#WFH Diaries: Ashley Yetman of Baldwin& and Lyle Yetman of McKinney

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Ashley and Lyle Yetman, who work at North Carolina agencies Baldwin& and McKinney, respectively.

Give us one-line bio of yourselves.

Lyle: I'm a group creative director at McKinney and the second best second grade teacher in this house. 

Ashley: Partner and head of strategy at Baldwin&, currently revising my résumé to include early childhood educator, part-time chef and housekeeper.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Both: We are living in Durham, N.C., with our sons Finn and Bixby (8 and 5), and Ashley's sister Carly (35).

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Lyle: Busy. Timelines have shrunk. The importance of every project has grown. And I'm just talking about my second grader's math homework. When you factor in that my clients are busier than ever, it makes for a pretty packed day. That I get to live over and over and over again.

Ashley: I'm working full time from home while also homeschooling two kids. Zero issues. Smooth sailing. Dressed, showered and ready to tackle each day! The kids are doing great! For proof, please reference Baldwin&'s "Take Your Kids to Work Day" video.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Both: Outside of work we're doing Zoom calls with family. Every so often we mix in an in-person, anxiety-inducing hang with friends in our driveway, from six feet apart. But mostly it's just the five of us. 

How are you dealing with childcare?

Both: Um … YouTube? Kidding. Sort of. We have gotten in an hourly rotational schedule. Somebody works, somebody colors the Tree Frog mask with Bixby, and somebody else helps Finn write his latest Cinquain (look it up, we had to). Rinse, repeat.

What are you reading?

Lyle: I'm reading Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luis Zafrón.

Ashley: The Alice Network and Untamed. I'm definitely having an empowered women moment. 

What are you watching?

Both: Thus far in quarantine, we've watched Cheer and Jack Ryan, and now we're in the midst of the Jordan documentary The Last Dance.

What are you listening to?

Both: We've been consistently adding to our family "Apoclomix." It includes hits like "I Want to Break Free" by Queen, "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves (for the feels) and "This Will All Make Sense When I Am Older," by Olaf the Snowman. 

How are you staying fit?

Lyle: I've been blasting my quads on the Peloton bike. I'm also choking down a really heinous vegetable smoothie for lunch every day. Eye of the Tiger stuff.

Ashley: One silver lining of this mess is that I'm working out, basically, for the first time since we had our kids. I'm mixing up team cardio workouts with Peloton rides. Cody Rigsby, love you boo.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Lyle: Hilarious. No.

Ashley: Hilarious. No.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Both: Tips? Just this: Don't forget to unload a package of frozen shrimp from the trunk of your new car only to discover it two days later. It does nothing to improve the shrimp or the car.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Lyle: Besides our kids interrupting every other Zoom call with a question or to announce they "need to go potty"? No, not really.

Ashley: After a month of solitary in her 600-square-foot New York apartment, my sister understandably needed human companionship. When she got to our house, it was the first time ever that we couldn't run and hug our "Auntie Car." That one stung.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Lyle: My partner, Will Dean, and I exchange faux messages of affirmation each morning. We're both pretty cynical and we don't believe them, which is what makes them funny. "Time to flaunt your sparkle!" "Today give the gift of You!"

Ashley: We have started a (non-cynical, see above) gratitude email chain at work. One person feels all the love, each day. It's been a good reminder that each person on this planet matters so, so much.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Both: Teachers are underpaid? But in all seriousness, it does force us to recognize that schedules can be flexible for both moms and dads, family can be a priority, and humans are doing a number on our planet.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Lyle: My theory is we're going to be doing this for a while, off and on.

Ashley: Boy, would I love to have that crystal ball. I think this is going to be the ultimate test of human patience and selflessness. This is bigger than us, and I sincerely hope we can learn from it. Follow the rules, people. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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