Diary of a Parent: Jenny Yukna


Hello from Lauraville in Beautiful Northeast Baltimore! Come along for a day in our life during this unusual time of isolation.

Roll call: We are a family of four. I am Jenny and I am the marketing director at the incomparable St. Francis of Assisi School (SFA) in Mayfield, near beautiful Lake Montebello and Herring Run Park.

Diary of a Parent Jenny Yukna

My husband, Ethan is the sole proprietor of Acumen Appraisal Agency, a real estate appraisal business. We have two young sons, Santiago, 7, and Sinjin, 5, whom we call Champ. Our family life, like everyone else’s, has gone through some abrupt changes recently. Here’s a look at what we’re up to:

Early risers

6 a.m.

Yup, 6 a.m. Our kids wake up at the crack of dawn, ready to rumble. And they want pancakes. Every. Dang. Day. So, we round up breakfast for them, and Ethan and I chug about a thousand ounces of coffee before we jump into the day’s routine.

diary of a parent jenny yukna7 a.m.

I wash the first round of dishes of the day and then set up an art activity for Champ. Both Santi and Champ love creative projects. Luckily, we had ALL the arts and crafts supplies on hand before the pandemic struck!

8 a.m.

We log on for the SFA morning routine of prayer, pledge and announcements. This gives some structure to the mornings. We are lucky to have a super tech-savvy principal who was able to quickly pivot to an online platform.

8:30 a.m.

Champ is usually going bananas by this time, so he goes upstairs to his playroom to jump on our old mattress, which we are now using as a makeshift trampoline. Gotta get the wiggles out somehow! While he jumps, he usually listens to weird trap and dubstep remixes of the Calliou and Barney theme songs. Yes, you read that right.

Meanwhile, Santi logs into his first online session of the day. We are so grateful to the teachers at SFA—they have been working tirelessly to provide a sense of normalcy and continuity for the students.

Read Diary of a Parent: Desheia Scott

diary of a parent jenny yuknaEthan and I attempt to work (usually in five-minute stretches), while responding to 70 billion requests for snacks. You just ate breakfast, ya’ll, CHILL! I usually check my email, try to grab some pics for SFA’s social media and work on a couple of Graduate Spotlights. Our eighth graders are headed to high school, and we are trying our best to make them feel special during this unprecedented school closure.

Then I read through various threads in local online community groups to see if there are any resources I can share with my neighbors and our school family. We are very fortunate to live in a tight-knit neighborhood full of helpers. It’s been amazing to watch everyone pitch in to assist those in need during this difficult time.

Rolling along

9:30 a.m.

Champ jumps into his online preschool class. It’s so cute to watch them raise their hands to answer while their teachers are on the computer screen.

10:30 a.m.

Santi’s second online class begins, Champ works on another art project or (more often) watches SUPER ANNOYING adults doing SUPER ANNOYING stunts and challenges on YouTube (don’t judge). The lunch requests start to roll in. All systems begin to break down.

diary of a parent jenny yukna11:30 a.m.

We (usually Ethan as I am a terrible cook) fix lunch for the kids. We serve a healthy, organic lunch that both of them refuse to eat, then Santi just legit eats a full sleeve of saltines and Champ drinks a Carnation instant breakfast. How are they still alive?


I begin to question all of my life choices, debate whether it’s worth it to shower, wash some more dishes, do some laundry (how is there laundry, no one gets dressed?!), clean up pee (two boys) and look longingly out the window. At this point, I grab yet more coffee and hop into a group chat to commiserate with my people. How did we ever survive without group chats?

2 p.m.

The daily meltdown is in full effect. Everyone is crying. YouTube is blaring, no work is happening. We have reached Threat Level Midnight, and the countdown to bedtime has begun.

A full day

3-7 p.m.

This is a blur of exhaustion, snacking, wrestling, breaking stuff, spilling stuff, drawing on stuff with Sharpies, cooking a healthy dinner (that they will not eat, see above) and considering whether it’s too early for cocktails. We attempt a walk or at least some outside time.

7 p.m.

Bath time and bedtime routine. Includes much stalling and bargaining.

Diary of a Parent Jenny Yukna

8:30 p.m.

They are asleep. Finally. Although Champ will get up at least once during the night. When will it be? 9 p.m.? 3 a.m.? The suspense is thrilling!

Ethan and I work/clean/binge watch late into the night.

6 a.m.

It starts again. Thanks for joining us for our day!

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