While the majority of the nation has been quarantined for the second week in a row, we’re working on our fifth. Since the news broke about the novel coronavirus, I made the conscious decision to hunker down and only leave the house if it was absolutely necessary.
I’m a homebody by nature, but not even that could have prepared me for this. Being a South Floridian, disaster strikes almost on a yearly basis; I’d even say we’re professionals at preparing for the worst. But never in my years of hurricane prep have I seen toilet paper fly off the shelves as quickly as they have in recent weeks. Still trying to find the logic in that – will let you know as soon as I do. Life has certainly been different around here with my husband home full-time and Layla in the thick of a major developmental leap that’s causing the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. She’s tired, I’m tired, we’re all just tired.
I worked tirelessly in the early days of her life to establish a routine so that we would easily be able to get ahead of all these regressions and leaps. Reality check: the habits you instill do not guarantee they won’t break the pattern when they’re experiencing changes in their tiny bodies. Pro-tip to follow up that reality check: do your best and just go with it. Regressions, leaps, and spurts are GREAT things – yay for growth, right? Right. It means they’re on track. Sure, you’ll lose a little sleep– but do you really have any plans to leave the house anyway?
Now, I have to say before continuing: I’m speaking for myself as a full-time, first-time mom with no other kids except for an overactive Goldendoodle named Phoebe.

The majority of my weekdays are filled with typical house chores, which I make sure to mix up so the routine doesn’t go totally stagnant. Wake up or get woken up, depends on the day. Feed the baby. Feed the mom. Let the other baby (dog) run outside. Shoot content for my social media channels. Nurse, nurse, nurse. It’s Thursday so it’s time to brush the dog – my cardio. “I think I will enjoy my lactation cookies after dinner time and not the usual after lunchtime” is an actual thought. I share a lot of this on my Instagram page which I’ve cultivated into a virtual journal where I get to connect with fellow FTMs (first-time moms) all over the globe. PS: They’re also tired.
Because my husband is still working, we’ve attempted to pretend he’s leaving for the day when he’s really just locking himself in our home office with minimal interruptions. He commutes from the bedroom to office, usually no traffic unless you have the occasional hallway dog, and he meets us out for lunch aka our kitchen. We’re finding our normal, as I’m sure you all are too.
A nice perk to the extra downtime at home? We’ve been paying mind to things around the house we always said we’d get to but kept pushing back; gardening, organizing our laundry room and closets, to name a few. Every weekend is an episode of Home Improvement, which is ironic because my husband kind of looks like Richard Karn but with more hair and Tim Allen looks a bit like Phoebe with less. Just swap the lovable and quiet neighbor Wilson for our loud and “we very much don’t care that you have a 4-month-old, here is our loud music at 11 am on a Tuesday to prove it” neighbors and we’ve got an entire production.
Anyway, because the pressure to leave the house on weekends has been temporarily lifted, we figured it’d be a great time to really put effort into our humble abode. I truly believe it’s helped relieve some of the anxieties brought on by this global pandemic. Doing your very best to make your surroundings beautiful is not only going to instill a sense of joy but also pride, knowing that you finally got around to all those “I’ll do it later’s”. For us, that was finally pulling the plants under our big picture window to replace with beautiful lush flowers. Progress!
I know how tough it can be, trust me, I’ve had so many moments where I’ve lost my patience and found it at rock bottom. If there’s one thing I want you all to know, it’s that it is totally and completely NORMAL! So take a moment (or several, since we’re here for a while) to appreciate all the little things. And once we’re out on the other side of this, don’t let that mindset be pandemic-exclusive. We may be in a rut right now but life happens fast, so learn to slow it down and take it all in. It’s a lot nicer that way, trust me on this one.

April 15, 2020 — Carolyna Padron