My household is small—it’s my husband, my dog, and myself. Since March, we’ve said on countless occasions how lucky we are to live in a split-level home. If it weren’t for the two floors, I’m not sure how we’d have made working from home a success with our dueling calls and responsibilities. I’m not a quiet person, Asa is very loud, and Blazedog (whom some of you may have seen on Instagram) is an incredibly vocal dog... you could say we haven’t really nailed inside vs. outside voices. During the workday, I’m posted up in our dining room, Asa’s in the basement (it’s well-lit, not a dungeon!), and Blaze pads from sunbeam to sunbeam.
Despite the situation at hand, we’ve made it work and have spent more time together then either of us would’ve ever imagined. Blazedog is the real winner in our familial equation—daily walks (that dude is in the BEST shape of his life), post-call belly rubs, and now he has round-the-clock human companions. It’s the life all rescue dogs dream of!
For years it’s just been the three of us. We have our routines, our quirks, and above all, we each have our own forms of “therapy” that keep us Zen. Traditionally, I turned to the gym to relieve my stress while my husband plugged into his Xbox. At the end of the week PP (Pre-Pandemic) we’d both unwind at a local brewery surrounded by friends. Between businesses closing doors, new restrictions to ensure our safety, and increased virtual fatigue, those habits have changed. The pandemic rocked so many aspects of our lives.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so we’ve found new ways and rediscovered old passions to keep our relationship and family dynamic strong. Our kitchen and love for music, as Marie Kondo says, spark joy.
While Asa and I have always cooked together, we’ve made it a point to introduce new recipes to each week’s menu. Meal planning and prep used to be the bane of our existence, now Sunday nights you’ll find us flipping through cookbooks our scouring new food blogs (checkout Half Baked Harvest... you won’t regret it) as we source our plates for the upcoming week. Cooking has evolved into rehashing our favorite concerts or throwing on random playlists allowing us to discover new artists and genres! No, our kitchen doesn’t resemble our favorite restaurant scenes, nor does it have quite the crowds (or spilled beverages) that concert venues offered but finding these activities to strengthen our relationship has been so gratifying.
Beyond creating new habits and routines this year, our family is embracing new titles in 2021: Mom, Dad, and big brother.
The world sure doesn’t resemble much of what I thought it would, and despite all the uncertainties, I am certain of a few things:
- When you’ve seemingly reached your wit’s end, your dog will find a way to test it... and you’ll *eventually* get a good laugh from whatever that test may be.
- I am overjoyed and nervous about the arrival of our son in 2021, but I think my husband is most excited for “mystery” packages to STOP arriving at our house and to have a reprieve from nursery projects.
- Our definition of families, especially our pandemic bubble families, looks different for us all, making them each so unique. The people you surround yourself with, by choice or by blood, can be a real source of strength, light, and love.
Tell me about your families! What’s the routine you’ve struck (or...maybe more appropriately, routines you’ve tested)? How have you shifted the dynamic or what new activities have you taken on in your household? Any new family members...furry or human?