New York, motherhood, pandemic: A day in the life, during quarantine.
By Sabi Datoo-Lalji, Creative Consultant and Writer at Sabidatoolalji.com
8.30am: I have been up now for over an hour and 15 minutes. Qais, my son, wakes up anywhere between 6:45am and 7am and we leave him to coo and babble while we brush our teeth, and, well, mentally wake up ourselves. My husband gets him ready for the day, while I put on something comfortable, cleanse, tone, and moisturize. I am currently loving Opening Ceremony, their sweatshirts elevate any loungewear look by a million points. I then wash bottles and warm up baby milk whilst the kettle whistles away. I take over from my other half soon as he's done by around 7:30am so he can start working. We drink milk, burp, play and I muster up a bowl of chia seed pudding with some, almonds, honey, and some sort of fruit that is in the fridge. While Qais screeches with his toys, I eat breakfast while simultaneously scrolling through emails, checking Asana for my daily projects and tasks, and having a quick glance at Instagram.
9:15am: We are currently living for our baby's three naps a day as it is uninterrupted work time AKA GOLD! By this time I have already started putting together a graphic for a client, working on a digital strategy for another, or am in the midst of slamming words into my keyboard to meet an editorial deadline, while shoving salt & vinegar almonds into my mouth. (I am a huge snacker!)
12:00pm: Another heavenly nap is happening as I type so I take the opportunity to look at my finances while eating lunch. On top of being a writer, I also run my own content consultancy agency which means I am one of America's 33% who is self-employed. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, unfortunately, I lost over half of my clients and all of my pending photoshoots were canceled overnight. The massive domino effect I witnessed in New York, in a space of 48 hours, was something I never thought I'd live through. My friends were made unemployed, the small businesses I worked for closed their doors, and my docket of tasks was erased. An event that causes much anxiety to any freelancer, and is something of nightmares, but now come to life. One thing I am extremely grateful for is the clients I do still have. At times I find myself feeling lost and helpless as to how I, personally, can help with the unprecedented situation we're in and have spent some time researching charities who are going over and beyond to aid in some type of relief. I recently donated to Blessing In A Backpack and I Support The Girl.
4:05pm: Not sure where my afternoon went but I know that somewhere in that chunk of time I fed Qais some sweet potato puree, made a coffee, looked for more snacks while my husband judged me, and delivered artwork for an email campaign. Now begins the evening routine of making dinner, feeding yet some more milk, (yes I know, how glamorous is this), and conducting conference calls whilst wiping Sophie The Giraffe with a baby wipe.
7:20pm: It's my partner's turn to put the baby down for the night so I plate up dinner and we take some time out to eat together before jumping back into work, which is usually to make up for lost time during the day.
9:15pm: I run a hot bath using French Girl Organics Rose Sea Soak Calming Bath Salts and apply a sheet mask. I use this time to decompress, gather my thoughts, and try to wind down - something that I haven't done since having a baby. I paid myself 12 weeks' maternity leave, and as I was going back to work, the world stopped. Between hormones, a growing child who relies on you 24/7 and running a business, it is difficult to not feel like I am drowning. Incremental moments like a bath or reading in bed are minute nuggets I do not take for granted as they are survival tactics.
9:45pm: I lather myself with Caudalie's Divine Oil, moisturize with Image Skincare's VITAL C Hydrating Anti-aging Serum and crawl into bed. I'm currently reading Amy Poehler's 'Yes Please' - it's heroic, funny and makes me want to text her so we can be best friends. Onwards and upwards friends, night night. xxx