I Miss How Our Life Improved During Quarantine

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Am I the only one who’s missing being cooped up with family? If you would have told me on March 15 that I’d be looking back and thinking of what I miss about the stay-at-home order, I would have had some choice words. Those first couple of weeks I cried more than I had in months, but then we got into a groove. We found a new normal. And then it all shifted again.

It was time for the world to open up and go back to work.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reflecting on what I miss about working from home with my son and husband around. It was more time at home with our son than when I was on maternity leave. My husband was forced to temporarily close down his business, so it was important for us to look at ways to save money. The time presented challenges for us, but we chose to make positive changes.

Saving Lunch Money
Before WFH order, I would get takeout most days of the week. I work downtown and there are so many delicious options. At home, we were making lunch for three of us and made much more economical, healthy choices.

Eating Healthy and Meal Planning
We were bad about pizza and takeout prior to staying at home. My husband and I quickly shifted to Pinterest boards and meal planning. We started picking two to three meals before purchasing our groceries. Our goal was to get multiple servings out of each meal. My husband is now officially a casserole king.

Reduced Impulse Purchases
There’s a reason my husband does the grocery shopping and I limit my trips to Target. I’m a sucker for impulse purchases. During SAHO, we did all of our shopping through delivery services. When you are looking at the shopping cart together and cutting costs, you quickly realize what you need and what you don’t.

Cooking Dinner
My husband generally gets home before me, so I rarely cook dinner. When I could end my day at 5:30 pm and walk a few feet to the kitchen, I was able to perfect a few new recipes to add to my cooking repertoire. Ask me about my gluten free beef stroganoff.

Sleeping More
When you take out morning prep time and commute time, you can suddenly get more sleep. I was averaging an hour more sleep a night and letting myself wake up naturally.

Starting the Day with Gratitude
I knew I needed to focus on the positive to start the day and set the tone, so I would spend a few minutes in meditation, prayer or writing in a gratitude journal. While I took the time for this daily pre-SAHO, I realized how critical it was for my general attitude during SAHO.

Getting Laundry Done
Surely I’m not the only mom who’s always behind on laundry. I was consistently caught up on laundry the entire time we were at home. For the first time ever. I’d throw in a load before starting my work. Change it out after a Zoom call. I could easily keep it going throughout the day.

Working Out at Lunch
I used my lunch hours to either bike with our son or take a power walk by myself. I didn’t have to worry about being a little sweaty or offending any colleagues when I returned to work the rest of the day.

Rocking a Fresh Face and Hair
I was at home for nearly 90 days before returning to work. I can count on one hand how many times I put on full makeup or curled my hair. I quickly figured out I could wear my glasses, pull my hair back and put on a bold lip for Zoom calls. The first time I left the house a friend commented on how great my skin looked. I told her it was because it finally had a chance to breathe after all these years.

Consuming More Water
I try to drink my daily quota of water at work, but I’m not consistent. While at home, I set a timer and would walk the 10 feet from my “office” to the fridge to fill my water bottle.

Helping the Environment
I drive about 30 miles round trip each day, which is roughly 20 minutes each way on the highway. With additional errands and running around town, I end up filling up my tank every 7-10 days. From March 15 to May 15, I never filled up my car once.

Spending Extra Time with Family
Being around my husband and son during this uncertain time brought me comfort and put everything that was going on in the world in perspective.

Moving Forward
The SAHO reminded me to value time with my family and focus on self care. While I can’t carry all of these lifestyle changes forward, I realize I need to make an effort to continue these in order to be a better person and mom.

What do you miss about being at home as a family?

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Ashley grew up in Augusta and has lived in the Wichita area for most of her life. She works full time as vice president at a marketing agency. She'd been in the workforce for 15 years and faced years of fertility challenges before being blessed with son Charlie in 2015. She met her husband, Josh, in kindergarten. The house-divided college sweethearts attended KU and K-State, starting their careers in Dallas before returning to Wichita in 2003. Not just a full-time executive and mom, she owns Josh Cook Golf Academy with her namesake husband. Ashley also enjoys volunteering as Wichita Aero Club vice chair, driving a golf cart with Josh and Charlie, drinking wine and spending time with family.