Day 8 – Work from Home With Kids At Home, Oral Surgery of Mesiodens

Family, Lifestyle, Money

(Reader’s note: I count by business days & don’t count my weekends, so Day 8 is Wednesday March 25, 2020. I’ve been WFH since Monday 3/16/2020)

Before going to bed yesterday night:

“Mom? What are burdens?”

“Burdens are problems you carry on your shoulders”

Yesterday morning after feeding my girls their breakfast, I went to my bedroom, closed the door and called my mom to vent and cry for 5-10 minutes. I was in fear in how this illness is serious enough to shut everything down, including school. I hadn’t taken the girls to daycare since the 16th but yesterday, the daycare announced they would be closing this Friday, March 27th. I was still getting over the shock that school would be closed until May 1st. Talking to my mom helped.

Vivian had an oral surgery scheduled for today that we made in January 2020. She had a mesiodens that needed to be extracted because it was impacting her permanent front tooth from growing in. No idea back then how COVID-19 could possibly affect her procedure. A week out from surgery, it was just waiting to see what changed day to day until Monday. Would the office would be shut down?

The office called me on Monday; I could proceed as scheduled; they would submit an appeal to the surgical board explaining the extraction must be done Wednesday given her age & possible problems if it got delayed…or I could move it to end of May. May??? I’m working, yet I have no idea where I’d be with my job by then. The amount of layoffs across all industries has been insane and heartbreaking. Get this extra tooth out while we still have dental insurance! The procedure was $375. Without insurance it would have been $1600.

One of the reasons for the long wait between January consult and March procedure is that the oral surgeon works in conjunction with a pediatric anesthesiologist when they are dealing with very young patients for extractions. The pediatric anesthesiologists go to several oral surgery offices in the area so the soonest the anesthesiologist could come to this office was today. It required removal of her front baby tooth, then extracting the mesiodens. Vivi also had a wiggly bottom tooth and to my surprise she wanted it removed too.

The procedure went well, thank goodness. For a bit she thought she was ugly not because she had no front teeth but because she could see the stitches and her gums were a bit purple. The rest of day we let her have it easy and let her watch iPad non-stop. Super adorable with her toothless grin. She’s very excited to turn in 3 teeth to the Tooth Fairy.

Day 6 – Work From Home With Kids at Home for 4 More Weeks

Career, Family, Lifestyle

Saturday: no ballet for the girls. Out of vanity I went to get my nails filled as the salon is closing for two weeks. Salon was very good at spraying door handles and constantly washing hands. I anticipate I’ll need to learn how to file my acrylic nails down within 2-3 weeks, not sure if the salon will remain open for a while. We have most of our necessities at home, yet I wanted to buy another gallon of bleach for good measure. Couldn’t find any at Smith’s or at Anaya’s market, a Latino market. Later that night, I did curbside order for sushi for me and Dave.

Sunday was low key. We did not have Sacrament Meeting, we partook of the Sacrament as a family at home for the first time. Would have loved to have taken a picture, but I do not take pictures of sacred things. Glad we could have this in our home. My sister Claudia came over to take Sacrament and also help me to make dinner – milanesas. It is a happy dish. I think all Latin dishes are happy so I’ve been cooking more Latin food lately. It was good to talk to her.

Today was pretty busy as I took PTO last Thursday & Friday, which was much needed and well worth it. I’m training a colleague on a daily process for business continuity purposes through our computer screens, not side by side at our desks. Training virtually is possible when there are clear step by step procedures. Procedures should not be high level, procedures need to be detailed enough that a person who’s never seen or done the procedure could do it in one shot. Glad I got great feedback about my procedures. That made my morning at work. A little nervous on one process I’m learning that I have to get down by next week.

We are still getting aftershocks from the earthquake. I am just glad I am home with my girls next to me when this happens. Dave is helping me figure out how to use two monitors to connect with my laptop so that my workload will go easier, instead of doing everything on a tiny laptop.

Social distancing has made me crave more social media. Learning to use Instagram and being more vocal on LinkedIn. Using Twitter to get instant news updates. Instagram truly is an escape of happy pictures and positive quotes.

Each day is getting more nerve wracking with the spread of this illness. An elementary school near us in our city got shut down today due to possible COVID-19 exposure. My in-laws mission call has been delayed. As I was wrapping up my workday, I got notice from the school district that distance learning will extend through May 1st. Next week I’ll be preparing for month-end close and quarter-end reporting, perhaps one of the busiest times at work with one colleague leaving at the end of this week for a new opportunity.

I agree it is not an ideal schedule but I rather deal with that than lying in bed unable to breathe. That is what scares me the most.

How to Work From Home With Kids At Home

Lifestyle, Organization, Productivity

Since Monday 3/16/2020 I’m managing three jobs while home during the COVID-19 outbreak: my salaried day job, single parenting from 7ish-6ish, and teacher aide.

A bit of background, I work full time in finance, Dave’s in construction, and we have two kids, a kindergartener and a preschooler. My job instituted work from home and my children’s school is dismissed through the end of the month. Daycare is still open as of this writing. I decided my kids shouldn’t be around groups if one of us could be home. Dave’s work hasn’t instituted work-from-home yet.

Those who know me professionally and personally know that I’m very into planning, I keep a paper planner and obsess about to do lists, scheduling, and routines.

I’ve noticed a lot of working parents struggled this week and starting to search online for routines on the down-low during their workday. How are other working parents doing it? We all still need to work & kids need to be schooled, cuz if we don’t, we gonna have families outta jobs and kids as flunkies once this coronavirus outbreak is over.

ADVICE FOR WORKING (FROM HOME) PARENTS

First: Don’t sleep in unless it’s an actual PTO day, sick day, or the weekend. Wake up like you would when you would be commuting to the office.

Second: The heart of planning is anticipating interruptions. You will get them once kids are awake and when the rest of your team logins online. Since you’re not commuting for 30-120 minutes one way to the office, maximize that time by starting your workday much earlier. I highly recommend starting your workday 60-120 minutes before the kids wake up. This will be likely be before the rest of your colleagues login online too.

Third: Kids need to be fed adequately spaced meals during the day. I cannot emphasize this enough! When kids are not fed well, or way too late during the day, or a combo of both, they do not stay in good moods and can and will interrupt what you need to get done with work, let alone do their schoolwork/activities. Make scheduling their mealtimes #1 priority during this outbreak, like you would with meetings. Decide on times and stick to them.

Fourth: Go to bed on time. Get adequate sleep. Waking up early will not be effective if you don’t get enough sleep.

Last but not least: if you had PTO for Spring Break but DisneyWorld got closed or don’t want to risk grandparents getting sick, take the scheduled PTO anyway and rest at home. You will not regret this.

Here’s what I’ve been doing since Monday March 16, 2020

WEEKDAY SCHEDULE: WORK FROM HOME + KIDS AT HOME (3/16/2020-3/27/2020; M-F)

6:00: Wake up at the normal time I’d get up for work. 6am for me. Since I don’t have a need to dress up, I shower, brush teeth, wear something comfortable, walk over to the living room to login.

6:30: Begin the workday. I focus on my tasks and goals first. Emails are not the first thing I check.

7:30-7:45: Dave leaves for work. Girls wake up, potty, brush teeth & wash hands. May ask the girls to put on jacket, shoes, & socks if we are picking up breakfast. If staying home, they watch cartoons while I’m preparing breakfast.

8:00-8:30: I make their breakfast or head to their school to pick up a breakfast and take back home.

The Emergency Food Program is a nutrition program providing free meals to ALL children during a national emergency. I highly recommend all parents to find out more about this from their school district with locations and times. Cooking can be a huge challenge when you are profusely busy with work deliverables, and grocery shopping getting more difficult. It also forces you to be on a schedule with not forgetting to feed your kids. (8-9am breakfast, 11-1pm lunch). Look into this program when school is closed.

9:00-11:00: My oldest has two hours of assignments a day, not including homework. I work during this time. Youngest doesn’t have assignments like my oldest so I go to Twisty Noodle and print out activity sheets. She loves running from the kitchen to the office to grab the activity sheet from the printer.

11:00-11:30: Girls generally are hungrier at this time so we head to the school at 11am, and they begin eating around 11:30. Or I prep their lunch at home.

12:00-1:00: I send the girls outside in the back to play for at least 60 minutes. Still working.

1:30-3:00: Here I would get my oldest to complete school assignments if she didn’t complete in the morning, do homework, play downstairs or quiet time. Working and finishing up any other work requests.

3:30-4:00: Girls take shower, eat a snack. I wrap up the workday unless there’s a meeting at 4pm.

4:00-5:00: Let them watch cartoons, and begin preparing dinner.

6:00: Dinner, Dave arrives home. Relax, clean up a bit, blog, watch TV etc.

8:00: Girls in bed

10:00: Me in bed.

What do you think about this schedule? Each family is different so their needs and schedule will be different. Have an idea or schedule that’s working well for you and your family? I’d love to hear it in the comments!