The Stoner Mom Diaries: stream-of-consciousness blatherings on the personal life of a stoner mom
What better time to reconnect with diary-style blogging than now, during an unprecedented pandemic? In this post I’m updating you on all the personal stuff that has been happening in my little corner of the world. If you’re looking for more personal content like this, check out my Coffee Talk series, my podcast Mom & Dad are Stoned, and my membership where I publish personal videos every month. We’ve been complaining about toilet paper for weeks now, so go give some of those podcasts and videos a listen if you need a quarantine buddy!
Locked Down in Colorado
Work, school, raising children, maintaining a marriage, its all been happening within these four walls. I’ve been immersed in the news, local and worldwide, following the virus as it crept closer and closer and finally made its way to my state. I’ve been obsessed, worried, unhealthily fixated.
We saw our first COVID-19 cases in the first week of March. On the 13th our Colorado schools were closed down for an “extended spring break”, and I picked up my kids unsure when they would return. About two weeks later Colorado was placed under a stay-at-home order through April 26, banning gatherings and closing all but “essential” businesses. Next, in-person school was canceled for the remainder of the academic year. More recently, our governor has requested that all Coloradans wear masks every time they leave the home for essential errands, including for walks and exercise around our local neighborhoods. And every day, more loss, now including Charlotte Figi.
There are signs that the curve may be flattening here. Our last few check-ins from the governor sounded positive. But of course it’s too early to say. So for now we’re staying at home, praying this passes, for our hospitals to not be overstretched, for our community loss to be small.
Shopping for the household has been a new kind of challenge since late February. Toilet paper, cleaning products, sanitizer, paper products, bread, flour, milk, eggs, cheese, and frozen foods have all been difficult to find for many weeks now. Grocery pickup and delivery services are practically unusable, with orders being four or five days out and with half of the items missing. It’s gotten to the point where ordering groceries for pick up is not worth the headache. When we do go out for groceries the experience is sadly quite different from what I’m used to. Stores are letting in half the capacity as normal, with one-way traffic through the aisles. Customers shopping in masks and gloves and staying six feet apart.
We have a large family with older kids who eat A LOT, so the challenges of finding food each week have been a major source of anxiety in the past several weeks. Last weekend I found myself in tears at the grocery store, overwhelmed with fear and frustration. Of course, I’m very lucky if the most triggering thing I experience during this time is inconvenient shopping. I realize that. It’s just incredible how we take so much for granted during the good times. I am so grateful that we stocked up on household essentials at the beginning of March, including loading up our freezer with the meat and bread that would be difficult to find just a week later.
I have been sitting on a lot of anxiety, on top of the usual Generalized Anxiety Disorder kind. When in-person school was still in session I found myself sick with worry, sanitizing the kids in the car the moment I picked them up, chasing them with thermometers and grilling them about each cough, sniff, and sneeze. For so long I’ve felt like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop, whether it be school closing, the stay-at-home order, even the directive for us all to wear masks.
But now that we’re here, well into the stay-at-home order and into the second week of remote learning, I’ve let myself actually feel the feelings I’ve been suppressing. Such unprecedented events, no matter how well you may seem to be handling things, are bound to have a deep emotional impact. I’d been keeping up a “positive but informed” (that’s literally what I call it in my head) front for the kids because that’s my role in my family. But every once in a while I have to let it go and let myself sit in the sadness, anger, and uncertainty of this time. I let myself feel the fear for as long as I need to, and then I let it go so I can move on and make the best from the reality of this situation.
I’ve done the same with the kids, letting them speak on what hurts and letting them know that it’s okay to be disappointed or scared. Last week we got the official word that school would not return, and the realization that my youngest child will not have a normal graduation ceremony from elementary school left me so sad.
My oldest daughter is also missing out on some great opportunities. She made it all the way to the state spelling bee but didn’t get to compete as it is now canceled. She was also working on the prestigious Girl Scouts Silver Award, focusing on making a community garden to help support our local foodbanks. This was a huge project with many moving parts that now has to be put on hold, impacting the amount and types of food we’ll be able to plant this year.
But honestly, those are really all the grievances I have to air, and now that I have written them out I see how inconsequential they all are within the bigger picture. Things can be rescheduled. The loss of two or four or six months doesn’t mean too much in our timeline, as long as everyone is healthy. So that’s my focus these days. Staying healthy, staying grateful, and making the best of this shitty situation.
For our family that means maintaining the same sense of routine and familiarity as before, only from within the house. It means making sure the kids are performing well academically and that they have opportunities to continue to be social through technology. It means getting work done from home with all six of us here. And it means doing what we can to stay mentally healthy, happy, socialized, and connected to our community. Time marches on, and for us, the work and school continue.
Our Current Stay-at-Home Daily Routine
All six of us have been home together for the past three weeks, so finding that work/life balance has been… interesting. David and I have been running The Stoner Mom and Happy Flower Company from home for years now, so there isn’t too much change in that area of our work life. What is different is that David’s main job at Blackdog LED has moved remote, so he’s been home 24/7 for several weeks, doing conference calls from the basement or backyard. We’ve been learning to get things done in the space we have, with all four kids doing school work nearby, or entertaining themselves around the house.
Here is how we’ve been maintaining a loose schedule with so many people and daily tasks that need to get done. For context, the kids are finishing the end of their 8th, 7th, 5th and 2nd grades online. We have two thirteen-year-olds, a ten-year-old, and an 8-year-old.
David and I have been getting up around 7, which is later than normal for a school day. The kitchen is open for breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30 every morning. The kids get themselves up and (mostly) dressed and ready for the day, as they would for a normal school day.
Over breakfast, the kids and I discuss what is on the agenda for the next few hours. They let me know their schedule and what they need to complete and turn in that day. Once they’ve eaten the kids begin school. They either work on their daily assignments given to them online from their teachers, or they attend class zoom meetings during scheduled times or teacher open hours. They work mostly independently throughout the morning, occasionally breaking to tell me something or to get some help. My ten-year-old does her school work at the dining table with her Chromebook and headphones, and my thirteen-year-old does her work in her room, often with friends via FaceTime or Zoom.
These morning hours, while the kids work independently, are my most productive time for getting work done. This is when I work on Stoner Mom stuff, whether it be writing, photography, or editing. Each day I have a list of Stoner Mom related tasks to get done, so I try to complete as many of those as I can. I often don’t complete everything so most days I end up doing at least a few of yesterday’s tasks.
As most of you know, I save the production of the podcast and stoner videos for when there are no kids in the house, and lately, those opportunities have been more difficult to find. Usually, there is at least one day a weekend when all the kids are at their other home, and this is when I film and record as much content as possible.
At noon I stop working and prepare lunch. One of the biggest drags of the new life-at-home schedule is the constant preparation of meals for the kids. We’re going through more food, spending more time during the day preparing meals and doing a lot more dishes.
At 12:30 we all meet up in the kitchen for lunch and check-in. I see where everyone is with their day’s assignments, and I hear about what exciting things took place during that morning’s virtual classes.
After lunch, I clean up the kitchen again, and the kids go off to finish their work if they aren’t done yet. Unless I’m completely swamped with Stoner Mom tasks, this is usually the time I transition to housework. It’s also when I typically get a few moments to myself for stealthy bong hits in my bedroom. An afternoon pick-me-up in the form of several concentrated dabs or bong rips has been a much-appreciated addition to my daily routine.
As a family, we use the afternoons to either work independently, play outside, walk the dog, and just have fun around the house and yard. The afternoons tend to be pretty relaxed and independent, with the kids either playing together or doing their own thing, without much intervention from us.
We start to transition to the evening routine around 4. By this time the kids are all free and playing together or entertaining themselves. This is my favorite time to pour a tall iced coffee and disappear into my bedroom for an extremely long stoner session away from everyone. I can usually get away for almost a full hour between 4 and 5. I LOVE this time, as my personality type requires a lot of alone time, something I am incredibly short on with everyone home.
I’ve set up a nice little stoner spread in my master bathroom, and it has become my escape whenever I need a moment’s rest and a minute to myself. Between 4 and 4:20 I check in with the kids and then let them know I’ll be in my room for a while before we start dinner. I prop my phone onto a tripod, grab a bong and hop onto Instagram. Checking in with my friends via IG or text has been a lifeline during these times. I’ve found myself relying heavily on seeing likeminded friends dealing with the same frustrations, no matter where they happen to live.
Sometimes I also use this time to take a long and decadent shower while listening to music or YouTube videos, while high of course. This has been a great way for me to mentally reset and improve my mood or energy before rejoining the family for the evening routine.
Around 5, after a long stoner session either alone or virtually with friends, it’s time to go down and start dinner. Dinner is usually a collaborative effort between David and myself. We hang out in the kitchen together and prepare a meal while sharing the main highlights of the day. Though he’s been home, he’s often on conference calls in the basement, so hours can go by without getting to chat with him. Our time in the kitchen preparing dinner together is another one of my favorite rituals of daily life.
The biggest change for our meals is that we haven’t had any takeout or outside food for three weeks now. No Chipotle, no fast food, no Starbucks. I can’t tell you much badly I’m craving food from literally anywhere else. Maybe one day soon I’ll crack and order some delivery or take out, but for now, I’m erring on the very cautious side and preparing everything here ourselves.
Once ready we have a long dinner as a family, eating and enjoying one another’s company. We review the day, talk about the upcoming one, and make any plans for family fun later in the evening.
After dinner we get the kitchen cleaned up and then the shower carousel that happens when you have a big family begins. For evening activities we keep things simple. Watching our favorite shows as a family (Lego Masters is a current crowdpleaser), movies, group video games, or just letting the kids have free time to hang out together or on their own. We’ve also been enjoying family game night, whether it be Apples to Apples or the Bob’s Burgers edition of Clue.
We’ve also been stepping outside at 8 every evening to howl with our neighborhood as a show of appreciation to all essential workers during this time. I’m not sure how much they appreciate it, but the kids sure love having an excuse to yell and cheer at their neighbors every night.
I’m usually done with putting kids to bed by 9:30, and then it’s time for a cocktail, a huge bowl, and some adult conversation at last. David and I are currently loving shows like Schitt’s Creek, Tiger King, Devs, Better Call Saul, and Westworld.
I finish every night with reading. Right now I’m enjoying World War Z by Max Brooks, an addicting and easy read for those who have deadly pandemics on the brain. After an hour or so of that, I’m usually asleep by 1:00 am at the latest (or earliest). Next thing I know the alarm is ringing and it’s time to do it all again!
And so, dear diary, that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I admit, creating content during times like these feels weird, but it feels equally weird to not acknowledge everything that’s happening. I’m just going to keep doing my thing, running this site, and doing my best to share my experiences with you guys.
I do still have a lot of sponsored content coming up, so I’m doing what I can to mix things up with more personal, non-sponsored stuff. I have a personal day-in-the-life photo project scheduled for this month, as well as a non-sponsored Coffee Talk where I’ll be sharing my tips and cannabis routine for the stoner parent who is now never alone.
Of course, it is April, so I do have some really epic sponsored giveaways right around the corner. Please stay tuned for my annual 4/20 giveaway (which is HUGE this year!), as well as my Stoner Mother’s Day giveaway next month! I have so many amazing prizes this year, I cannot wait to show you!
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening. It feels good to just get out my thoughts like this after so long. I appreciate each and every one of you who visits this site and I hope you are staying healthy and safe wherever you are. Until next time, stay safe, always be kind, and smoke weed ‘erry day.