I know, for many, these times are difficult and trying. There is a perceived loss of freedom. The fearfulness of the disease itself. The financial worries of the economy. While I do share many of these concerns, I’ve chosen to focus on the positive aspects of our new normal which, for me, frankly outweigh the negatives of these unusual circumstances.
Spending more time with my family
I feel so blessed during this time of transition from a three-person family to a four person family that I’m able to spend the last few weeks with all three of us together. The transition to working and schooling from home was not as challenging as I’m sure many are because we run our own business from home. We immediately set up a “homeschooling” schedule for my oldest son by repurposing the whiteboard that we bought to manage tasks for Trestle Thirty One. Now it has a tiny American flag taped to the side and sports today’s date, what yesterday was, what tomorrow will be, and the weather today along with the schedule, spelling words, and chores for the day. The wine business has been relegated to a tiny marked off corner of the board; a small sign of the reprioritization in our lives.
I see so many people commenting on seeing their spouse in “work mode” for the first time. Brian and I met at work almost 20 years ago. In fact, our boss at the time, seeing how well we worked together started putting us together on organizing the warehouse and unloading boxes together which eventually led to us dating. We have very similar working methods although we are totally different in work style. If you follow the DiSC method, I’m an Si and Brian is a CD so together we cover almost the entire range of thought processes. We have both been working in the wine industry for many years, on occasion at the same companies. We have also been running Trestle Thirty One together for 5 years now so we are pros at working together and in the same spaces. I really enjoy working next to him now because of the little moments now that I’m pregnant. His smiles of support while I waddle across the house and quick shoulder rubs after a conference call. He’s also been incredible as we tag team the “homeschool” work together. We compare schedules in the morning to make sure we don’t overlap and then trade off on the schedule as the day goes by. At 5pm the work/school day ends for all of us and we are able to play cards, boardgames, or a rigged up ring toss in the back yard. These moments of family time are the best!
Even though I’m super uncomfortable physically now, I’m able to adjust how and where I’m working in the house to accommodate my needs in a way which would be impossible in my office at work. I rotate between my balance ball and a dining room chair most of the day but if I need to put my feet up I move to the couch with my lap top. In the afternoon, I have the option of moving outside to our backyard (luckily the wifi works out there too!) to get some sun and fresh air. Most of my maternity clothes don’t fit at this point and it’s too late in the pregnancy to buy more so working from home gives me the relaxed options in my wardrobe that most late third trimester women only dream about having.
Thirdly, the number of cancellations in meetings, events, and general busyness has been such a relief. Before the stay at home order, I kept waiting each week for the slow down in life which naturally happens when one starts to say “no” to all extracurricular activities and many work ones in the months before the baby comes. It just never seemed to manifest. It appeared that I was going to run full steam into the brick wall of labor without having any time to mentally or physically prepare for it. This made for a very quick pregnancy in hindsight with the weeks rolling on top of each other. However, my normal pace of life was starting to be exhausting as the time progressed into my third trimester. I wasn’t sleeping well, only 2-3 hours at any given time. I found myself wandering the house at 2am trying to go back to sleep. For this reason, I find this time to be an absolute blessing. Things that really needed to get done are getting done and many things that were not as urgent when looked at in the face of the pandemic have been postponed or canceled. It allowed me to exhale in a way that I haven’t for a long time. Brian asked me just yesterday if I wanted to get out of the house and go for a drive. I’ve got to say that urge has never once crossed my mind during this time at home. Maybe “nesting” in my case is really just that, staying in the nest.
There are so many unknowns at this point which will unfold over the next 6 weeks. Will I be able to go to the hospital to give birth or will the risk be too great to both the baby and me? Will we run out of milk? Current limitations on what you can buy at the store are not really conducive to not going to the store frequently and between my son and I, we are drinking a lot of milk. To mask or not to mask? Luckily, we have masks from the fire preparedness kit that I put together after last year’s wildfires, but should we be using them? I’m leaning toward yes at this point.
Finally, what is my line up of wines that I’ll be enjoying post-baby birth? We have a lovely Domaine Carneros Rose that Brian picked up and at least two other bottles of Champagne that were gifts over the past 8 months that have been calling my name. There will be Pinot Noir of course, and lots of FLX Riesling. Probably a few Gin based summer cocktails thrown in (all worked in responsibly around feedings of course).
There is lots to look forward to for all of us. In the meantime, enjoy the moment with our families, and look for the silver linings whenever possible.