Krystina Wales is the director of donor relations and stewardship for GBMC HealthCare and lives in the North Harford neighborhood of Baltimore city. She shares a day in the life of her family.
My husband is a stay-at-home dad to our 2.5-year-old and 8-month-old so their lives are virtually the same since COVID-19. But with the addition of mom working from home—at first full-time, now three days a week—the transition has been more than fun. Let me take you through our day!
Let’s get this day started
I creep downstairs to our playroom/home office to see if I can get some work done before the house wakes up. We live in an old house and have two golden retrievers, who can’t hear me screaming their name trying to get them to come inside, but somehow can hear every creak in the floorboards when our children are sleeping.
The big one starts to stir. We had a rough transition when I started working from home, where she climbed out of the crib all night and VERY early in the morning. (I’m talking 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.) We have since incorporated the Hatch light, which has worked very effectively for her as she is an extreme rule follower, so 7 a.m. is when she announces via the monitor that her light is, in fact, blue and I need to come get her.
We change clothes, brush teeth and make breakfast. Usually, the little one is up as well and I set her up in the bouncer while the big one eats and both watch Daniel Tiger. Yes, screen time before 2. Groundbreaking.
(Note: Both of them sleep much later when I am not at home. I continue to find this discomfiting to say the least.)
My husband is awake and managing the two of them while I work in the same room. We are both drinking all the coffee. (I had to up how many bags get delivered to us per month.) I have become used to handwriting thank you notes to the tune of the Alphablocks on YouTube, which is what we have on in the background to help improve the big one’s speech.
I breastfeed the little one at my desk, hoping I am not on a Zoom call when she gets hungry. The big one has already asked for a snack, which is always whole carrots. It’s a wonder the child isn’t orange.
Usually, the little one is ready for a nap. She prefers me to put her down, probably because I rock her and cuddle with her, which I am sure will stunt her development or make her become too reliant on me, but what the hell, she’s probably my last kid. I’m doing it.
I take a break to eat lunch with the big one, which my lovely husband has made for us (work from home perks!). If the little one is up, she gets some purees as well.
I take a break from work to spend some time with them. We usually hang out in the big one’s room so the little one can crawl around and get into everything that isn’t age-appropriate toys I have strategically scattered across the room.
After I feed the little one again without the threat of Zoom, my husband continues to play with the girls while I do the afternoon portion of the day.
If we have timed it right, both girls nap at the same time. I have work to do, but I feel compelled to accomplish every task you need two hands and two eyes for in order to take advantage of this rare opportunity.
Read Class Notes
Both girls are awake and I am done for the day. I feed the little one. If it’s nice outside, we walk or play on the front porch. If it’s not, the big one and I bake. It was becoming a real dire situation in the flour department for awhile there. Luckily, I have amazing girlfriends who spotted me.
Cooking with kids
Start dinner with the big one next to me on a folding chair. She loves to help and stick her finger in every ingredient. I encourage it so she can learn, but don’t love it when it’s raw meat.
Occasionally, her Mimi video chats with us while we cook. It’s nice to catch up with my mom and have an extra set of eyes on the big one while I cook. “Uh, Krystina, she’s putting her toys in the sink.”
Family dinner, followed by all the Bs, as I like to call it: Bath, Brush Teeth, Books, Bed. I guess you can add Breastfeed again too for the little one. Everybody is at least in their bed by 7:30 p.m. It’s a toss-up whether they are actually asleep.
Chore time for mom. I clean up dishes, feed the dogs, prep for the next day, etc. and possibly read.
Bedtime for Mom. My boobs have a 2 a.m. wake up call.