How She Does It
Working Mom of 2
Angela describes herself as “a type-A planner, over-thinker, and busy bee.” With a full time job in marketing, two young kids, and a side hustle as a life coach, Angela may be one of the busiest bees we know. One our favorite things about Angela is that despite how busy she is, she is always a source of positivity and joy. And we need both of those now more than ever!
As with most parents, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the shelter-in-place orders have changed almost everything about Angela’s daily life. However, the challenges of this stressful time haven’t gotten the best of Angela and she has honed a great quarantine routine that has helped keep her and her family safe and sane. We admire the balanced, creative, and collaborative approach she has taken to cope with this new reality so we sat down with her (from a safe social distance, of course) to get the scoop on her secrets to quarantine success.
“…I have had to learn to let go a little bit…I’m learning that it’s ok to let my girls have some unexpected in their life and that the teaching moments in that are endless.“
How do you typically spend your time on an average day, before quarantine?
Since having my children, life has become a system of sorts for us. We have routines to help keep us sane and moving along. I work from home most of the time, unless traveling, so typically 8 – 5:30 was work, 6:00 dinner, and by 8:00 we were putting the girls to bed. Saturday was our “free” day as my 5 year old called them and Sunday was for church and preparing for the week ahead. Not a lot of time for our own hobbies, but the girls are involved in dance and swim, so that was worked into the routine. Seeing my family happy and healthy has been my priority since getting married 7 years ago.
How has that changed since quarantine?
Life as we knew it stopped for the most part when quarantine started. My husband had to stop working, so we had to lay off our nanny who has been with our family for over 3 years. He became “nanny daddy”, and I have been doing my best to keep working from home with them home all of the time and try to come up with fun ways to keep life engaging. Swim and dance classes stopped, no more preschool, no more eating out once a week at a restaurant. I have not had to travel for work at all since this started which has been a huge relief and welcome side effect of quarantine.
What has proven most challenging to you during these past few months? How have you tried to address those challenges?
Helping my girls (ages 5 & 3), to feel some sort of normalcy and continue to find joy in every day things, despite them not being able to go to their schools, or seeing yellow caution tape wrapped around the playgrounds. It’s an exhausting feat to put on a brave face for them so they can feel brave in the midst of so much uncertainty. My husband and I take turns getting extra rest in to try and reset and regroup as much as possible. We also try to have age appropriate conversations with them so that they can understand it’s okay to have a bad day. Those conversations help us all to process a little bit more.
What does your daily and weekly quarantine routine look like?
We have established a daily routine that helps us stay on track with the girls’ school lessons as well as some weekly milestones to give us all things to look forward to.
Daily is broken down into times when I start work, and my husband starts the day with the girls. They get dressed into their day clothes out of their pj’s and brush teeth at the same time every morning. Then it’s on to chunks of time to focus on various activities such as sensory play, math time, story time, snack time, etc. After lunch, they have an hour and a half or so of quiet time. Depending on the weather they get some outside play time as much as possible in between everything. When weather is nice in the Seattle area this time of year we take as much advantage of it as possible!
Weekly, we have started some new traditions too! On Tuesday’s we go out for “Treat Tuesday”. We find a bakery or sweet shop of some sort that is open for take out and put on our masks, go for a drive and let the girls pick out something sweet to eat! We have had the best time and have discovered some great local bakeries along the way. Friday nights, the girls get to take a bath in the “big bathtub” in our room and it’s movies and popcorn!
How has your approach to time management and planning changed during quarantine?
We have a paper daily schedule on our refrigerator to help keep us reminded of how we want the days to go. For those that know me well, they would tell you that I would never put anything on my fridge. Clutter is not my friend. But desperate times call for desperate measures and so a paper schedule with scotch tape it is.
In addition, I have had to learn to let go a little bit. Knowing that there will be days that the girls just need to cuddle and watch a movie. Or days where I have back to back work calls and my husband just has to do it all. I’m learning that it’s ok to let my girls have some unexpected in their life and that the teaching moments in that are endless.
How do you split responsibilities with your partner and your tribe? How has your support system changed since quarantine?
We have had a full time nanny since our oldest was 3 months old. The Covid-19 situation changed that overnight and we had to lay off our amazing nanny and my husband had to step in. The loss of that support has been felt greatly. The girls miss her being here every day and ask when she will come play with them. It breaks my heart to not be able to give them an answer to that question.
My husband has taken on the daily role for daytime meals and snacks, boo-boos and playtime. Preschool worksheets and video calls with teachers. It’s been a huge blessing to see how effortlessly and selflessly he has stepped into this.
We did have bi-weekly professional house cleaning before the quarantine started but that has since been put on hold. So we have split up all the cleaning, laundry and yard work to try to keep everything up. For meal planning, we signed up for Dinnerly for meal delivery. We have the ingredients for 5 dinners a week delivered right to our door which has been a huge energy saver for me. Trying to think about what to cook for dinner every night can be exhausting. Having Dinnerly has helped us spend less time at the store as well.
What helps you and your partner stay in sync regarding what needs to be done?
A LOT of communication. It sounds so simple, but I know can be one of the biggest struggles in families/relationships. We have to be open about not only the activities of the day or week, but also our own personal needs for space or “me-time” etc. The communication is what helps keep the wheels turning.
“On Tuesday’s we go out for ‘Treat Tuesday.’ We find a bakery or sweet shop of some sort that is open for take out and put on our masks, go for a drive and let the girls pick out something sweet to eat! We have had the best time and have discovered some great local bakeries along the way.”
How do you keep your kids entertained and occupied throughout the day?
The girls keep a routine for their preschool activities/work and whenever possible are spending time outside to play. I will admit we have spent some money to invest in their entertainment. An indoor playground set for the playroom, we have a bounce house that can fit in the living room and we just put up a pool for the summer in the back yard. They have a lot of variety which has kept their attention span going at least for a little while!
How are you helping your kids cope with quarantine?
We are doing the best we can to have age-appropriate conversations. My 5-year old calls the virus “the fevers.” She says “when the fevers are gone…..” and then inserts her desires for what she wants to do when things open back up. They miss their friends, play dates and swim class. We let them talk about what they want to do when this is over, we dream with them and get excited about what is to come. We are careful to acknowledge when they say they miss something, and we will say something that we miss or something that makes us sad so they know it’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to miss things. Otherwise, we do what we can to make everything an adventure and fun. Getting them excited about the little things helps the mood in the whole house.
This is a difficult time for everyone but especially for moms. What do you do to take care of yourself? How are you coping?
I’m terrible at self-care in or out of quarantine. But, I will say that my husband is great at making me do it. I take naps on the weekend. During the week I will sneak away into my room for quiet time for a short period of time to get away from my computer for a little bit and let my mind reset. I have been going to the chiropractor as well, their office is still open and is 15 minutes a week of getting to focus on me and has been amazing to keep that going.
If you could offer words of support to moms who may be struggling to manage quarantine life day to day, what would you share with them?
When we first hired a nanny over 5 years ago, my husband and I agreed that it didn’t matter if they were bi-lingual or if they were good at chores around the house. The most important thing for us at the end of the day was that our child (ren) was happy and healthy. That would be my word of encouragement to moms everywhere. It doesn’t matter if your child is learning everything you think they should right now out of a book, it doesn’t matter if chores are left undone for a little while, it doesn’t matter what other moms are posting pics of on social media. What matters most is that your child (ren) is happy and healthy. And that YOU are happy and healthy. Everything else will figure itself out.
We want to look at the glass half full so what about this current reality is something you have come to appreciate, enjoy, or wish would continue after all of this is over?
My girls have always gotten along well. They are only 21 months apart. This situation, however, has made them into the best little playmates and friends. The way they laugh together, make up their own games and share. It’s been amazing to watch happen and I hope that when the world starts to open up, they cling to the relationship they are building now.
“It doesn’t matter if your child is learning everything you think they should right now out of a book, it doesn’t matter if chores are left undone for a little while, it doesn’t matter what other moms are posting pics of on social media. What matters most is that your child (ren) is happy and healthy. And that YOU are happy and healthy. Everything else will figure itself out.”
Angela’s Quarantine Routine in Liveli Planner
When asked how Liveli Planner could help Angela manage her quarantine routine, she shared, “I love that Liveli Planner has the ability to sync multiple calendar sources. Being able to see my work calendar can help my husband set expectations for his schedule throughout the day as well. He can plan shopping runs or house projects around the time that I may be available to help with the girls with my work schedule.”
You can draw inspiration from Angela’s quarantine routine for families with young kids by checking out the template below.
And you can get your own Liveli Planner by clicking here.
Check out Angela's life coaching company: Life Stops
Angela is a transformational life coach, speaker, and writer who is using her positivity and profound life experiences as a mother and cancer survivor to help other women with all of the challenges life brings.
How She Does It is brought to you by Liveli Planner. At Liveli Planner, we value the women who do epic sh!t in their communities, homes, and workplaces. These ordinary women do the incredible every day but we don’t always hear their stories. Liveli Planner wants to change that. We believe that by sharing the stories we don’t always hear about, we’ll learn from each other’s wins and struggles and hopefully realize we are pretty extraordinary too.