I Tried to Fill My Quarantine With Self-Care and Productivity, But Then I Remembered I Have a Child

As I crumple into bed late at night, mindlessly scrolling Instagram to keep my finger from the “News” section, I notice that there are two very distinct quarantine experiences. There is one that’s focused on self-care, learning new skills, trying new Zoom classes… and then there’s one that involves children. My daughter is a very lively and robust sixteen months. This is what happened when I tried to quarantine with enlightenment in mind.


Plan: Practice the ukelele that’s sitting in my closet

Reality: Play a chord on the ukelele. My toddler perks up- that thing makes noise?! She rushes over. I try to keep said toddler from pulling out the strings and put the ukelele in the closet- again.  

Result: I don’t know how to play the ukelele.


Plan: Use sheet masks, exfoliate, jade roll, etc.

Reality: My toddler is so interested in the jade roller I let her hold it. She absconds with jade roller. Where is jade roller? (Also in full transparency, I should have focused on polishing my toenails. There’s like two specs of purple left- total.)

Result: Is my skin glowing? No. But I used a sheet mask while baby was napping and because I was so relaxed, I fell asleep too. Win-win!


Plan: Make sourdough bread like everyone and their great aunt Martha

Reality: It’s baking day. I try to include my daughter in feeding our sourdough starter, Florence (this is her given name). I even let her give Florence a little stir. She rewards me by flinging bits of poor Florence across the kitchen cabinets. I bake when she goes to sleep.

Result: I made sourdough bread! Due to the loss of starter it’s- very small. More like a large bun. But edible! Great success.

Is my quarantine Instagram worthy? Yes. (Because I do comedy.) But in terms of aspirational influenster type posts, absolutely not. I may not be enlightening myself with foreign languages, zoom mediations or daily pilates classes, but I have seen all the OG Mister Rogers’. And when I combine that with baby’s delight, it’s all the zen I need. 

Susan-Kate Heaney (Los Angeles, CA) @sue_kate Susan-Kate Heaney is an actor (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Mindy Project, Masters of Sex), writer (multiple one-woman shows, webseries, movies) and new mom (Clover). She loves comedy and performs live often (improv, stand-up, sketch). She is the host of a podcast called "The Quirks" and spoiler alert... she has many of them. ​