I took a holiday from May 9th through May 17th. If we wouldn’t have had a global pandemic, I would have traveled to Delft on May 8th. As this date was drawing nearer, and I saw the itinerary on my calendar every time, it made me quite sad. A week before the (already canceled) trip, I removed the appointment from my calendar, and May 8th passed by without me thinking much about the situation at all. I also decided to take a week off – the combination of online teaching, regular work, and no childcare had been very taxing.
I put my out of office reply, and was planning to disconnect from it all for a week. But these are strange times – so things did not go as planned. I am working towards my university teaching qualification for the Netherlands, and was supposed to take two courses during my stay in Delft. They are online now, but in the mornings in the Netherlands (and 2:30am local time). They managed to get me on an earlier course that meets in the afternoon instead – so I’m quite happy with that, but it also meant I had to spend half a day on the course anyway. (I quite liked it though). In addition, I had to attend a Zoom meeting of our department, and then another Thing came up that had me lay awake at night in bed. Disconnecting did not happen, alas.
What did happen, was a lot of time with my daughter. I have tried to make most of this time quality time, but I admit to sometimes sitting next to here while scrolling through something on my phone. It’s something that I want to stop doing. I don’t mind sitting next to her, reading a book. I want her to remember me later as a mom who was reading a lot, not one who was scrolling through Twitter a lot. All in all, we did a lot of fun adventures together: including baking, cooking, lots of playing, some coloring, painting, some educational websites (logo, 123zing, ABCMouse), and some playing in and around a small tub with water on the roof.
I had made a checklist for myself for the week, planning to tick off the following every day:
– strength training
– creativity for my daughter (2 boxes)
– educational activity for my daughter (2 boxes, one for the morning and one for the afternoon)
– call a family member or friend
– something for myself
– organizing in the house
– time outside
I made a plan for my workouts for the week, I made a plan for the creativity and educational activities for my daughter, a list of people to call, a list of 10 self-care ideas, a list of 10 cupboards/spaces in the house to organize, a meal plan for the week, and a list of outside adventure. I did some of it, but also learned that:
– I’ve become a slacker in my meditations and tend to fall asleep and just sleep through. That’s because I’m very tired still, but also because I’ve allowed myself to do so. From now on, I’m trying to meditate in the morning instead.
– Working out with a toddler around and my husband working from home is not easy. Best time is either after she goes to bed, or while she is playing happily on her own.
– When she’s playing happily on her own, it’s no use disrupting that because it is “time” for the planned learning activity.
– I may have time to call people when I remove work from my schedule, but the people I want to call, not.
– I did some of my selfcare ideas, including making a facial mask myself – which ended up leaking into my eyes and all over the house.
– I did some organizing, but those overflowing drawers in the bathroom still need some attention.
– I cooked some, but the meal plan was not followed much.
I enjoyed making these plans, and I will try something similar if I take a break between the summer and fall semester, but this time, it was only a partial success.