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All the feels about quarantining with a kid

Have you been spending a lot of your time trying to stay positive, or given in to a life of sweatpants and moping around the house? MeTime co-founder, Kayla, is doing both.
Kayla Carey
Shelter-in-place has me feeling all the feels. Some days I’m moping around the house with an extreme case of cabin fever (please, Chicago, more nice weather), and other days I’m powering through home projects I probably never would have gotten to otherwise. Here’s a real accounting of my highs and lows during quarantine. 

Good things I’m doing more of in quarantine:

  1. Playing with my son

As someone whose kiddo is (typically) in full-time childcare, I only have a few hours each weekday to spend with him. In quarantine, I find myself scouring the internet for entertaining and educational things you can do with a 2-year old, like making sensory bottles, playing sink or float, and teaching him how to help me clean up, make meals. This quality time together (albeit a bit too much) is a learning process. 

  1. Cooking dinner

I’m at home with plenty of time (read: all the time) to spare to make dinner.

  1. Organizing and checking home projects off my list

If you know me, you know I love a project. So far, I’ve de-pilled my couch (with a handy gadget from Amazon), did a major purge of junk we’ve accumulated, cleaned and cleaned some more, and Marie Kondo’d my closet. This will clear up my weekends for months to come, post-quarantine.

  1. Talking to friends and family virtually 

In normal life, I’m on the phone much of the day for work. I don’t usually have the energy to call a friend or family member in the evenings. But having fewer work calls and in-person human interactions has made virtual game nights, happy hours, and friendly chats a daily occurrence. This will likely change, in a good way, how my non-Chicago friends and I communicate after this.

  1. Supporting local businesses

Quarantine has given me many opportunities to show the businesses I really love in my community that I want them to survive and thrive -- whether for my local fitness studios and their virtual classes or my neighborhood restaurants. 

  1. Self-pampering

I’m sure glad I bought that 5-pack of face masks three months ago, which I’d never used until last week.

  1. Going outside for fresh air

Being trapped inside all day isn’t an option, especially with a toddler. His incessant “outside!” demands mean we’re spending our days taking many long, ambling walks or tricycle rides. I’ve learned to enjoy the slower pace by taking a cup of coffee with me, a thing I’d never do in the past when I’d be hustling from one place to another. 

Good things I’m doing less of in quarantine:

  1. Working

This one is BIG. Balancing being a parent, a partner, a (really) makeshift teacher, a business owner, and a good friend is tough under ideal circumstances -- in these circumstances, it’s impossible. As the founder of a startup that can’t operate during shelter-in-place, I have a lot of anxiety around what we can and should be doing during this time to make sure we thrive afterward. 

That anxiety runs through my entire day -- whether I’m stressed out trying to take a call while my son wants to play, or when I’m playing with him but think I should be working.

  1. Having alone time

We are trapped in our house with a 2-year old. ‘Nuff said. 

  1. Being productive on a schedule I define

Negotiating childcare hours with my husband while we’re both home and need to work is challenging at best. That means I’m often working during times when I’d rather be doing [insert any other thing]. 

  1. Seeing people and making new connections

I’m so lucky to work with my friend, Toi, who co-founded MeTime with me. Being able to see each other every day and brainstorm IRL makes our jobs fun. No amount of virtual programming can replace that feeling.

And I admit I really miss talking to the baristas at my favorite coffee shop or having my fitness instructor in the room with me to say “Kayla, you can do it!” (even when I can’t).

  1. Supporting local businesses

The flip side to supporting local businesses virtually is that many local businesses can’t offer virtual services, like said favorite coffee shop or nail salon. But when someone figures out virtual pedicures, I’m there.

  1. Taking uninterrupted showers

Need I say more?

  1. Going outside with purpose 

Living in the city, I walk a lot, toting my son to/from school, grabbing coffee (more coffee, please), or going to meetings. I enjoy it, and the bustle of daily life keeps me focused. I can learn to love a leisure walk, but I’m still working on it.

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