One Year Later

It has been one year since the global pandemic started. In one sense its like "wow its been ONLY a year" and in another sense "wow its BEEN a year". Boy has it been a year. Tanya shared this Podcast and her response to 10 Questions to Mark. I decided to join in and share my response. Even though this is something we are living still right now I want to remember this in the future.

1- What was life like in early 2020?
The beginning of 2020 was filled with excitement of all thing we had planned and wanted to do. From vacations, play dates, getting out of the house, not being pregnant, etc. Life was Austin in preschool 3 days a week, going to speech therapy one day a week, and Ella was in school full time. Ella and I also had Girl Scouts once a week. 
In February of 2020 Austin started getting high fevers (105) with no rhyme or reason, no other symptoms and no one else was effected. 
When we first got news that the kids were having a 3 week extended spring break, I was like oh cool the kids will be home we can do all this fun stuff, have play dates, go to the library more often, go to the park, etc. I didn't realize what it really meant and that everything would be closing down. 

Our last play date. We still have not had a play date with all the kids. This was February 2020

Austin went to two Monster Truck shows that he got tickets for from Christmas. (yes he took a nap there too, I say he is my most expensive napper) Ella was suppose to go see JoJo in concert and that never happened.

Our last trip to the rainforest at the zoo. Since then the rainforest has been redone and just recently opened back up. I hope they still have the frog, we have years of pictures on it.

This was our last walk to Ella's school to pick her up. Little did we know she would never go to that school again.

2- What was the biggest change?

The biggest change and challenge was Ella being home doing virtual learning. In the spring her school was very unorganized, she was given assignments to do at her own pace, not much teacher instruction or assistance. It was a fight to get her to do her work, I had to help her with everything, she was on my laptop. Ella still went to her dads as scheduled a few times a week.
I was terrified to go to the store, with the lines on the ground, wearing a mask, limited quantities or everything. I made Brian do the shopping or we started doing Instacart. I eventually overcame this fear and now do the shopping. I still prefer to go without kids, Audrianna has only been in a shopping cart once in her life. 
Brian still was working at the office most of the time. Working from home with 3 kids running around wanting his attention was not very productive for him. Thankfully he has his own office space at his office and was able to be isolated and not many other employees were coming into the office. He is a real estate agent and doing showing and meeting with clients has been rough. He has done a lot more zoom or phone call meetings and virtual showings. 
I never realized how much I miss seeing my friends and family. We may not get together that often, but being told we can't get together is hard. Brian is one of 7 kids and we use to all get together once a year, most of us would get together for cook outs throughout summer. Family dinners are not the same as 13 of us are not squeezing around one table. 
We had more family movie nights and game nights. The kids had more time on electronics, Xbox and Wii. We still got out and did family walks around the neighborhood, going to parks but not playgrounds was weird, thankfully we have
a swing set in our back yard. 
Girl Scouts was also cancelled for a while. We tried zoom meetings but the girls wouldn't do the assigned "homework" and after being online all day for school they didn't want to do another zoom call. 

3- What were your coping mechanisms?
Reading, baking and cooking, spent as much time outside as possible, FaceTime and Zoom. In the beginning I was glued to the tv, the news, reading every article, watching every time our governor was on tv. I still have turned it all off. It all caused way to much anxiety and depression for things I had no control over. 

4- What did you connection in your relationships look like?
A lot of family time. We ate every meal at the table together. For dinner we started "what is your least favorite thing about today" and "what is your favorite thing about today" 

We have FaceTime our parents a lot more to see them and make sure the kids see them. In the beginning it was really hard with Audrianna. She already didn't like people, throw in not being able to see anyone, then everyone wearing masks. The last few times we have seen our parents she has been doing better. 

After the first few months we did end up seeing our immediate families more. 

5- What will you remember most?
I remember afternoon walks at the parks with the kids but playgrounds being closed. Seeing so many more people in our neighborhood out and about. Eating dinner most nights (weather permitting) outside on our patio. 
The struggle of virtual learning. Trying to explain to the kids why we can't go places and have play dates. 
A more relaxed Christmas without house hopping everywhere. This was probably my favorite part. We spread out the holidays more, less hustle and bustle. 

6- What was the biggest challenge?
Being home 24/7 with 3 kids. Trying to keep them entertained, run an at home business, helping Ella with virtual learning, keeping the kids quiet while Ella was on zoom meetings... We have a decent size house but when you are home all the time you feel like you need more space. 

7- What was a beautiful memory?
Watching my kids interact and get along and play. They have a different bond I feel like since they only have each other day in and day out. 

8- What do you believe now that you didn't one year ago?
The media lies, twists stories, and blows things out of context. This isn't just pertaining to Covid but many different things. 

Only you know what is best for your family in your situation. 

Purged, organized, deep cleaned, etc.

What I have planned is never going to go the way I want, it is always in someone else's control.

9- what would you do differently?
I would have taken the time to intentionally spend one on one time with my kids, instead of always together. I would also want to learn a new skill maybe knitting, or a circuit machine. 

I would spend less time focusing on things out of my control. It lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. 

10- What will you carry forward? 
Time spent with friends and family, hugs, smiles, ... I will be grateful for when life is normal again. When I dont have to remember to take a mask everywhere I go. 

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