately our neighborhood is reasonably walkable so even without parks we’ve been doing laps of the neighborhood. We also live near a large state park that so far has kept its green spaces open, so we did about 30 minutes of trail walking yesterday.
Yes. DH and I have much less demanding jobs than many here, but we still outsource quite a bit. This time has been a rude awakening about how much less pleasant our lives are without a cleaning service, regular takeout, putting toddler in regular activities, etc. First world problems, I know, but it’s still been an unpleasant adjustment. And our house is filthy :(
Yes, so much this. On a lighter related note, it has been charming to see DH’s parents who are 70 and have outsourced most things for decades telling us their tales of how they’re spending the day learning how to vacuum their giant house. We suggested a roomba but they are cool with learning this new skill are taking it in stride and finding it funny, too. I really thought we’d have to plead with them to not have their cleaners come, but to my relief they are taking isolation seriously.
We had to buy a vacuum (and then I bought a steam mop because on closer inspection wow are our floors grime-magnets). Thankfully I’d (totally randomly) stocked up on cleaners and bought a bucket at HomeDepot at some point but seriously, who knew the squeegee would be my favorite quarantine purchase?!?
I don’t know any parent who is stay at home in the current self-isolation sense . The SAHMs I know all make liberal use of the library, zoo, museums, playgroups, music and dance classes etc. What we’re doing know is not stay at home parenting, it’s crisis parenting.
I consider myself a homebody, but the last month has made me realize how not true that was when it comes to kid stuff. I may not have much of an adult social life, but we did lots of stuff as a family! We regularly availed ourselves of the library, sporting events (either as spectators or to play), downtown farmers market, lunch or dinner out, playgrounds, church, museums, nature center, etc etc. I miss seeing strangers.
Same. I have no social life but I did a lot with my kids outside the confines of our neighborhood.
Beth @ Parent Lightly says
Interesting. I find it super draining to take the kids places. I absolutely love the current situation. The kids haven’t been in the car in weeks, they are outside 2+ hours a day and I am happy. I realize long term they need to learn stuff and school is good but I am enjoying this little lull.
I’m more of a stay at home mom, I think because I just ended maternity leave with #2 so outings pre-CoVid were already harder. But I see my mom friends who normally plan outings each Saturday and Sunday with their kiddo and regular date nights are having a really hard time. No advice here, but solidarity! FWIW, with our two year old, we’ve done a lot of long bath times, lots of “working” in the garage, and lots of “helping” mom or dad cook or clean (he holds his toy vacuum while I vacuum, he stands on a stool and eats have the veggies I chop for dinner). Basic stuff, but he enjoys it and learns from it. I’ve heard a lot of zoos and museums are doing videos and live streams so maybe you can get your outing fix that way for now? :/
*half not have (autocorrect ugh!)
This is exactly how we are too, definitely a SAHM. We have a healthy dose of screen time and educational games too daily for toddler, but we have a 10 month old and 2 year 10 month old, so our outings after baby #2 have been very limited with naps etc. I also solo parent a lot, so the easiest thing has just been walks and playing int eh yard, which we’ve continued to do. Honestly, the only thing I did pre-covid was grocery store and library trips with both kids and we haven’t been able to do that. Obviously, this will change once baby is 18 months+…
Long baths are a lifesaver and I pretend it makes up for missing swim class. Luckily, we have a backyard and try to spend the whole morning outside. It leads to long naps (2 kids – 3.5yo and 18 months)
Okay, non-COVID-19 question, and please don’t @ me for this. We’ve been looking at homes virtually since late Fall and in-person since January. We recently saw (in a private showing where we wore masks and sanitized before/after) a GREAT home. It’s top of our budget, but has space we need/can grow into with options for us to do additional work (e.g. garage apartment) down the line.
The issue is…there’s no pantry in the kitchen! Tons of cabinet space though. Any thoughts on this — anyone have a similar set up or recommend against it?
We don’t have a pantry but have a tiny, tiny kitchen. I’d imagine it would be fine if you had plenty of cabinet space.
GTK! Our conundrum is – it would work fine for us, but…concerned for resale. The kitchen itself is a good size.
If it would work fine for you, get it. A pantry seems like an odd thing to worry about fo resale value (I think most buyers would be like you – oh bummer, no pantry, but lots of cabinets!), and it sounds like you want to stay here for awhile anyway.
Is there a spot where you could install some kind of floor to almost-ceiling cabinetry for food storage? Is there storage somewhere else (e.g., the backroom of a finished basement) where you could store food backstock? Is there plenty of space to store things like paper towels, garbage bags, aluminum foil, parchment paper, etc?
I personally can’t imagine not having even a small pantry, but my main floor is appx 500 sq ft so there is not a huge amount of cabinet space as you can imagine. A couple of people I know in the process of building/renovating a house at the moment have elected to enlarge their pantries in response to everything going on right now. (I’m sure construction is on hold at this point)
No basement (in a major city in part of country with no basement). Right now there’s no garage (just carport) but that is something we plan to build out long term, ideally with an apartment/office space overhead for potential rental or A*rbnb income.
Good call out of the drawers – I do believe there is a wealth of drawer space, plus island storage. Will take another look.
What about a door to a closet or something where you can install shelving? We don’t have a pantry either, but the door to our basement is right off the kitchen. DH installed some shelving there and we keep backup pasta, crackers, canned goods, etc there. Anything currently open or very frequently used (dried fruit, nuts, other snacky stuff) lives in the cabinets of the actual kitchen.
The house we’ve been renting for the last 2 years has tons of kitchen cabinet space but no walk-in pantry, which I was used to. I actually don’t mind it as much as I thought? We’re still able to store everything we need, both kitchen gear and food/dry goods wise. Sometimes I miss the “separation” of having a dedicated space for a proper pantry but it’s more of a nice to have than a must have for me now.
I have lived in NYC for too long, because I am so mystified by this question. What is this pantry of which you speak? No advice re: resale but I can assure you it is very possible to live without one. Isn’t a pantry just a bunch of storage space? If you have plenty of storage, not sure why you need a pantry.
BAHAHAHAHAH so DH and both used to live in NYC. This is why we know we’d be okay with the home, but more concerned about re-sale.
Still depends on the market then. In Boston where most homes are older it is not as common by any means. I don’t know anyone with a walk-in pantry.
Same here. Not Boston but no one I know has a pantry
I have this! Install pull out drawers in the cabinets (highly recommend!) and just shop more frequently – works fine for us! We eat a bit more out of the fridge for this reason which I think is healthier for everyone anyways…
Only time I notice is a time like right now where people are trying to stock up and we have limited storage.
my parents’ house has no walk in pantry. they redid their kitchen 5 years ago and it is beautiful and there are. couple of cabinets that function as a pantry with pull out drawers, etc. to be honest, i don’t totally understand why people feel the need for a walk in pantry. if you are worried about storing appliances, you can use cabinets for that. they store extra paper goods in the mudroom.
Same situation in my house. We added pull-out drawers to existing cabinets and that is our pantry. It works great honestly. I’d prefer a walk in pantry, but don’t need one.
My current house has/had no official pantry (granted, it is more of a starter home in a hot market, so we didn’t even blink). We went to Home Depot and got a tall, skinny, five-shelf cabinet that coordinated with our existing cabinets and popped it at the end of the counter. It doesn’t fit a ton but I do prefer having a dedicated “pantry” space instead of having to open multiple cabinets that maybe I couldn’t reach into super easily when making a meal. Definitely not a dealbreaker, but maybe an option for you.
Just one thing (and disregard if you NEED to move now) but I really think we’re on the verge of another housing price downturn. I’d be wary of buying immediately, and at the top of your budget if you can help it. I bought an apartment in the NYC boroughs a year or two before the ’08 crash and at least managed to sell it for the same price 5~ years later but soooo many people went underwater on mortgages VERY quickly then.
Yup, this is a big consideration, although we’ve been reading/hearing the upcoming recession won’t be as linked with housing as it was in 2008. Regardless – and to your point – ANY recession will have mortgage impacts.
Even a few months could make this house more “affordable” (assuming we are fortunate enough to keep our jobs and at the same salary rates). We’re currently in a short-term furnished rental and living out of (unpacked) suitcases and our material life is in storage, so the sooner the better but within reason.
Commiseration, as we have to relocate this summer, to an area that recently has experienced a sharp uptick in home prices. To get the kind of home we want, we’ll be buying a house at the top of our budget. Before the covid issues, we were fine with this, as we felt confident prices would continue to increase (or at least, not decrease). And now we’re really nervous! Oh, and we’re buying virtually, which makes it even more fun :) Good luck with your purchase.
OMG! We are looking in a similar type of area and general situation. Please post here and let me know how it’s going! Good luck.
I am an avid Zillow watcher, more as a hobby than anything else. I have seen MANY houses in my metropolitan area that had pending offers go back on the market. A lot of deals are falling through. Too many people losing their jobs/income.
If you really want this house sooner rather than later, I would put in a low ball offer. Not the top of my budget.
+1 – a bet a lot of really nice houses will suddenly either go up for long term rentals, or sell for A LOT lower than what the original asking price was. Two families we know who had houses on the market just agreed to rent them on a yearly basis just to guarantee some income.
My house has a pantry, and I love it. But we’re thinking of redoing the kitchen, and it’s hard to envision a plan that makes sense that doesn’t involve ripping out the walk-in pantry and leaving either a very small one or having a long cabinet with pull-out shelves.
A lack of pantry would not affect resale value in my area. We looked at around 30 houses, and only a few had pantries. “Pantry” was not a reason we bought this house, though the overall “lots of storage” was in the pro column. We were deciding between our current house and a smaller, more recently renovated house in a trendier neighborhood for about the same price. We ultimately went with the current house because of the extra space (sunroom, extra bedroom, extra bathroom).
Chiming in that we used to have a long cabinet with pull out shelves in a kitchen, and I really disliked it. It would have been much better with regular shelves. The pull out mechanism itself takes out a bunch of space, and you really can’t stack anything because it is too unstable to pull it out – things fall off easily. I highly recommend non pull outs.
Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind. It would be cheaper.
Of course, the money for the renovation is in the stock market. So we may spend a couple thousand on some stuff that will make cooking easier, then plan a full renovation in 5 years.
Assuming the cupboard is wide enough, this is EXACTLY why everyone needs the lazy susans that were featured recently. I have double-decker ones, and they are the best things ever.
Adding to the chorus to say, lack of pantry is not an issue if there’s plenty of cabinet storage. We lived for three years in a relatively small home with no pantry, but with excellent space utilization (e.g., cabinets up to the 10 ft ceilings). No food storage issues. I’ve never had a walk-in pantry, come to think of it, even in larger suburban homes.
Emily S. says
As to resale, well, you’re looking to buy it, right, so there’s reason to believe you would be able to sell it! Also, thank you thank you thank you for looking to buy a house and giving me a glimmer of hope! DH and I are looking to sell our house late this summer and have wrung our hands out over whether anyone would be looking for a house now and in the summer.
Good luck with the house!!!
The house we’ve lived in for 3 years has no pantry, but it’s in a desirable neighborhoods where most houses don’t have pantries (all built around same time). I think resale value will be significantly more tied to location than pantry,
This. It depends a lot on the market, I think. Is this the only house you’ve seen with no pantry? They are not common in my neighborhood (post-WW II construction), and I don’t think I paid any attention to it when we were looking. There was a pantry cupboard – as tall as a refrigerator and about 8 inches wide, but it wasn’t very functional and we removed it when we put in a larger fridge. I wonder now if people will be concerned about that when we try to sell! We do have a basement and put shelving in for pantry storage there, though.
We didn’t even notice our kitchen did not have a panty when we bought our house years ago. There was plenty of cabinet storage and when we were unpacking our boxes and moving stuff in into the kitchen, that’s when we first noticed. We said, “oh, there’s no pantry” and then just used two cabinets to store our panty items. We cared for about 2 seconds.
My BFF is an architect and hates pantries. She does not have one and advises clients not to add them. there are many ways to make a kitchen work very well without them. You may need to have some custom designed cabinets to serve as a pantry.
preparing in case the grownups get Covid says
What do you do if there are zero remotely well grownups (either ill single parent or ill couples parents) in your house with young children? When I last had the flu, I didn’t reliably have the energy to make myself a cup of tea.
I have a preschooler and a kindergartener and no one we can call to help with our kids if we both have Covid unless we’re both hospitalized. Even then, it’ll be a stretch.
My thoughts so far:
-unlimited iPad time
-no mediating sibling squabbles—they’ll sort it out
-pull out the emergency stash of paper plates so there’s no need to was dishes
-I stocked up on bunny crackers, fruit pouches, apples, oranges, and other snacks that the older one can serve. He can figure out how to serve breakfast staples like yogurt and make toast.
-One of us grownups will have to pull it together to boil pasta or microwave something or order delivery 1-2x a day
-adequate sanitizing will be impossible due to adults being ill. hope that the kids don’t get it.
Anything I’m missing? Food I should have on hand that a kindergartener can make?
Yeah this is about right. If you both need to be hospitalized and you have no friends or family they’ll go to foster care.
This is honestly my biggest Covid fear. With an incubation time of 5 days on average and a typical illness duration of 10-14 days, it’s pretty likely that if one of us got it DH and I would both be very sick at the same time. We have no local friends close enough to ask for help. My parents would normally come in with no hesitation, but I would absolutely hate to do that, given their age (70ish). It would be a last resort if DH or I were hospitalized. DD is barey 2 and really can’t entertain herself even with screens. I try not to think about it because honestly it would be a complete disaster.
Meant to be a reply to OP. I don’t fear DH and me both getting hospitalized because that would be very unlikely give our ages.
Anon Lawyer says
Can you make a COVID-19 “pact” with another family in the same situation even if you’re not super close. I would absolutely do this for casual friends at this point. (My brother is local so I do have a backup fortunately.)
I would do this — the pact with another family. I have family in town so I never had to talk to friends about this, but it seems like a much better option than having my kid end up in foster care with a family that nobody knows. A close acquaintance (but not quite a close friend) of mine has a kid about the same age as mine and they don’t have family in town. If she asked me to take her kid if she and her husband had to be hospitalized, I would absolutely say yes without any hesitation. I would protect and take care of that kid as if he were my own.
For a 2 parent household, one thing that has reassured me is it seems unlikely both adults are unlikely to be equally sick at the same time – one will probably get infected by the other, so one person will hopefully be recovering before the other person is in the worst of it. I hope.
We just talked about this too, but unfortunately we have a 10 monnth old and 2 year 10 month old, so they very much need us every minute of every day. It’s going to be VERY hard if were both sick
I think if you’re at high risk of exposure, you should be having this conversation with a friend or colleague, even if they feel a bit distant. I’d definitely take the child of a friend in crisis.
+1. We have no local family and I had to have an emergency surgery a few years ago and I was in the hospital alone 90% of the time pre/post since my husband had to do childcare and family couldn’t get to us quickly. I was (nicely) shocked at how the other pre-K moms told me sternly that OF COURSE they would have taken our kid had my husband dropped him on their doorstep at 8pm. Ask.
People are probably going to surprise you – even if I couldn’t take your kids I would 100% shop for you, drop food at your doorstep, go pick up your medication, etc.
YES, this. Mention it to one person (even if someone you don’t know well) because I would imagine they’d be willing to help or find someone who can. I had a situation last summer where DH was out of town and I ended up needing to do a weeklong trial out of town (we were 5th on the trial list a week before and had been bumped multiple prior times when we were higher on the list). I hired our former nanny to do overnights/ daycare dropoff and asked a neighbor with a similar-aged kid if I could put her number on our emergency list in case the nanny needed help with something. Neighbor was so gracious and said if we found ourselves in a pinch, she’d be happy to watch kiddo.
But asking someone to watch your kid while you have a work or family emergency is really different than asking someone to watch a child who has been exposed to COVID-19. Even for those of us who are young and don’t have serious underlying health conditions, this disease is much deadlier than a flu, and I don’t think I could in good conscience risk my own life and my kid’s lives to help out someone I don’t know very well. I’d take the gamble to help my sister, sure. But not a casual acquaintance. I would absolutely help anyone if it wasn’t a deadly infectious disease, but this is just very different to me than an emergency surgery or an out of town trial, because of the risks to the family that helps you out.
In DC says
Normally I would agree with this, but baby will unquestionably be a Covid carrier in that situation. I don’t know how you can ask someone to take on a baby *and* almost guarantee they will get sick as well. If we both are too sick to care for our 9 month old, I cannot think of anything to do but call CPS. It’s my biggest anxiety in this situation.
I would still ask. If the baby is a Covid carrier, the baby is going to take the Covid to whatever home the baby ends up in so even if you call CPS, CPS is just going to place the baby in a stranger’s home. If the stranger feels the baby is a threat to the health of the stranger’s own household, this is a recipe for neglect and possible abuse. As I mentioned above, if my close acquaintance called me and said she and her husband were being hospitalized and their son was being shipped to foster care, I would take their son in. I’m not saying everyone should do it, I’m just saying I would do it. This is why the OP should ask her friends because there may be someone she knows who would say yes.
Also, this is why my family has been so compliant with our state’s Shelter in Place order, having groceries delivered so we don’t have to leave the house, making sure to wipe down groceries before they come into the house, etc. If I had to hand my kid over to another family, I could confidently tell the family that we have taken all of this seriously and minimized our exposure to the full extent possibly. This is why it is so important for everyone else to do the same. Does it eliminate all risk and guarantee we stay Covid-free? Of course not. But my family is literally doing everything it can.
This doesn’t track for me. Either the family is willing to risk covid by taking in your 100% certainly-exposed child, or they’re not. If a friend asked me to watch their kid because both parents needed to be hospitalized with Covid, whether they contracted it despite their best efforts or because they were playing fast and loose with Shelter in Place would not factor into my decision at all.
But yes, I agree that asking doesn’t hurt. I would not go straight to CPS without even asking friends, and probably offering to let one of them temporarily move into my house, so at least I’m not asking to expose their entire family.
What does that have to do with anything? We take the stay at home order seriously too but if my husband and I both get seriously ill from Covid, obviously our child has gotten exposed as well. If my neighbor asked me to take care of their Covid-exposed child, I would say no. I wouldn’t care how seriously they took stay at home orders because obviously they got it somehow. My concern would be the risk to my family and that isn’t any lower just because they were responsibly sheltering in place before getting sick.
@Anonymous at 2:56 pm, well, now that I really think about it, I realize I’m not as benevolent as I first thought I was. I have an acquaintance who is not taking things seriously AT ALL. And not to turn this into a political issue, but he is of the mindset that the “fake news” is doing this to keep the president from being re-elected. His lackadaisical approach to this whole thing would probably cause me to not be willing to take in his kids if he and his wife had to be hospitalized. Fair? Probably not, because it’s not the kids’ fault, but I wouldn’t put my family’s health at risk to help a family who made no effort to protect themselves. I’m a good friend, not a saint.
@Anon at 3:17 pm, I think it boils down to how much empathy I was able to generate for someone in need. I would have so much more empathy for a family who took Shelter in Place orders as seriously as I am taking them. I don’t know how I could come up with enough empathy for a family who wasn’t taking any of this seriously. Like I said, I’m not a saint.
It’s interesting how different people think about this. I can see where you’re coming from, but for me, it’s not a question of empathy at all. It is strictly whether I am OK accepting the risk to my own family. I would seriously consider either moving to another family’s house or bringing a kid into my house (and attempting to quarantine him/her), but DH and I would need to talk about what that means for our mental and physical health and ability to care for our own kids. I hope I’m not in a position where I need to decide, because it would be really tough either way.
I would unquestionably take my friends’ kids, even if they were likely carriers. It’s a risk but I love them and the trauma to those kids would be more likely than my death as a healthy person in her 30s.
CPS will ask for a list of family and friends first.
Also, they have no spaces. Literally none. Spike in child abuse going on + new homes not coming online + people not taking kids with exposure.
I saw our state had the same info for emergency childcare for first responders/mandated workers/etc. They try to place your child first with family and friends and only if that is not possible will they provide a state-sponsored spot in childcare while you are at work.
So Anon says
Single mom where I could/would not call in local family (70+) or their dad (immune compromised) if I got sick. I am also the daughter of a single mom. Unless you need to be hospitalized, you will be able to do the absolute minimum to take care of your kids (assuming they are older than diaper age). I have several freezer meals in waiting with instructions on the bag so that there will be food, and other than that, the inmates will run the house. Unlimited screen time, paper plates, gummies for lunch and deal with the rest when you are no longer at the worst of it.
One suggestion if you can get them – uncrustables pb&j (as long as there’s no peanut allergy of course). Maybe look at kids tv frozen dinners? I would never serve these normally but would be easier than making pasta. We are counting on both people not being as sick at the same time, like rolling sickness. This happened last time we all got the flu and it worked ok. DH first then me then DD. If one was hospitalized and the other severely ill then I’d call in family, even at the risk of exposure. But we have a 3 year old and 8 month old. So…that’s better than them going to foster care.
I’ve taken care of my family with pneumonia before. It’s horrible, but it can be done. As long as you’re not in the hospital, you can at least pour cereal and turn on the TV.
Make sure you have plenty of Tylenol in advance. It will help a lot to be as medicated as possible. If your fever is reduced, you’ll accomplish a lot more.
I thought Covid fevers don’t respond to Tylenol? That is what the news says, anyway.
Are you thinking of ibuprofen and some folks advising against taking it? Everything I’ve read says to take acetaminophen for Covid-19.
A couple websites:
Oh yeah, was not advocating for Ibuprofen (I’m allergic personally but I know there’s some evidence it can make Covid worse). I was just saying that Covid fevers don’t respond to fever-reducing medicine. This virus unusual that way. Or so I’ve heard.
I think there’s zero evidence that Tylenol is harmful, just that it may not be a magic bullet that allows you to function enough to care for kids.
Interesting! I haven’t read that but am going to poke around.
That is not true at all. Please don’t spread fake news.
Do you have a rice cooker? Ours is simple enough a 5-6 year old could use it. My big plan for meals if we get sick is chicken broth and rice soup. Plus tri color pasta (it’s a vegetable!). I have a couple mom friends who’ve offered to cook for us if we get sick. (One has offered to take my kiddo, but I worry she’ll spread it to their family.)
Yep. I have a kindergartner, a preschooler and a toddler. They are actually really decently self-sufficient. In a time of true crisis, my kindergartner girl could change the toddler’s diaper. Mac and cheese for dinner every night. cereal or other self-serve breakfast (I have bags of previously made waffles and pancakes in the freezer- my kids can make those themselves in the microwave). they can watch movies, color, do a craft, whatever. You might consider buying a kindle fire or similar to throw at the issue. My older two are absolute saints when I throw the kindle at them and say “you can have this for as long as you can manage not to fight, or 1 hour, whichever comes first.” they always get an hour.
(Former) Clueless Summer says
Any thoughts on telling work about pregnancy timing now that we are in the WFH environment?
I’m a senior associate in biglaw and I was already apprehensive about telling a few of my work providers (old men) out of fear they would “mommy track” me subconsciously, if not consciously. I’m generally well respected and usually have a pretty high work flow from a number of partners. Partner-track, etc. I’d say I’m generally seen as one of those associates that is VERY dedicated to work. Now that work is drying up and layoffs look to be on the horizon, I’m obviously even more concerned about a) not appearing to be less than 110% dedicated to the firm and b) keeping what little work I do have/getting new work so my billables aren’t a total write-off this year.
So with that in mind, I now have a significantly longer window to avoid telling anyone at work because of WFH. I’ll be second trimester at the end of the month, so I would have planned on disclosing early May if we were in the office. Now that we’ll be WFH until end of June at least, I could potentially delay disclosure by two months. Plus of that – delays any negative feelings people have about it, plus avoids any transfer of work away from me. Negative – I show up on the first day out of quarantine visibly pregnant and people think negatively of that…
Anyway…would love your thoughts on this weird dilemma.
I’d tell at the same time you were already planning to tell. I think people will forget your pregnant when they don’t see you and it won’t affect your billables as much as if you were in the office…
I think you can split the difference and tell a couple of weeks before you return to the office. If in mid-June you tell people, they aren’t going to calculate backwards and say “why didn’t you tell us in May?” but you’ll also have time for information to spread around before everyone sees you in person.
If you’re already concerned about discrimination (which mommy-tracking totally is), I’d hold off telling for as long as possible–a week or two before returning to the office sounds right. All that your work needs is enough time to plan for work coverage (3-4 months seems perfectly adequate in most practice groups–they’d get less if you were quitting or had any other health-related reason to be out). You don’t want to give them time to start moving work away from you far too early.
So, in these days of increased screen time, I introduced my three year old to Frozen, which I had never actually seen in full (I know I am super late to this cultural moment, yes). And, I kind of hate the song about how everyone is a fixer-upper? It’s like the message is, oh he’s horrible? Just love him more and he’ll change! I want to cover her ears when we listen to it! Am I missing something here?
CPA Lady says
It would be annoying but they are BOTH fixer uppers in the song. It’s not like Anna’s got her act together and she’s settling for a weirdo. She is kind of a disaster too. She literally got engaged to the first man she met (for a total of what, two hours?) after being trapped in the worst kind of quarantine for YEARS. Also, there’s a line in the song that you shouldn’t try to change him because people don’t really change. I always took the song to mean none of us are perfect but we can still find love.
Anon Lawyer says
I like it. I think the key is the last verse which lays out the thesis of the movie. “Everybody’s a fixer upper “then goes on to say “people make bad choices when they’re sad or scared or stressed. But throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best.”
Yeah, I actually love this song because the whole deal is that everybody could use a little improvement.
Yup, this is my favorite part of that song. My kids have gone off Frozen and are all about the Frozen II songs these days, and I miss Fixer Upper. We’ve all been making lots of choices I”m not proud of because we’re sad, scared, and stressed, recently… I could use a happy little song telling me it’s normal.
I agree with the others that it makes the point that these are little things, and people don’t really fundamentally change, though I can see how that might not be immediately clear to a kid.
Also, I’ve gotta admit, “Are you holding back your fondness due to his unmanly blondness?” makes me laugh every darn time.
Let it go….let it gooooo-ooooo…
LOl you’re right ok.
So I never really paid attention to the lyrics of this song until I saw this comment, but I just googled them and actually teared up a bit? This message is actually amazing?
We’re not sayin’ you can change him,
‘Cause people don’t really change.
We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange.
People make bad choices
If they’re mad, or scared, or stressed.
Throw a little love their way.
Throw a little love their way.
And you’ll bring out their best.
True love brings out their best!
Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper,
That’s what it’s all about!
We need each other to raise us up and
Round us out.
Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but when push comes to shove.
The only fixer-upper fixer that can
Fix up a fixer-upper is
True, true, true!
Love (True love)
You know what song made me tear up recently when I was singing it to the kids at bedtime (clearly not thinking about this ahead of time)?
Vintage Sesame Street “One Banana.” The last verse killed me:
Well I think banana is like you and me
Needing friends and neighbors and a
Let us take a lesson from banana tree
’cause banana can’t grow alone
If anyone is interested in a list like this, I just came across this list of home brands that are “giving back” during this crisis: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/companies-giving-back-coronavirus-36743005