Mothering in the Time of COVID-19: Jolene Jacobs

“Perfect storm” doesn’t quite describe the confluence of crazy events Jolene Jacobs faced this spring. She’d just started a new job heading our Caliper Ingredients division—while juggling selling her home and finding a new one, commuting between two states, and being a mom to a 2nd grader.

And then came the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suddenly, Jolene and her husband faced a shutdown of everything they’d counted on to help them hold things together: friend networks, sports, school, and travel routines.

“Now, I had to be a home-school teacher too? My daughter goes to a Spanish language school and I don’t speak Spanish,” she says. “My first reaction was panic: How was this even going to be possible?  How do I show up for everyone?”

““My first reaction was panic: How do I show up for everyone?””

Gradually, Jolene and her family found a routine by “setting up a daily schedule that we try to stick to, but don’t stress over if we don’t.” There’s blocked-off time for classwork, office work, and fun, including a daily 4 p.m. family hour outside. “It’s not perfect, but that’s okay. My daughter’s learning something—and she’s happy and safe.”

Another key step was writing in a block of time for self-care into that schedule, “to show up for myself,” she says. “I called a few of my girlfriends—we all have kids, families, and jobs—and said, ‘I’m going for a half-hour walk at 7 a.m. If you’re in, I’ll bring my headset and we can telewalk together.’” Over the weeks, that daily walk-and-talk became a critical check-in for all. “We go through what’s on our mind, set goals for the day, and just get outside.”

When she gets back from her walk, Jolene continues her daily self-care ritual by adding Caliper CBD dissolvable powder to her morning cup of coffee. “It sets the stage for the rest of the day to feel more balanced,” she says. “I’m just better at handling whatever comes.”

“A daily walk and a cup of coffee with Caliper CBD sets the stage for the rest of the day to feel more balanced.”

She’s also learned to find grace and humor in whatever life brings. “My daughter now likes to help me organize my daily schedule, and she’s getting to see what ‘Business Mommy’ is like,” she says. “She’s also started a swear jar, after hearing me talk in some of my meetings!”

““The pandemic has really shifted my idea of who I am, and my role as a mom.””

Whatever the rest of the pandemic brings, “it has really shifted my idea of who I am, and of my role as a mom,” she reflects. “It’s made me think, ‘what do I choose to bring back into my life when all this is over?’”  The morning walk is one ritual that will stay.

“It’s almost embarrassing that it’s so simple,” she laughs. “Why didn’t I ever take that 30-minute time to myself before? I don’t need to book a $300 spa day to feel more balanced.”

Learn how to manage motherhood stress with CBD self-care.