Life’s a little different these days…

Work looks a little different these days.

As I prepared for my morning conference call, my husband took our two boys to the basement to ensure I had a quiet space to talk.

At 10 minutes to the hour, I closed my bedroom door, pulled my comfy covers over my legs, sat my laptop on my lap and started plugging away. Finally, some much needed quiet time!

At 8:00 am on the dot, my phone rang. I picked up the call and we started our meeting.

I kid you not, at 8:02 am, my door cracked open and I watched as my 2 1/2-year-old poked his little head through and in a loud, yet whispering voice, yelled, “Mom! Are you in here?!”…as he stared directly into my eyes.

I shook my head “no” then waved my arms large and in charge, like I was on the flightline directing him to turn around and find a different place to park.

Of course he didn’t get the hint with my obnoxious arm movements.

He opened the door wider, ran into my room, climbed on top the covers I had just purposefully placed on myself, and began jumping up and down laughing and giggling and begging me to put the phone down so I could jump with him!

In my head I wasn’t swearing at my little man, I was swearing at my husband for taking his eyes off the little guy.

A grown man couldn’t keep a 2-year-old at bay for more than two minutes?!

TWO MINUTES?!!

Our pilots can get dressed for their alert missions faster than that!

After an additional 10 minutes of balancing work and mom-hood, my husband swooped into the room acting as if he was Superman saving me from the disaster of our toddler…not realizing the kid had already been missing for 12 minutes!

I could spend time analyzing how on earth this happens every single day…but I know it’s just our new “normal.”

Our new normal has allowed me the opportunity to spend my breaks playing baseball with my kiddos in our backyard.

Our new normal has allowed me to enjoy three meals per day with my family instead of missing out on 12+ hours with them every day that I’m at work.

Here’s the best thing about this new normal.

Even though my uniform stays hung in my closet, I still get the chance to sit on conference calls, provide my feedback for important decisions, and work with people virtually, from the comfort of my home.

This new normal has given me even more insight into how versatile the Air National Guard really is.

Right now, the safety of our friends and family and strangers we’ve never met depends on us. Stopping the spread of this virus falls on our shoulders.

COVID-19 is testing us to our limits…but it’s also pushing our limitations further than we ever imagined they could go!

This is a crazy time in history. These days of quarantine will someday be pages in our history books describing the incredible ways Americans pulled together.

Whether you’re on the front-lines every day keeping this operation rolling, or doing your part staying at home and stopping the spread, you’re all vital pieces to this operation. We wear different uniforms, but we’re all fighting the same fight.

By working together and continuing to lift each other up, we will get through this. We’ll get through it together, and we’ll come out stronger on the other side.



About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.