We initially added this post to the calendar before life shifted so drastically. I was planning to walk you through a day in my life at the studio—in between meetings and the occasional photoshoot and working at the desk in my little office space at 1621 E. Hennepin Ave. Today we’re sharing a modified version of that original idea.
We’re all adjusting to our new normal (at least for the time being), together yet apart. Here’s a peek into what mine has looked like so far.
6:20 a.m.: My eyes snap open. I wait and listen for signs of life. The kids aren’t awake yet—good.
6:32 a.m.: Nope, they’re downstairs with Joe and have been for some time. I was up late last night getting to some house projects with tight deadlines. Joe is really wonderful about letting me sleep in when I work late. It’s not the time to be burning the oil at both ends.
6:30 – 7:00 a.m.: I stay upstairs and get some headspace. I write down all the crap in my head. I have at least fourteen catastrophic thoughts that need to be extracted from my brain.
7:10 a.m.: Coffee. And a pile on from the kids. I’ll never get over how happy they are to see me at this age. I will miss it.
7:30 a.m.: I check my agenda for the day. Without it, I am afloat in a sea of to-do tasks, all of which feel equally important (they’re not) and threatening (nope). I check the list again. I feel better. Most of what I’m feeling anxious about getting done can wait until another day.
The kids and I chat about our favorite animal and why mommy and daddy are home but can’t play like we do on the weekends. August asks how the “cricket” in my back is—I have a massive knot that I can’t relieve. Joe gives me a back rub and I say the cricket is gone. The kids look around worried they’ll encounter a large bug. We talk about what it means to play pretend.
8:00 a.m.: Our nanny arrives. We talk about what needs to be done before next week. We have two more days with her before a state “shelter in place” mandate takes place. I avoid thinking about how I will balance work and kids, who like to sit directly on top of me while I work on my laptop. They’re basically cats. But less furry and a whole lot louder.
I avoid thinking about how I will balance work and kids, who like to sit directly on top of me while I work on my laptop. They’re basically cats. But less furry and a whole lot louder.
8:30 a.m.: I wonder how it is only 8:30. I log onto Slack and message team members about the work I finished last night. Blog posts and email content are done. The downloadable assets, finished. I answer questions they have, approve copy for shop marketing, and pick up where I left off last night. I check in on billing, checks that need to be deposited, and the status of potential projects.
9:00 a.m.: A slew of other projects and ideas come into my head. I’m tempted to put off the 10% of work I have left on a large body of work, but instead message my assistant to file it away for the appropriate time. Things like story ideas and people to reach out to are always popping up.
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.: Team meetings. We run through our new schedule now that I’m covering child care. Joe and I still don’t quite know how to balance our time but we have heard it’s a bad idea to rely on multitasking. I’ve been multitasking my whole life so I wonder what that says about my own methods. LOL.
11:00 – 12:00 p.m.: Focused writing time. I get as much out on paper as possible.
12:30 p.m.: It’s already 12:30? Shoot—it is time to get on social. What to post on Instagram? It’s been a few days. I don’t know what to say except the truth…everything feels a bit trivial these days. So I share a picture of the shelves I styled (the distractions won yesterday) and express my distress over the amount of cheese I’ve been eating. I sit in the kitchen when I work and it’s almost like autopilot to grab a slice of fresh mozz and sprinkle it with flaky salt and olive oil.
I eat leftover couscous for lunch instead.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.: I go for a quick walk and respond to people on Instagram. It’s one of my favorite things to do.
2:30 p.m.: Whoops. I lost track of time but gained some new insights from readers and shared a few new story ideas with the team. We will discuss them on Tuesday at our editorial meeting.
There are still some big chunks of work I need to get done on our upcoming W&D Virtual Cookbook Club. I style and shoot images for our first book on the list and then finish the copy I was working on this morning. One task, complete! Then I Slack the team for proofing, editing, and questions.
4:00 p.m.: Lots of edits, discussions, and feedback on our cookbook club. Now, I need a break. I have a glass of wine with my neighbor and fellow W&D contributor Meggie Mass (her article on thrifting like an expert was one of our most read in February). We sit six feet away and talk about marriage and kids and how different we thought this whole experience would be. I feel better after connecting with her.
5:00 p.m.: Our nanny heads out and the kids melt down. Transitions are hard but we have a routine. Going on a walk helps reset everyone’s nerves.
I feel bad we’ve thrown frozen things on a sheet pan and called it dinner so many times this week but I feel zero motivation to turn on the stove. The kids rejoice at yet another dinner of chicken nuggets, peas, and hummus. Seeing them happy reminds me to give myself some grace.
5:30 p.m.: I wonder what to make for dinner. I feel bad we’ve thrown frozen things on a sheet pan and called it dinner so many times this week but I feel zero motivation to turn on the stove. The kids rejoice at yet another dinner of chicken nuggets, peas, and hummus. Seeing them happy reminds me to give myself some grace.
6:00 p.m.: Joe takes the kids downstairs so I can FaceTime with my girlfriends. We talk about libido (or lack thereof) and breakups that happened before the pandemic. The laughing works wonders for my mood.
7:00 p.m.: I shovel leftover peas and wheat thins in my mouth and call it dinner. It’s time for baths and Joe has to hop on a call for work.
7:30 p.m.: We’ve showered and are ready for bed and my hair has a greasy chunk of lotion stuck in it thanks to Bennett’s tantrum. She has severe eczema and the older she gets the more defiant she becomes. I think about how to change my methods so it isn’t such a battle every night. We watch PJ Masks as a consolation. We’re just surviving.
8:30 p.m.: Joe gets off his call and is surprised we’re still up. We go upstairs to read but the kids can smell a change in our routine and look to be past the window of sleepiness. We convince them to read in bed and it surprisingly goes well.
8:45 p.m.: I log onto Slack to see if I missed anything. I answer questions on Instagram. I look at my calendar for tomorrow. That’s about all I can muster. Joe and I decide to watch Tiger King.
9:15 p.m.: Bennett stands on the stairs quietly staring at us. I have no idea how long she has been there. She’s getting molars and is in pain so I lie in bed with her and rub her back while listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast. I wait to hear snoring but as I slide out of bed she grabs my arm. I open Pinterest under the blanket and do some mood board planning while pretending to sleep.
10:00 p.m.: Finally. They’re asleep. I promise to get back into my routine tomorrow and shake off the fact that I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to today. I review my to-do list for tomorrow along with my schedule and make a mental note to start on the most time-consuming project first. I have to write, shoot, and edit again, which is my favorite thing to do, but it also requires that I avoid multitasking. Which is like telling a fish they can’t go in water.
Finally. They’re asleep. I promise to get back into my routine tomorrow and shake off the fact that I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to today.
11:30 p.m.: We fall asleep watching Tiger King.
3:15 a.m.: Bennett wakes up itching. I hear her crying downstairs. I get her Benadryl and remove the bandages on her hands. She falls asleep in our bed, lying horizontally with her feet in my face.
4:30 a.m.: I decide to sleep on the couch in the basement but find myself hungry and make a bagel. I start the first episode of The Sopranos and fall asleep on the couch.
BY Kate Arends - March 30, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.