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COVID, Quarantine, and Our Children

I'm an entrepreneur and single mom. What that translates to is my children always thinking that I'm available to them, even during what most would call normal business hours. The most interesting part is that, most times, I am. I can do my work anytime, but moments with our little ones cannot be replaced. My children and I are very close. We do everything together, talk about everything, share the good and the bad of life.

So, when the COVID-19 quarantine was set into place, it didn't disrupt much for us— at first. We went about our routine, came together to make sure that all lessons were done for my youngest's remote learning, and even took turns going to the grocery store so that we could all get some time to ourselves. As much as we loved each other, time apart was necessary.

The one thing that we didn't prepare for, was the lonely eight-year-old being taken out of the social construct that she was used to. Having interactions with peers her age, recess, cheer practice, being able to go to the park after school were just as important to her mental health as being taken care of and treated well at home. The more time she spent locked in the house, the more antsy she became. We tried everything: playtime, fun activities in the house, and even Skyping with family members. But, there was only so much YouTubing, playing MineCraft, reading, coloring, and toe polishing that a person could do. It was evident that she was missing her friends and people her own age to interact with. Her sister’s a teenager and I’m in my late 30’s, so no matter how hard we tried, keeping up with her bottled up energy was impossible. I found myself at a loss. How do you balance the dangers of infection with a deadly virus with the depression and cabin fever that quarantine presents?