On Tuesday March 10th, I found out that my daughter’s school was closing for a few days. It was supposed to be a temporary situation to “prepare” for and train their teams should the school have to come to a full halt. The coronavirus wasn’t yet considered a pandemic, and I would have never imagined in a million years that New York City—the city that never sleeps—would go on a lockdown. The following Sunday we found out that all the schools across the state would be closed for the next four weeks. I am quite an optimistic person, but I am not going to lie, the idea of a month of homeschooling was quite frightening. I had to learn to become not only a full-time chef and entertainer, but also…a teacher…and teaching assistant!
To be clear, I have always been a hands-on mom. I love spending time with my daughter. But when it comes time for after-school work, I admit I am not the most patient parent—and that’s just for regular homework, let alone full-time tutoring! But as a parent I know my responsibility is to make sure my child’s everyday life is affected as little as possible. This is our new normal until further notice.
One day to the next, homeschooling is definitely a challenge—and even more as a single mother!—but it does forces you to put together a routine, and act fast. Having a structure for the day is really important. Every day, I still wake up at 6:30 a.m. so that I can have a cup of matcha in silence before the madness starts. Luckily, Romy loves to sleep in, so I have time to prep our day in peace, listening to one of my boyfriend’s vinyls from his collection, and burning some incense. Creating small rituals like these really helps.
At 8 a.m., I have to drag Romy out of bed (I know, some moms might envy me!), make her breakfast (on a lucky day, French toast and a fresh-squeezed orange juice; on another, cereal will do—the key is not to put too much pressure on yourself), and get her into her uniform for her remote learning classes. Her school requires that students wear their uniforms to stick to a routine as much as possible—Romy’s answer to that? “I can just wear the top with my underwear. Nobody will see, Mama!”
The next five hours are pretty stressful. I have to really be behind her to make sure she doesn’t get distracted, finish the work on time (I started to use a timer!), scan and send [her work] to the teachers for corrections, and make sure we are not late for the Zoom sessions (yes, somehow that happens!!!). During her class, I’ll try to work on my website or squeeze in an online workout class. At the moment, I am really enjoying streaming classes from Ballet Beautiful. It’s hard for me to “attend” live classes, because I never know if I will be able to focus—kid’s eat your brain!—so I put my ballet slippers and leotard on, which really help me get in the mood.
By 2 or 3 p.m., we are finally done! At the start of this quarantine, I would spend the rest of the day cleaning up—when you are with a child for 24-hours a day you become a living vacuum cleaner—but in the end does the mess really matter? I’ve decided to close one eye in a way, and use this time to do all the things we never have time to do: draw, paint, cook, bake, make science experiments, watch movies in bed, do each other’s nails and hair, and dance! I make the dancing time my cardio, and we love challenging ourselves with the Just Dance app on our TV; it’s like karaoke but for dance moves! When the weather is nice out, we’ll go for a walk to the park around the block to enjoy a bit of the spring in full bloom. I know I might be criticized for it, but when you have a child and live in a city apartment there are not too many options, unfortunately. We make it short, and we make it count. We take the time to listen to the birds in a city that is suddenly silent.
We are in the midst of a life changing event, but, like always, there are silver linings. Recently, Romy had to write a paper about the two first weeks of her homeschooling—the ups, the downs, etc. But for her, it was only ups: a slower pace, no school runs (probably the hardest part of being a mom is the 7 a.m. school start time), more time to play with toys she’s never able to, and, most importantly, more time with each other. In a way, I guess we are both thankful to be forced to slow things down and spend more time together. Time flies so fast already, especially witnessing your own child grow. In spite of the craziness of everything, I am thankful to be able to pause even for a little bit and enjoy these precious moments while she still enjoys being “stuck” at home with her Mama.END
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/culture/a32130828/julia-restoin-roitfeld-parenting-motherhood-coronavirus/
createdAt:Mon, 13 Apr 2020 17:40:28 +0000