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With parks, playdates and oh, yeah, school out of the picture, family life is looking a little different these days. And the struggle is real. But even in the midst of a global pandemic, moms are doing what they always do—making it work. Here’s how three moms around the country are holding up.

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Mom 2 quarantine routine
Sofia Kraushaar

Lauren has a 14-year-old son and is quarantining in Los Angeles

1. How do you start your day?

I wake up at 7 a.m. and let my three dogs out into the back yard for a minute, while I brew coffee. Breakfast is either a pastry from Whole Foods if I’ve been recently (I go there every two weeks) or Raisin Bran with bananas or blueberries thrown on top, depending on how recently I braved the market. I’ll check my emails and the news while I'm drinking my coffee and then it's time to get my son up for his 8:30 a.m. middle school classes on Zoom. I’ll take the dogs out for a walk as soon as I can, work permitting. I work remotely for a company based on the East Coast, so the more I can get done the night before, the smoother it is for me the next day.

2. What’s the hardest part of quarantine?

Not being able to get the support that we usually get for my son has been difficult. He usually has a tutor who comes to our home to help him with schoolwork but, of course, the tutor can't come now. And also trying to keep up with the various school assignments is practically impossible. The teachers each have different platforms they teach on and give assignments through, and my son needs lots of overseeing in order for him to complete his work, so that's a challenge. Teachers are sending me curt messages like “Haven't you been getting my emails?!” and it’s all I can do to not write back, “If I wanted to be talked to like this, I would be married.”

3. What did you eat for lunch?

A delicious spinach pie that my Greek friend dropped by on Easter along with a mint Yerba Mate drink, plus some SweetTarts for dessert. My son ate a Blaze sausage pizza that he got delivered.

4. How has this quarantine affected your relationship with your kid?

Quarantine has been good for our relationship because it's made us both wake up to the way we need to pay attention to each other more. Usually when he’s over at a friend’s house or I'm driving somewhere for work or to see a friend of my own, we get distracted by our busy lives. Now, I feel like we’re connecting more. We’ll sit down to watch YouTube videos or to wait up to watch Saturday Night Live together.

5. When is bedtime?

My son goes to bed around 10 and I try to be asleep by 9 or 10.

6. What do you do for you?

I’m really lucky to be involved in a 12-step program and our usual meetings have pivoted to being on Zoom, which has been a real life-saver. It’s helpful to have a space where I can do real talk and vent and hear others doing the same. It makes the isolation seem so much less hopeless, because we all sort of try to find the optimism in this very uncomfortable and sometimes scary new reality.

Mom 1 quarantine routine
Sofia Kraushaar

Julie has an 11-month-old daughter and is quarantining in Sarasota, Florida

1. How do you start your day?

My husband wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to exercise and start working from home, but I sleep until my daughter wakes up around 7:30 a.m. Pre-social distancing, I would have to get ready for work, but I just applied for unemployment because my company is closed right now. My husband’s job is full-on, so taking care of Liz is my sole responsibility. I give her a bottle and then we play for about an hour. Around 8 a.m., my husband and I will clean bottles, make ourselves breakfast and do the dishes. It’s usually a protein shake for us and yogurt or oatmeal with berries for my daughter. We’ll play together for another hour or so until she goes down for her morning nap around 9:30 a.m. Then, I make the bed, do my home workout on my SWEAT app and try to take a shower before she wakes up.

2. What’s the hardest part of quarantine?

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? That’s the hardest part—every day is just the same thing over and over again without any change. It’s hard when you walk the same walk and go to the same places without being able to see friends or go out to eat or bring your child to the swings.

3. What did you eat for lunch?

I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while Liz had a glorious meal of avocado, mozzarella, raspberries and some leftover chicken burger.

4. How has this quarantine affected your relationship with your kid?

I think it’s been really great for our relationship. When we’re in our normal routine, Liz is in daycare and I’m working all day, so it’s nice to see her play and spend so much time together. We’ve started having our own little jokes and traditions.

5. When is bedtime?

Liz will have a bath around 7:30 p.m. and then goes to bed at 8:00 p.m. At 8:01, my husband and I crack open whatever alcohol we have in the house and spend some time together. We go to bed depending on how tired we are that day....and what TV show we want to catch up on. This could be 9:30 or 11:30 p.m.

6. What do you do for you?

After my husband finishes work, I’ll sometimes go into our room while he plays with Liz and either put a facemask on, whiten my teeth or do something for myself that doesn’t make me feel like a tired mom during a pandemic.

Mom 3 quarantine routine
Sofia Kraushaar

Giselle has an 8-year-old son, a 3-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son, and is quarantining in Austin

1. How do you start your day?

We usually wake up around 7:30 a.m., have breakfast and some free TV time. My husband is still going into work since he works for an essential business, so once he leaves, it’s just me holding down the fort. My eldest son’s class takes attendance by logging in to this site where they record a little video of themselves answering an easy question like, “If your stuffed animals could talk, what would they say.” He loves watching the videos from his friends, as well as getting responses from his teachers. For breakfast we typically have oatmeal or cereal bars and then after we eat, we go on a long walk. Sometimes, it’s just through our neighborhood and other times we’ll take a longer walk to a coffee shop that does curbside pick-up.

2. What’s the hardest part of quarantine?

The hardest part has definitely been keeping the house stocked with the food and snacks we need. It’s so stressful going to the store these days that I feel we have to be more strategic about when things are being used. Also, it’s hard trying to find ways for the kids to run around and be active since we don’t have a backyard. My oldest knows not to put his hands near his face but the little ones put everything in their mouths which makes it really nerve wracking to let them walk around on their own.

3. What did you eat for lunch?

We walked and got smoothies this morning so we weren’t very hungry when we came home. Everyone had half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4. How has this quarantine affected your relationship with your kids?

At first, I was really stressed about the idea of staying primarily indoors with all three kids and also having to be in charge of my son’s school work. But now that we have a rhythm and routine down for it all, it’s actually been a bonding experience for me and the kids. There are still days where we lose our patience with one another and get stir crazy. But overall, being able to be on our own schedule with no pressing obligations or time frames to adhere to has worked better for the age dynamic that we have. Before, I was always rushing the little ones to have a nap before school pick-up or baseball practice. Now we’re just going at our own pace.

5. When is bedtime?

When my husband comes home, we’ll all eat dinner together, and sometimes, take a short walk if it’s still light out. We get them bathed and into bed by 8:30 p.m. so that we have some free time to hang out by ourselves. Because this is the only time we have to veg out, we go to bed way later then we should, typically staying up until midnight or so catching up on shows.

6. What do you do for you?

Sometime during the babies’ nap time, I try to get an online yoga class in–but this usually overlaps with them waking up, so often end up doing half the class with them crawling on me. There are a lot of scary things about this time for sure, but I was thinking the other day about how grateful I am that we’ve been forced to slow down and really appreciate one another. Our weekends are even more precious to us now. We can just spend time together.

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