Motherhood in Quarantine

Motherhood in Quarantine

Even without the excuse of Mother's Day, I've been thinking a lot lately about that part of my identity.  I'm thinking about my pregnant friends and what it'll be like for them to give birth later this month.  I'm thinking about my friends raising kids alone.  I'm thinking about my mom friends who worked in restaurants and bars. I'm thinking about my mom, far away from me. I'm thinking about the million ways that all of us might be experiencing motherhood right now.  Fellow moms, I'd love to hear how you're doing. You can leave a comment below to share with everyone, or reach me at

Here's how I'm doing: 

4:45 am

I got a later start this morning than I’d hoped for. I’ve already wasted time fussing with a clump of splinters in my right hand, setting the water on the stove, watching a video of Brad Pitt playing Anthony Fauci on SNL. If I’m lucky I have two hours alone, but more likely our two-year-old will realize I’ve gotten out of bed, and in twenty minutes or so, I’ll hear her tiny feet on the steps.  “You there, Mama?” These days, darling?  Yes. I always am.

5:10 am   

During quarantine, I fantasize about being alone. Taking a bath alone.  Reading the newspaper alone. Eating lunch at my desk alone. It’s 5:12 am and already I’m mourning this fleeting moment of silence. A lot impacts how each of us is experiencing this pandemic. Here’s what it looks like for us:

For 8 weeks, my husband, our daughters Lucia (2) and Vita (4), and I have been quarantining in a little house in the woods owned by friends who live in Charleston.  A path leads down the hill to the Hungry River.  There’s satellite Internet—enough bandwidth for Alex and I to be living in our email and GSuite, but not enough, really, to stream movies online.  There’s a DVD player, though, and 1 DVD—Frozen 2.  Vita’s made a convincing case for being allowed to watch it twice a day, so long as she plays it in Spanish. “I’m learning, Mama!” Sure, sweetie. Whatever you want.

As the reporting director for our Sales, Marketing, and Creative teams, I’m still working full-time.  Alex took a few weeks to clear his head but now has been at the factory a lot, masked, gloved, figuring out how we’re going to make more pots than we did last year, but with 6 people on the factory floor at a time instead of 35.  My work and my motherhood are only getting half my brain, but that’s not really new, is it?

My vision of myself in motherhood was pretty off the mark from reality.  Before I had kids I’d imagined day after day filled with homemade playdough, construction paper crowns, planting gardens, going on walks.  I didn’t imagine myself working 50 to 60 hours a week, distracted by my cellphone, tired all the time, bickering with Alex over work stuff that we probably actually agree about if we could hear each other better. “Stop talking about East Fork!” was an early adopted phrase in both our babies’ vocabularies.

During quarantine, I fantasize about spending more time with my children.

5:48 am 

Still alone. Vita, understands that the Coronavirus is especially dangerous for older people, which has her very worried about her grandparents, especially my mom and dad, who live in Los Angeles and are still having to go to work Downtown.  She’s had a lot of tantrums—hitting her sister, throwing her fork, stomping her little foot while her face floods red.  When I’m patient enough to hold and breath her through it, the feelings behind the anger is always the same—I miss my grandma and I want to know when I can see her again. “Me too, baby,” I say. My mom’s started dressing as Disney characters and having my dad film her talking in character.  When Vita is sad, we watch them again.

Connie's Mom holds a Buzz Light Year and Woody Doll

The third week of quarantine, after I gave up on trying to keep my team’s regular meeting schedule, I gave myself some space to close my computer, turn off my phone, and—in spurts of 2 to 3 hours at a time—give my babies my full attention.  A few days I even turned my phone off at 4 pm and didn't turn it back on until the next day. That week Vita told me she had something she really needed to say.   “Mama,” she whispered, “ I know I’m not supposed to say this, but Coronavirus is the best thing to ever happen to our family.”

6:03 am

I’m terrible at long-distance communication. I hate talking on the phone.  I think a lot about writing letters but then I don’t—when would I? I miss my mom.  She loves the phone and is a great letter writer.  I’m trying to convince her to move out here to Asheville, but she’s not ready to retire,  or she feels ready but she won’t.  I can’t really tell.  Sometimes I think it’s selfish of me to suggest it.  LA is her home.  The only city she and my dad have ever lived in. The city they’ve given their entire life to serving.  But in quarantine, I fantasize about a big, dysfunctional family compound, with my sisters and brother and parents and kids. We’d drive each other crazy.  But we’d be all together.  That way maybe I could have a bath alone. 

6:37 am 

Everyone’s still asleep! Now’s my chance to read the newspaper, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll slip back under the covers with Lucia and put my forehead on hers. She’ll wake up and hold my chin with her tiny hands. “Good morning, Mama,” she’ll say.  “Hi, baby.  Did you have good dreams?” She dreams the same dreams every night.  “I dreamed of you, Mama,” she’ll say.

6:39 am

Nevermind.  I hear footsteps.

Connie with her two daughters

Back to blog


Thanks for this. We have one almost-two-year-old and this time has been so good and so hard. I’m still learning how to let them coexist. I’m still learning how and when it’s ok to prioritize being a parent instead of a professional. I’m still learning. We lost 3 pregnancies before this one and the extra time together has made me see how much I carry that with me every day. We’re breathing and grieving through each turn. You’re doing your best and your girls see that.


Mom of an almost 5 year old and a one week old. I miss people. I miss diversion from the constant refrain of “mom can you ______with me?” all day long every day. I so hear you when you say that you imagined motherhood differently. When I was working (as a hairdresser – now on forced time off by our state) I imagined how lovely it would be to spend more time with my child. But now, doing it mostly alone, it’s a whole different story. People weren’t made to do life in isolated units like this.
It has taught me the importance of being present. Because if I don’t practice at that… it’s just not happy.


Thank you for writing this. I feel this every day, and I know “stop talking about the Clayworks!” is going to be our kids first phrase. I think full-time potters have a rough time with work/life balance to start, but hearing your day made me feel like I’m not the only one standing in the kitchen at 5:30am, taking a moment of quiet before a little voice calls my name.


Thanks for sharing- these words and the bits of your life you share on social media. I always appreciate your candor and sense of humor!
I was the Executive Chef at a neighborhood restaurant prior to the closures, I have a 3 1/2 year old son and I’m now 35 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. On one hand, sheltering at home has allowed me some time to rest before having this baby instead of working long days most likely right up to my due date, it’s given me some time to get back into creative pursuits that really feed me- and it’s given me so much more time to spend with my son before the baby arrives. On the other hand, I miss working, I am scared for the restaurant industry and for
my restaurant which may not survive this. It’s hard to be home all the time and also never alone, it’s hard to tell a three year old they can’t run over to say hi to the neighbors kids outside in their yard. It’s hard not to see my parents and hard for my son not to see his grandparents on both sides and makes me sad that we won’t be able to have friends or family visit us or meeting the baby when she’s born.


Good stuff. Thank you. My kid/grands/ great grands are L.A. adjacent. Miss them terribly. Daughter and I decided I should skip my monthly trip down in March since I’m high risk. Grateful for texts/phone/social media.


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