Everything feels somewhat crazy right now, doesn’t it? Each day, the details change and we are still wondering when (or if) we’ll see shelves full of toilet paper again. In a way, parenting has changed too. Read on to see how our creative and content director Heather is parenting her two kids during coronavirus.
I was a freshman in college, sitting in my first journalism class, when the second airplane hit the Twin Towers on 9/11. I vividly remember watching the news coverage on a screen in the corner of my classroom and hearing my Newswriting and Reporting professor telling my class that this would be the biggest story of our lifetime. And it was, until recently.
Like most Americans, I watched COVID-19 spread in China and Europe over the last few weeks without much of a sense of urgency. When my 77-year-old dad told my sister and me that we should stock up on supplies(emphasizing that it was a question of when, not if, the virus would hit), we made jokes.
I did grab an extra box of diapers and a package of wipes, but I neverimagined how quickly things could (and would) escalate. My kids were on spring break; I figured we would ride this out without much incident.
Then, after our cover photo shoot last Thursday, my editorial designer called me on my way back to the office. She said that her daughters’ school had just announced it was closing for a week and she heard from her teacher friend that they were shutting down face-to-face learning for college campuses across the country.
Wait, what? Shutting down schools? How am I supposed to get work done if my kids are home? My head started spinning.
On my way home from work, I stopped at Costco to get milk—paper goods, meanwhile, were already totally gone. The mood was tense but not quite panicked. Watching the news that night is when the severity of the situationstarted to kick in. It was clear we needed to fill our basically bare pantry and prepare to hunker down.
The next day, both of my children’s schools canceled the week following spring break, and I encouraged my team to put their files on Dropbox in case we needed to work remotely. The virus I had previously not taken seriously was suddenly here, and I was unprepared.
In all honesty, I’m not worried about my children or myself. I understand that we will probably get and survive the virus without much complication. I am worried about my parents. Both of them have heart issues and fall into the 60+ bracket for increased susceptibility. Both live within 15 minutes of us, but I feel like we have to stay away from them out of fear of infecting them with a virus that we may not know we have.
I don’t want them doing their own grocery shopping or running to the bank. Those things can wait until we are no longer in a state of emergency, and I am happy to set up grocery delivery for them or drop something on their porch. It’s why we live close to one another.
I know most parents are asking themselves and each other how this will affect our work and families. How will we get everything done while our children are home? How will we survive locked in our houses for weeks, if not months, at a time?
I wish I had an answer to those questions, but I don’t. This is an unprecedented time, and we really don’t know what the world is going to look like in a few days, much less a few months.
I do know that our children deserve for us to be calm and kind to one another. I want my kids to see that when the stakes are high, this is when we band together and support one another—not break each other down. Support your local restaurant by ordering a to-go meal, or give your favorite nail salon a boost by getting a gift card to use at a later date. Schedule a virtual moms’ night out with your girlfriends—after the kids are in bed, grab a glass of wine and FaceTime them.
Taking a few minutes to laugh and de-stress is so important. We’ll get through this together. Just keep calm, carry on and wash your hands.
Heather Vance Devers is the Creative + Content Director of DFWChild Magazines and the mom of a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. Heather has 16 years of fashion and editorial experience with names including Condé Nast and Neiman Marcus under her belt. She has been in the DFW metroplex 99% of her adult life—except for a quick stint in New York City—and currently lives in Frisco with her children, husband and their two cats (but don’t peg them as strictly cat people).
Check out more of Heather’s writing here:
HGTV Star Grace Mitchell Spills the Truth On Making It All Happen
Meet Fort Worth Fashion Designer Sheridan French
Image courtesy of iStock.