January 28

Covid & Home-work (with kids)

by Spring Architecture + Design

Today mostly what was on my mind was my 11:00 meeting with the city zoning officials and attorneys, as I was pitching an architectural proposal to the city for an art and cultural center. Behind the scenes, my daughter slept late, so I knew there was going to be a bit of grogginess and hope for a breastfeed session, but that had to wait until later, since I had to jump in the shower, and finish up my prepared speech, and visual package of renderings, plans and elevations. I am not a procrastinator, so I was pretty much all set just wanting to check on zoom delivery and make sure my camera and machine would share correctly. Life working from home is a lot different from face-to-face meetings, which I am sure we all know now.  

Check, all done. I am ready. Coffee and water at my side, and enthusiasm in heart, I was so excited. Oh yah, one more thing, I had to have a serious conversation with my two boys, as they are only 6 and 7 and also “working” from home, since today is a” learning day from home”. Don’t ask about this schedule because it is probably more confusing than the SATs, but if you are interested: They go to school every two days then learn from home every other week for one day, and then all of their days in school are only half the day, but get this I’m not done, that half day could be morning or afternoon depending on the quarter of the year. It’s mindfully head-boggling. IF you know me, I love a challenge, so I am working with the time I got. Just the thing is somehow everyone around you also has to magically be prepared for 3 kids in tow because there are no convenient fairy-like people to help with the kids conforming to this schedule. Believe me, I tried to find them. Perhaps, they will come out of the woodwork in the new year.

Anyway, regardless of the pandemic, the kids are known to linger around my office, come in and out, often play under my desk as I work, and have even hung on my neck as they sit tightly with me on my chair. Side note: If you ask me “have I breastfeed while drawing up plans or modeling a 3d site proposal, the answer is also yes”. I love my kids and they are a part of my every day business. I am also not ashamed of being a working mom and mastering the art of doing both. I am proud of this and so why not share it with the rest of the world. Back to the meeting, so  during this time, the kids could not interrupt. I do keep my professional face when needed, and this was one of those times. Again, today, I was leading the discussion by displaying, and explaining our architectural design proposal.

So, the conversation went like this: 

“Boys, please go to your rooms and keep the doors shut, I am going to set an alarm in your room and you must stay in there for an hour and a half, no you are not prisoners, yes I do love you very much, I just need for you to read for 30 minutes write for 30 minutes and then play together for 30 minutes on either a math game or any of these toys you have chosen” 

Earlier, we had gone in the playroom to pick some of their toy choices, legos, chess, and construction paper to make gingerbread people for a school project. 

“Then you can quietly go and eat the lunch waiting for you in the kitchen.”

I usually mass cook on a Sunday and then each day in the morning I have breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared for the family. As a working mom, and a mom of hungry boys I find that half the battle won, is having food ready to go. I highly suggest glass containers to pack cooked meals and then just reheat at mealtime. I have taught my children how to use the toaster and microwave at the age of 2, so they are pretty savvy around the kitchen. Well, they were very happy with their schedule, and meal waiting for them.

And, then before I almost left I made this very important point clear: 

“No pooping in the foyer bathroom.” 

Sorry to be crude but for some reason the boys love to go to the bathroom there and it is adjacent to my office. So, I don’t want any of that background noise related, as my camera and video is on. They giggled and thought this was so funny. So, I figured that was consent. I left them rolling around happy and laughing in their room, and got down to my office with time to spare. I delivered our architectural proposal, and took the city’s audience through the visualized renderings and plans, the inspiration and internet for the project. At the end, there was silence. 

Thankfully, the kids still seemed preoccupied upstairs, so the silence could not have been a surprise element from that angle, the kids that is, so I said “open for discussion,” waiting to hear feedback. The audience spoke up and led with “spectacular” and then added “a wow moment, this is so great.” So exciting, everyone in the meeting was happy, and I managed to leave mom out of the office today as nobody observed two kids on my neck, no baby on the breast, no loud pooping sounds from the hall. Nope, that was a good silent moment, where people were happily surprised and collecting their thoughts to put into words about the architecture, as art. So, I was full, and everyone else left the meeting happy as well, and now we can move forward and we are all very excited to be working together on this philanthropic and community vision of a cultural arts center that is going to impact the world in so many good ways. I breathe this successful moment in, let it sink in and feel how grateful I am. I tie up a couple more calls as I hear the bowling balls upstairs who seem to be getting louder as they are holed up there, so my next move is to go up stairs and share my happy news with them. “I did it guys.”

And I expected them to pinball out of there, excited by their release. But instead one hugs me and says “I am so proud of you” and the other says “you can do anything, mommy, I am so proud of you too”. I am filled with joy of their support, and tell them that I am proud of them too for doing their work, staying respectfully quiet during my meeting, and not using the hall bathroom. We all had a good laugh again and skipped (and snapped) down the stairs for lunch. 

Good day of achievement.

By Spring Architecture + Design

Tags

achievement, architect, architecture, art, attorneys, city, covid, culture, design, designer, happy, interior design, kids, meeting, modern day, professional, proposal, work from home, zoning, zoom


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