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One Day at a Time: A Reflection on Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic – My Au Pair and Me
Hi Maddie here! Anyone who grew up in an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) family knows the phrase “One Day at a Time”. This is my go to phrase when life gets tough. Coronavirus makes life tough. Each day we wake up and do what we need to do to get to tomorrow.

I want to take this opportunity to slow down and reflect on life. I’m sure that years from now I will look back and fondly remember the time spent with family. But for now, here is a day in my life.

Good Morning

This morning I woke up before the alarm which is usually the case. I have a lot on my mind and I like to spend my quiet time on Facebook. It is comforting to know that I’m not the only one struggling to find time away from my children. Today I feel blessed to have children and a house full of life when so many live alone.

By 7:30 the alarm is going off, the dog is demanding attention, and my 2 year old barges in begging for “Nom Noms”. Time to start the day. Today I feel blessed to be in bed at 7:30 instead of getting off the shuttle and walking to the office.

Youn girl home schooling with au pairWe are doing everything possible to maintain our routines. I am showered, dressed, and in my office working by 8:00. My husband and I are both working from home. Today I feel blessed to be among the privileged few who are able to work from home and maintain a full time income.

I work in tech and I have been working from home since March 3rd. This was about a week before they requested that we work from home if possible. My kids were sick that week, they caught it from my husband who was sick the week before. Then I caught it. Was it a mild case of Coronavirus? We have no idea. They weren’t testing in my area at that time so I likely will never know. Today I feel blessed that we are all healthy again.

My husband makes the kids and himself breakfast until our au pair starts at 8:30. Then he disappears to the master bedroom where his makeshift office is set up on a folding table. Today I feel blessed to have a wonderful au pair living with us to care for our children.

Staying on Track

There are pluses and minuses to working at home. On one hand I love to see my kids more. I can hear them playing, and laughing, and learning. Unfortunately, they always seem to need my attention while I am on a video call. Today I feel blessed that my 2 year old needed me while I was in a meeting with a dad holding an infant while his wife chased their toddler out of the room.

Toddler playing with Amazon Fire Kids tabletLet’s be honest, even with the help of our au pair this is hard. Hats off to those who are juggling working at home between homeschooling and entertaining your kids. My first grader is working her way through a giant pile of worksheets. The pile keeps growing as her teachers send file after file. We do what we can to work through some of it, but some days are impossible. Today I feel blessed for Amazon Fire tablets and an extra 30 minutes of sanity.

Balancing Life

I live outside Seattle, Washington. We are only a few miles from the Life Care Center which was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Life here is oddly quiet. There is no traffic. Grocery stores are open but it is like shopping during the Superbowl. The few who venture out are preoccupied and wandering around like they don’t know who they are any more. Today I feel blessed that the stores are restocked, for the most part, after the mad rush for supplies two weeks ago.

By about 4:00 I need to get away from my desk for a while. My au pair is still on duty so I get in a quick workout from YouTube. I also have an opportunity to talk to a friend and my mother-in-law on a video call. My in-laws miss seeing their grandkids and my kids cried when we had to cancel their weekly grandparent day. I have tried to explain but they don’t understand why we can’t see grandma and grandpa in person. Today I feel blessed that my in-laws have been staying home and have remained healthy so far.

By 5:30 my husband wraps up his work. We head out for a walk around the park with the kids and our dog. Our neighborhood park is open except for the basketball court and the playground. The kids were devastated when the city closed the playground last week. They seem to be ok with it today. Many of our neighbors are out walking with their families, too. We take our time and talk across the street so we can maintain 6 feet of distance between us. Today I feel blessed to get to know my neighbors, we are usually too busy for anything more than a casual wave.

After a quick dinner I get the kids to bed while my husband does the dishes. After the kids are asleep my husband gets in a quick workout while I work more or write a blog like tonight. Other nights we just fold laundry and pick up the house on the way to bed. Today I feel blessed that the normal things in life are still getting done in the midst of the world turned upside down.

How are you holding up?

How are you doing during these difficult times? Are you taking life one day at a time like me? Are you working at home or have you been forced into unemployment? Are your kids doing ok with schools canceled?

Leave a comment below or if you’re an au pair host family, pop on over to our My Au Pair and Me Host Family Community on Facebook. It’s nice to talk to other host families and know you’re not alone!

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One Day at a Time: A Reflection on Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One Day at a Time: A Reflection on Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic
One Day at a Time: A Reflection on Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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