Pandemic Parenting – A Day in My Life


I am a morning person!  My day started at 0600 today.  It’s Monday and I am working from home on administrative tasks today.  I personally love these days – ultimate flexibility.  My daughters are ages 10, almost 13, and almost 16, so they are able to be fairly self-sufficient with distance learning (so grateful and so lucky for me).

6:15-7:00 – kitchen clean up, make a plan for tonight’s dinner, coffee, breakfast for kids.

Usually I’m an early morning exerciser but today the weather is looking nice, so I decided to start my work at 7:00 and take a break mid-day for a walk with a friend.

7:00-9:00 – Answer emails, make notes to myself of to-do’s, create today’s agenda (I like to map my tasks for the day onto my calendar so that I have a clear idea of things I am working on today).  Review my calendar for the next two weeks.  Whoops. Found two places where I’m double booked! Sent emails to try to correct my calendar.  🙂  Prepared for my 9:00 interview.

9:00-9:30 – Interview for MomDocs podcast topic, Teens Mental Health during COVID.

9:30-9:45 – my 10-year-old daughter is on school break, so we chatted and she sat with me while we made appointments for the dog’s grooming and the cat’s shots.

9:45 – Started writing this…

10:00-11:30 – I’m working on a standard protocol and order set for a type of eating disorder called Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder so that when patients are admitted to the hospital with this problem we can make their care as streamlined as possible.  A group of professionals from different backgrounds (nutrition, adolescent medicine, social work, gastroenterology, psychiatry, psychology, nursing) has been meeting to collaborate on this project because we all take care of these patients.  Today I am finalizing my draft of the order set and protocol.  This is an example of the type of work we do when we are not in clinics or seeing patients.

11:30-12:30 – Breaktime walk outside!  Deep breaths, laughing with a friend.

12:30 – Lunch for kids, me.  It’s really fancy.  PB & J or cheese quesadillas on the menu, with a side of fruit, (and let’s be honest), chips and fruit snacks.

1 p.m. – Back at my computer!  Catching up on emails again.  This takes a while because some emails have work attached to them… (read this manuscript draft, call this person back, etc.).  Got some great news!  An application I submitted for funds to support a study on acceptance for transgender kids was approved.

2:30-3:30 – Checking in on patient concerns, looking at tomorrow’s schedule.  Happen to see that one of my patients scheduled for tomorrow is currently hospitalized for suicidal ideation.  The holidays can be so hard for kids who are struggling with mental health.  I notify our team, contact the inpatient team about giving the patient a medication they were due to receive from me tomorrow in clinic.  I can do that small thing for them.

3:30 – Whoa, it’s already time for my daughter’s piano lesson on Zoom.  Got her set up and used those 30 minutes to prep dinner!  Tonight it’s a super easy one…salad and ravioli lasagna.  My almost 16-year-old became a vegetarian so we do a little more meatless these days.  I love sharing recipes!  If anyone is reading this, send me your favorites.

  • 225-ounce jars marinara pasta sauce (you could add ground beef or Italian sausage too)
  • 230-ounce packages frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 ½cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓cup chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spread half of a jar of marinara sauce evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add 1 package of frozen ravioli in an even layer over the sauce. Top with the rest of the half jar of marinara sauce. Sprinkle ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese over the sauce. Add another layer of sauce, ravioli, sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, sprayed side down. Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove pan from oven let sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with basil, if desired. Serve warm.
  • Kids are done with school for the day. They are milling around for snacks, screen time etc.  We talk about some tasks for them to help out.  Set the table, make the salad, take care of pets…

    I let them know I’ll spend one more hour on work and then we’ll prep the rest of dinner together.

    5:00-6:30 – Husband home from work, have dinner as a family, clean up.

    6:30-9:30 – Tonight my nearly 13-year-old heads to dance (in a mask!) for three hours.  My oldest exercises on her own.  My 10-year-old kicks the soccer ball around with her dad, plays with her friends over Messenger Kids.  Confession: I still check work email in the evenings.  Pre-COVID I also checked our schedules for the week…are carpools arranged? Are the school to-dos done? I have had a break from all that management recently of course.

    10:00 – Hugs, goodnights, and bedtime for all!  No devices in the rooms – kids can read until sleepy (it doesn’t usually take long!)

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