We introduce ourselves: Amanda is an author and works in education. Josh is an artist and works in a healthcare-adjacent field. During the pandemic, Amanda is an essential parent as she now works her full time job and cares for the kids from home. Josh is an essential worker who still 8 to 5s it at work.
Also we talk about our top five distractions during this stressful time...so that's a lazy top ten list for you to enjoy.
This is The Wilsons do a podcast during a pandemic. Who are you?
I'm Amanda. I'm a mom and a wife, and I work in teacher education, and I've been home for for weeks now. How about you?
My name is Josh, and I work in management at a retirement community here in Gainesville, and I am considered an essential worker at an essential business. So I've been working for three, almost four weeks now through this whole thing.
Why are we doing this?
Because we have been stuck at home for a while or you've been coming home and doing work and going to work. And we're both creative types and need some sort of creative outlet, but also because we've been suffering through what it means to be married...what it means to be parents, what it means to be employees, what it means to serve a vulnerable population. And, I think that people need to hear that it's hard, and people need to hear that they're not the only ones.
You said that you've been suffering through what it means to be married...excellent.
OK, so poor choice of words. We've been suffering through a what it means to be married during a pandemic.
Yes, that is correct. The thing that spurred this in my mind was that you were, through your Facebook posts and different social media things, expressing some of the struggles and concerns that you had. You're not just working from home, you've got the kids at home and dealing with...well, one of them is three, and it's just very difficult. And my job brings with it several challenges as well. We'll talk about that later. We don't need to talk about that in this episode cause I'd prefer to unpack your experience because I think that will really resonate with folks
I just feel that Moms in particular, which I mean, and dads who are are at home as well....
I'll stop you there, only because our experience is a type of experience. There are a lot of people who have both parents are home. Well, if they are both parents even in the home, both parents are home. So as we speak here, we're speaking of a certain type of experience here, but I think that there is a universal experience where in our culture. Mom's bear a lot of weight and working moms bear a lot of weight.
That wasn't anything against stay-at-home dads or dads that are going through this experience, being at home and working at home, and balancing being a parent with while also pulling an eight hour day. I think that moms tend to be harder on themselves. I think we are harder on ourselves about, you know, I my child, had to have this much screen time today so I could have it to our meeting or I'm not, you know, providing a nutritious lunch or I'm not. You know, I didn't pull out the scissors and have fine motor time today, or I didn't get outside because I had a deadline and my job is very deadline driven, and I need to be very transparent and very honest about the fact that I am incredibly grateful that I have a job that I can do from home. Um, I am very grateful that I have a job that has been very understanding of the three year old popping into the zoo meetings and pulling his pants down because he needs new pants because there was a wet. I mean, these are just the realities of what's happening in, Um, I work with a lot of people who have young kids or had young kids, and they're really understanding. And so I'm really grateful. But I do work in a very deadline driven environment. And so there are times where I have to work and I have to get something done during the day and I can't read to you Buddy and our mom. You'll come read in five minutes. And so my point is, I think that moms need to hear it's OK. Toe. Let some things go to be able to gain some things and that it's it's okay to give yourself Grace. We need to give ourselves Grace. So that's really what I had been, um, kind of addressing on my social media posts. So it wasn't a knock it Dad's. It was just speaking from my experience at a mom that I think that we're super hard on ourselves.
Yeah, I didn't take it as enough against that. So what are some of the most challenging things that that you have to deal with working from home, you mentioned screen time, and I think that that's, Ah, a big source of conflict for you.
Well, it is because I know I mean, I don't vilify screens by any means. I grew up in the eighties and have managed to be a somewhat successfully functioning member of society. But I do think that well, especially our three year old is really active and needs to be engaged. And when he's not engaged then and he, he's very does well in a structured environment. He does well on a schedule. Money doesn't have those things. He starts to get a little bit squarely, and I'm especially seeing in the regression of the potty training. If the screen is on, he doesn't recognize he needs to go. If we're outside, we're playing, he'll say, I need to a bathroom. And so, yeah, to me, I just feel bad when I turned the screen on at eight and it goes until four or five, Um, so I'm trying to push it longer and longer in the mornings and be able to do my work out here with him. And just while he plays that still interacting with him until I have to start taking meetings, you know? And when When? When we have we have four kids 1917 13 and three. So when the older ones are around, they're a really big help with him. But they're all just figuring out how to navigate being virtual students and being a virtual friend. And, you know, in our daughter's case, a virtual dancer and we're all just trying to figure out our new roles so that, yeah, I think the biggest challenges balancing it The biggest challenge is figuring out how to get my work done while still feeling good about the way I've parented that day. I'm fortunate that the teenager is, um, or the teenagers are really sort of self sufficient when it comes to doing their schoolwork in getting a school work done. Just a couple of reminders. It's couple of minors of you know, what class are you in right now when they're wandering around or she's one around looking for food? Um, so mostly my guilt is, and actually I'll say one of the good things. I feel like I spend a lot more time with her now that we're home together, during the day and we're home in the evenings because our evenings were so taken up with extracurricular stuff. So um, that's been a positive. And she's She's helpful with her brother when she can be, um, but I think my my biggest challenge is balancing parenting him, because in and of itself, three is not easy. Three is tough and he's tough right now. And there days where I just you know, I think he ate a lot of chocolate today from his Easter eggs, and I think that just had to be okay, because I was dealing with a really big contract in a really big client and something that had to had to be hand had to be handled, something I had to handle. So there are just some things a friend of mine said to me on social media of the day. You can have a quiet house or happy Children and you can't have both. And so I mean, we just have to learn Teoh, let things go that we cannot control during the situation and and also being a former teacher 20 years in the classroom, I feel for what my colleagues are adjusting to talk first grade. I can't imagine trying to teach first virtual first grade. And I have superhero friends that are doing it. Um, so I feel like I need to be educating him in some way, while at the same time, my job is to educate teachers into support educators during this time. And so that's a weird dichotomy for me. Um, so just yeah, just finding a way to balance it and realizing that we're not home schooling were not working from home. We are educating dearing a pandemic. We're parenting during a pandemic. We're working virtually during a pandemic and allowing ourselves to understand that m and keep our sanity is the most important thing we can do for our kids right now.
Yeah, And you say that the most important thing is to try to find balance and that statement that you just made there that we're doing All this story in pandemic underscores the fact that there is no balance right now. This this is a This is a totally, um for us, an uncharted path that we're taking. It's not gonna be forever part of giving yourself. Grace is realizing that sometimes there can't be a balance. I mean, we live in a society, we live in a culture we live the the way the world around us, Or at least this, um, country is set up is that we have to do our jobs to make money in order to provide for our Children. And this
struggle that a lot of people face daily, not in a pandemic. And so in that way, we're quite fortunate, saying that doesn't at all mitigate any of the issues that you're talking about. But it does for me help to give me a perspective that's that's helpful in the long run.
No. And we and we are set up to be able to handle this just in all of the logistics. And so I by no means am bemoaning any of this compared to people who are going through, I don't know. You know how many pay rent? I don't know where my next meal's gonna come from. Um, I that that's beyond parenting. Surviving during a pandemic that is adding a really giant layer of traumatic stress on top of it that has the ability to be damaging long term and, um, Stutts I do think that mental health and I mean early mental health with kids that are surviving it now, um, is going to be an important aspect of focus on when we do start to get back to whatever the new normal looks like. I don't think will ever go back to our old normal.
Yeah, I would tend to agree with that. But you you never know. You never know because, you know, there was. There were there have been world wars. There have been other pandemics.
Well, yeah. I mean, you're saying that there's that we may go back because we go through these giant things as a society, as a country, as a world, and we tend to think, well, this is going to change everything and then we quickly forget it's easy for us to forget. But what I mean, I think there will be. I think there will be lasting ramifications on the way that people socialize. I think there will be lasting changes in the way we address going out and being out in public. I'm being mindful of our body space. I think it will impact the way we look at education and the the systems that were not set up for teachers and kids to be successful during this time. I think it will impact the way we look at how we work and our brick and mortar office is really necessary. Um, and we know that face time, and I use that in the generic noun, not the trademark proper noun. Face time with people is really important to the human spirit, but I just I think it will change the way that we interface with people
I don't know. I've been thinking a lot about that. How will it change things? I think that we're are inherently social beings. And so one of the things I was talking to my son's about yesterday was What do you think is going to replace the hug? What's going to replace the hug? And so we spent ah, a few minutes bullshitting about that, but I don't think anything is going to replace the hug. I think that people are going to be so craving physical contact that once this whole thing is over, you know people are just gonna seek that out. Shared space. They're going to seek out social situations and at least initially, people are gonna be all over each other. I think I'm from Miami. And so what I'm wondering about and we've talked about this. I'm wondering about how this is gonna affect the air kiss. Are you familiar with the air kiss? So thing that that we do in in the three or five is that you go in for the kiss on the cheek. But you don't actually make contact and you make the noise and sometimes you do both both cheeks, and that's just the thing. That's a that's, ah, form of greeting. But that's just a part of the culture. And so I don't know that something like that just goes away any more than I think. Something like hugging will just go away. I think quite the opposite is gonna happen.
Yeah, I don't know. I think it will be me more of an individualized reality. Well, pause while he sips his wine from a mason jar. So I think what we're what we're getting at is that we don't know. We don't know how it's going to change societies, customs. We don't know how it's going to change the way that work or education, Um, is considered, but we What we do know is that we are going to get through it. And, um, sometimes, finding a balance just isn't possible. And so giving ourselves grace and giving each other grace is the most important thing we can do right now. And wash your hands.
I had us both make a top five list top five for lack of a better thing. Top five distractions from what's going on now. Now, these don't necessarily need to be consumable media. In fact, mine, most of them isn't or aren't. But you know it. It could also be that. And so what I thought we would do is go from 5 to 1, and both of us talk about our five and then are four and then are three now, because we're married, some of them may be the same thing, and so if they are, then that's great. But do you want to go first? You want to say what your number five is?
Yes. So I was kind of showing off and saying that I didn't write them down, and now I have to think through them. So, um and also I didn't order them. So why don't you share your five while that gives me time, Teoh? Order them in my head and think through it.
Okay, So fine. Number five it is for me. Um, podcasting.
What? You know, one of the things that that I've wanted to do is to do a podcast. I bought a nice microphone, and I've actually done a little bit of deejaying on community radio, which let's not, kid, that's it's not huge. But I did have a radio show, and it was a lot of fun. I've wanted to dive back into that. And so I saw this happening this event as a way for me to do that. And so podcasting is my number five. Now, is podcasting on any of your lists?
Podcasting is not on my list.
Okay, So what is your number five?
My number five is the target Mobile app.
Oh, shit. No. Okay, So this is the covert curse. Where where people are shopping?
both shopping as a form of therapy, online shopping as a form of therapy and online shopping as a form of we got to get stuff to our house
necessity. Right? And so, like I had to buy vitamins for the kids and it one of those from Amazon. But I one of my self care stress relief things is to just go wander the aisles of Target. Now I will say, I don't wander as much now that they've got the hearth and home thing in the middle. And they were, like, curated the wardrobe section of the clothing. So I don't Yeah, I just wanted up and down aisles Target. That's what I wanted, but really in what was really great is we would you could go to the back of an ill on an end cap and find the clearance that was super like hidden and nobody knew. But you got a really, really good deal. So I missed that. I mean, even when when our daughter was an infant, I would take her to target and walk up and down the aisles just to get out of the house. The first symbol she ever recognized was the target symbol. That was the first word she could read. So I feel it. My cart on the app and sometimes I buy the stuff because I've read cards. It's free shipping and 5% discount. And sometimes I don't buy it, and it just makes me feel good to go wander the virtual aisles of Target. So the target mobile app is my number five distraction.
OK, my number four is podcasting.
No, you just did that for five
listening. And so I've been into podcasts for a while, but especially lately on my drives to and from work it's been and even at work, because my job carries with it a certain amount of stress. It's it's kind of in the health care industry, or at least healthcare adjacent. And so I've started to listen to podcasts even at my desk, cause I'm doing work and it just it's a great form of escape its storytelling. It's the modern day storytelling, you know, in different forms, and I love it now. I'm a child of the eighties, and so I grew up listening to radio, and I always wanted to work at a radio station. Actually, um, especially I love talk radio, and I grew up in South Florida, and probably no one will know these names, but I listen to Phil Hendrie and Neil Rogers and Rick insides and, um, all of these great talents and just loved the personality of it. And so podcasting to me is what radio has become, and, um and I absolutely love it. It's a great distraction. So if I were to scroll through my my, um, my podcast list right now, some of the ones I would recommend or my brother, my brother and me. Um, the McIlroy brothers are hysterical. Amanda hates them. Rhett and Link have
so and that's to God. Do you hate him?
The red and link, um, do their YouTubers and they have a and I check out their their YouTube channel. If I were you as well, Good mythical morning. But they have a podcast called here Biscuits. It's very interesting. And then there's a Miami sports radio personality who has a podcast called Dan LeBatard, and Jonathan Van Ness has a podcast called Getting Curious, which I absolutely love. I love Jonathan, but I also love how he is very curious and extremely knowledgeable about all sorts of things, because he just wants to learn. And I appreciate anyone who's who's so driven just to know stuff. Um, the West Wing weekly NPR news, the adventure zone, all of these different things. If you are at all into storytelling, then dig yourself into some podcasting. Now, don't think. Actually, this recommendation here is earth shattering, because I think a lot of people listen to podcasts. But that is my number four podcasting listening, podcast, comma, listening to podcast, comma, Listening to,
um, Well, I I'm kind of going back and forth on what should be my for my three. But following that line, I will say, then my number four, um, is audiobooks. So I think my audiobooks are to me what your podcast are to you. And I'm a giant audible fan. I've had inaudible description for years, subscription for years. Um, one of things I love about audible, not a sponsor, is that, um they have an exchange policy so you can listen to a book all the way through, get to the end of it and say I really did not enjoy that and ask them to exchange it, and they will. But then, um, I also have the library here, has a nap called Libby l I B B y. And you attach her, um, book your ah library card number to it, and then you can download audiobooks or Kendall and, um, I mean, I love to read, and I love to hold a book of my hand, but the reality is, is I just don't have the time to sit until everybody's down and asleep. And then, you know, I read a few pages and I fall asleep. So audio books for me a constantly have a story going, and it's the same thing. I love story telling. It's one of the reasons why I love to write. I think that it's a great form of escapism, especially with what we're going through now, Um, that, you know, when I'm folding laundry, I can put on 10 minutes of of a book that I'm listening, Teoh and and focus on that. And so, um, I will say, though a bad narrator can ruin a really good book. So I'm a little bit picky. Um, sometimes I will put you on one and 1.5 speed just to get through listening to you read it so I can get to the end of the story. Um, but yes. Oh, my number four is audiobooks.
My number three is something that was a distraction when this this coveted event first started Not so much now as I've kind of settled in, but there was There were a few days where there where I was super into cleaning up and organizing and
yeah, where that go
Hilarious. And I mean, obviously it was a reaction of extreme reaction, of feeling out of control and then taking a zoo much control as I could over the things like control. And it manifests. I think the the weirdest thing that came out of that is I went through good things, came out of it. I went through our kitchen cabinets. I cleaned out all the cabinets, organized the pots and pans, organized all of the different other cabinets with glassware, and all this in that went through the pantry, went through the refrigerator. But I felt that it was super important for me. Toe label. All of the food items with it, their expiration date.
So much so that not only was it enough for you to label all of the stuff with their expiration date, which is actually very helpful because I'm I am implying that and I am using the things that are expiring first. But the first trip I came home from the grocery store. You then proceeded to make me label everything with a Sharpie before I put it into the pantry. And if we had one of those items in the pantry, I had to go into the Overstock area in the laundry room. And, um, I I since have stopped doing that. So I just put things straight into the pantry and I don't label them and I'm going rogue,
right? So that's my number three.
That's true, though, because the first weekend I completely cleaned out the completely cleaned out the boy's room and, um got his toys and everything, and they're made it like a super nice space that then we promptly had to stay home for a month. M. And so they're all back out here in the living room. But I do think that that was absolutely a reaction to the things that we could control. Um, that was number three. My number three are these dumb Jim matching mystery explosion APS on my phone? Yeah, and I've even gotten the 13 year old into it, which is really funny um, because I really didn't I don't know why I got into it. I'm into it. I have two games that I alternate between because I'll run out of lives on one and have to switch to the other win. I play them one. When we go to sleep and you're you're asleep and I'm still awake. I just lay there and play until I fall asleep. So that's a major distraction for me.
Okay, Number two, my number two. And this is something else aware of beforehand, but I've really taken advantage of it. Um, since this situation, that's that's happened to us. My number two is boxed wine.
No. Number one.
Okay. You want to talk about boxed wine, then as your number one? Since it's your number one, it's my number two.
No talk about it. A
no. Go ahead.
Because you're going back to get more box wine.
None. And I've got plenty of my mason jar here.
Um, yeah, it's my number one because I mean, I legit wait until five o'clock, but it like 501 II port. Now I think we should tell the world that we tend to cut it with seltzer. So it's not like we're just slamming a whole bunch of wine even though we're buying box wine in bulk. So, um,
that statement is a lie.
Yeah, so, yeah, I know. We're super classy with our box wine.
Okay. Can we talk a little bit about boxed wine, though? There. There's certain pros and cons to box on versus bottle wine. I will give you a couple of the cons of bottle one and the pros of box one. Cons of bottled wine. Actually, it's worse on the environment to produce bottled one. That is box wine. Another con of bottled wine is that once you open it, you're on the clock. You got to drink that stuff.
Who are we kidding?
wait. Never been in danger of a opened bottle of an open bottle of one expiring.
I'm just talking about injecting
General the attraction of boxing
in general. Um, another con of bottled wine is that the court can sometimes really affect the taste of the cork is tainted.
Or if we open it wrong and it falls into the bottle.
Wow, that that's happened, Teoh, for some reason, broken Teoh corkscrews. The last three months. So, um, prose of boxed wine is that you can, you know, as opposed to when you crack open a bottle of wine, you have the box wine and you have a lot more time to, um I think 3 to 6 weeks that you
it depends. I was actually really reading the labels yesterday because I must have been bored. I must have been understated home orders and one we have is four. And when we have a six,
see, there you go. And, um, it's a lot easier on the environment. And of course, the number one benefit is more wine for your book. And it's not bad wine.
Yeah, it's not
bad wine. And 23 cups in and whether it's a bad wine or not becomes less and less
important because you just called it a cup of wine. Supposed to what? A glass.
Ok, that's right. Okay, My number one is this youtuber named Shell MMA.
Oh, I love drama.
So Chama is a ah ah young man. And I can call him that because I'm not who is well, how is introduced to his videos is a zai was kind of scrolling through, and I saw some of the titles of some of his videos. And it's things like White Guy shocks, um, people in Chinatown by speaking perfect Chinese, um, guy bargains and perfect Mandarin in Chinatown. All these things And it used words like shocking and surprising and something that made you think it was a prank video. So of course I clicked on it, being as shallow and pure all as I am and what I saw. Waas, um, this guy who would go into a Chinatown in New York, usually because that's where he is and he would go into a business and he'd start off by speaking English, get them talking and then switch over Chinese, and they would be surprised. But it was a surprisingly heartwarming exchange that he invariably would have with these people where you see two cultures coming together, you'd see that the native Chinese speakers would be so excited and happy that this white dude was speaking their language and so fluently, and so it just especially in a time as this. It was just really it's just really heartwarming, and it's it's really leaves you with a great feeling about our world. My my number one destruction is, um, this guy's YouTube channel, which is actually Chama N Y c. So look it up. You'll really enjoy it. I think.
Yeah, I really, really do. If that's a good one, that's a really good one. Uh, well, might. In my number, one was box wine, but so might So we made it. My number two. It's my number. One is reality television, and I don't mean reality television in, like the Bachelor and Survivor and in Things I Mean Spring Baking Championship and, um, Lego Masters and, well, damn the mass singer. But the mass singer and, um, we really went down. Ah, biggest loser Rabbit hole for a bit and Top Chef All Stars New season. And so those things those are those are my Those are my two strike out drag race. Get a new drug Aries going on. We could do a whole episode about that. I think that pretty much on Lee Ah, one of her friends would listen to um and I, um, because I have feelings feelings about sure you buy, so if you're listening and you have feelings about cherry pie, drop a comment below. Um, and, um, my husband making faces at me. But it's cool. Uh, yeah. So reality television. Ah, and Schama is on that because I count YouTube as reality television. And, um, we were just, you know, we were talking last night that there shows that we love you mentioned, um, Kitchen Confidential on Anthony Anthony Bourdain when it was his travel show.
parts unknown. And there is a great show on Netflix. If you, um, are looking for something to do called somebody feed Phil. And it's Phil, Rose and Paul. I think I'm not sure of his last name. He is the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond. Um, really funny, just genuine guy who likes to travel on, likes to eat. And he goes to these countries and these places and just meets locals and has conversations. And I think that's a lot of what we're seeing with. Ah, Ma is just the connecting with people through food and through language. So, um, yeah, especially while you're not traveling anywhere. Here are my travel show recommendations on Netflix, subcategory somebody feed Phil travels with my father, Jack Whitehall not suitable for Children in the room really funny. An idiot abroad. Also. Don't watch it with kids. And I'm not sure if Fonzie and ah, what's this? What's his name from the start? Trucking. Go to, um, other countries is on Netflix. Or if it was on who, Lou. But it's this travel show where this young comedian and then George Foreman uh, Henry when Glor ah, welts, welts welts the guy who runs naked around
Bradshaw and out William Shatner that everyone, they go and they travel. And it's really great and really funny to
It's called Better late than never.
And what is it streaming on?
Um, something. It was an NBC show. I think we may have
seen it on who? But check out better late than never if you confined it. Um, really fun. So I guess reality reality travel in reality cooking are my, uh, distractions. My never want destructions during this time when I'm not working in eight or nine hour day and, um, parenting and, um, plans Anjem games on my phone.
All right, there you We recommend these things. Check it out for Amanda. I'm Josh. Thanks for joining us.