Project Joy // No. 6

Love and Birthdays in the time of COVID-19, thoughts from a single working mom

Hi there friends! It's me, Jess! I am the Senior Designer at Joyfolie which means I collaborate with our Babe Boss founder & CEO Jessica to create all our beautiful styles. Now that we know each other, I'm going to hop right into some realities I'm facing at the moment that I have a feeling some of you could relate to—here goes!
As if being a parent isn't difficult enough even when childcare is open and the world is running smoothly...right now, I think we need to cut ourselves some slack in order for us to survive this with any amount of sanity left in the end.  
I have a 4 year old little girl. Her name is Rosemary Wolf, and all who know her know she's pretty sassy, hilarious, sharp as a whip, and—first and foremost—incredibly spirited. Sadly for my little wolf, her 5th birthday is happening during this pandemic, so I had to cancel her princess birthday party. Rapunzel was going to come and sing to her and her friends and give the birthday girl a very special gift. I was going to order some insane overly–sugared and elaborate birthday cake from one of our local bakeries, and now am tasked with making cupcakes on my own.  I thought I would definitely be able to find some boxed cake mix—who would hoard that right? As it turns out, a lot of people. She has requested that I make strawberry cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. Unfortunately for her, I can't find either of these items in stock at the moment, so I am going to attempt to bake my own cake from scratch. I took inventory and think I have what it'll take to make chocolate cake—but don't forget, I live at altitude here in Denver, so this could totally go sideways...stay tuned for more on that.
So how has she been staying busy while I stay productive? Honestly, It's been a delicate balance—there has been a lot of screen time and educational games like ABC Mouse and the PBS Kids bundle. We also love a good Instagram or Snapchat filter while we're waking up in the morning. 
I've been working some odd hours after she's in bed or getting what I can done when she is with her dad, but here are a few things we've done to have a good time together. 
We ordered some cool patches and  heat-set rhinestones online styled out a vintage jean jacket that she is growing into.
We're working on learning how to ride a bike. In the meantime, we've been going on some scooter cruises.
Rosemary has taken to wearing pajamas as her clothes and thinks it's pretty funny, so I allow it for now—which is totally opposite of her regular girly rules for fashion. Being a fashion designer, I (of course) encourage her to style herself every day, and her favorite things to wear are the following: mismatched socks, dresses that twirl, and boots with "high-heels." 
We also made what she calls a "mind jar." We ordered a bunch of glitter and she went to town mixing all the unicorn colors together in a mason jar, adding a pretty gemstone, and filling it with water and glue. A mind jar's purpose is to teach children about mindfulness and help them to self-regulate when experiencing difficult emotions. More about Mind Jars here.
We're lucky enough to have a pretty sizable back yard and a little fire pit, so we made a fire and roasted some marshmallows. The last time we did this, she walked up to me and whispered into my ear, "Mommy, when I fall into the fire and you save me, you can sing 'this girl is on firrrrrre.'" I'm not sure she realized how funny that was, but it's a story I can't stop telling. 
I'm also an avid gardener, so we bought some plant babies and got muddy together planting and watering them.
All that being said, I'm figuring this out on the fly—you are not alone! I'll be here in my home studio in Denver, designing Fall 2020 styles, helping get masks and other PPE into the hands of our health care workers, following up on our Back to School collection and, well, drinking too much coffee and wine and getting dressed up in my fancy velour jumpsuits just because :-)

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