#WFH Diaries: Danielle Haas of surefoot

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, most folks are still working from home—and may be for a long time to come. We're checking in with creative people to see how they've been faring in their new setups. Below, we hear from Danielle Haas, a front-end engineer at surefoot.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

A well-adjusted WFH engineer who is about to be rudely awakened to the realities of parenthood during a pandemic.

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

I'm living in Austin, Texas, with my husband Jason and our soon-to-be baby, Hazel, who is currently overstaying her welcome in my belly. We are expecting her arrival anytime in the coming days!

What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?

I'm more than three years into a remote-work lifestyle and still loving it, even with the recent decrease in social outlets and freedom to travel. In that time, I've transitioned my career to become an engineer, something that works really well with a remote lifestyle. At surefoot, I work with a distributed team who are pros at mixing remote communication and maintaining a close-knit, fun culture. It can definitely be done well, and it makes me hopeful that more companies decide to commit long term to remote work post-pandemic.

Since our family is growing, we will soon begin the process of learning how to balance family-life while working from home. Jason and I have been so used to just the two of us around the house—he also works remotely—and have our schedule and habits pretty engrained. I can't imagine how this is all going to change. We will have to figure out work calls vs. baby naps, feeding a baby and nourishing ourselves, taking turns, when to turn off "work." We will be leaning heavily on our community to share their tips and tricks on how they have worked through these challenges before.

I'm just thankful to get to figure this out with an infant, not with a school-aged child. My heart goes out to parents taking on all of this at once!

Describe your socializing strategy.

Occasional Zooms with friends and family and lots of text chains. Daily calls with my lovely co-workers keep me laughing. Mostly, though, I've been embracing this time to just nest and rest in my third trimester.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

Most of this is TBD. I envision many days balancing a laptop and a baby in my line-of-sight. And a helicopter-ing grandma right behind me. Luckily, my parents live in town and cannot wait to jump in and help out once we give them the go-ahead.

What are you reading?

Baby books and blogs. Slowly working my way through Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. This is my first attempt as an adult to consume a history-heavy book, and history has never been my forte. I'm hopeful I can persevere, though.

What are you watching?

I just wrapped up watching #blackAF and Waco—both fantastic! Now, I'm in the middle of Billions and Killing Eve. I also just started binging Never Have I Ever (I love anything Mindy Kaling touches) and am proud to defend my love for teen-oriented programming. I'm doing my best to hold off on revisiting old Disneys, knowing my life will be filled with them for the foreseeable future.

What are you listening to?

Spotify makes most of the decisions here. When I do decide, I cycle through Father John Misty, the Beatles and Sam Cooke.

How are you staying fit?

I walk down and up the stairs at least once per day. A girl's gotta get to the kitchen.

Have you taken up a hobby?

My husband and I just bought our first home right before shelter-in-place took effect, so my primary "free time" focus has been nesting/getting the house organized and set up. Also, Austin has a lot of bugs, especially in our new house … so I've become quite good at killing bugs.

An awkward moment since all this started.

I notoriously always have a stain on my shirt from my last meal. I now only have to deal with the taunting from my husband. It's an improvement.

An aha! moment since all this started.

A few notable moments:

A friend posted an Instagram Story introducing me to a "loquat," which was previously just the mysterious fruit hanging from my new neighbor's tree. Our neighbor has signs posted inviting you to pick and eat the fruit. Until that Instagram Story, I was too nervous to do so. Sometimes Instagram coincidences are truly just happy coincidences ... but only when they aren't ads.

It appears people forget how to drive safely, very quickly, without regular practice. As cities and states open back up, be careful on the roads!

Learning you can, in fact, walk through a drive-through. At least, these days you can.

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

This too shall pass. And I hear I'll be too exhausted to notice.

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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