Parent Week - Meet Annie, Jahn, and Makena

This week we are introducing you to different families who are just like you: working from home, trying to homeschool, keep their kids busy, and keep everyone fed 24/7 during the pandemic!

Meet Annie, her husband Jahn, daughter Makena, and learn how she and her firefighter husband juggle work, family, and preparing for a new addition during COVID-19.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Annie. I am the Director of Marketing Communications & Content Strategy for the Americas/Pacific region of Nu Skin Enterprises. I have one daughter, Makena. who is 4 years old, and a new baby boy on the way (coming in a matter of weeks). My husband, Jahn, is a firefighter. I'm a SoCal native and transplant, and we have lived in Salt Lake City (proper) for 13 years. I love to ski in the winters, and hike in the summer. But with a toddler, she pretty much runs the show and we do what she wants to in our free time. 

What's changed in your family's routine since being home? 

The great change for me is that I no longer have a 45 minute commute do Provo every day. But that also comes with its challenges. My daughter is very aware that I am home all day, but maybe doesn't understand why I have to "work so much" instead of spending time with her when I'm home. I have found working from home with schools closed means less morning chaos with getting ready, not being late anywhere, taking our time with breakfast. It has NOT changed the "working mom guilt" - in fact maybe makes it a little worse. 

What's a normal weekday schedule for you including the home schooling block? 

I am tapped into work from 9a.m. - 5p.m.  - and most days log back on for a little at night after my kid goes to bed. When my husband is not on his firefighting shift, he really spends the whole day with her and it can include having her "help" with yard work, cleaning the house, playing outside, walking the dog. There is a bit of screen time between TV, ABC Mouse, movies, etc. 

When he is on shift, I have a sitter come to our house and entertain my daughter, which is a lot of coloring, drawing, crafts, movies, take the dog for a walk, sidewalk chalk outside, reading. 

With my daughter being 4 and in pre-school, I'm trying to not beat myself up that we are not doing any "formal" homeschooling in our house. 

Hardest thing about the stay-at-home orders? 

I am extremely extroverted, so the hardest for me and our family is not being able to socialize with our friends. It's not "illegal" or anything, but finding that balance of being out and doing things in a safe way. We've had trips we've had to cancel, and it's been hard for my daughter to not be able to consistently play with her friends, or see her grandparents, or fly to visit her cousins out-of-state. The few times we've tried to visit friends while being safe with social distancing almost causes more disappointment because the kids naturally want to be near each other and do what the other is doing. It's quite heartbreaking to watch. 

Best thing about the stay-at-home orders?

For our family, and myself personally, the best thing about stay at home orders is the extra time around my family. I really get to see my daughter learn to do things I'm sure I missed when I was working from an office prior to COVID-19. I have lunch with my family every day. I take afternoon treat breaks with my daughter. I save a lot of time not having to commute. I've found ways to enjoy and re-frame the otherwise "mundane" in our lives. 

What do you want other parents to know right now? Or advice you would give? 

Lean on your "tribe!" This is hard, you are not alone, you are not messing up your kid(s). Find the small, simple, seemingly mundane things to re-frame and be grateful for. I see this as "extra" time with my kid and husband I wouldn't otherwise have. And continue to find time for yourself too!




Want to share your experience about educating your children during the pandemic? Call our messaging service to share how the world of education has changed for your family during the pandemic at 801-587-3267. Your message could be used in our new show, Utah Insight!

Our Sponsor