The weather last week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends - heading into week 10

graphic coping redBy Nicki St George

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette put together a team of parents who are at home taking care of their children while the province goes through school closures and the shut down of everything other than essential services.

Ashley Worobec and Nicki St. George write regularly on how they are coping. We invite parents to take part in this initiative by adding comments to each Coping with COVID19 & the kids article.

Ashley Worobec is a sports-based chiropractor living a life of fitness, health, and parenthood in Burlington.  Nicki St George is a teacher, a recovering cancer patient and a mother working on an MBA

WEEK 9-

This week has been a blur.

Dan was busy working on a deadline for the 9-week project that has been occupying his days and nights and I was back in full-swing at work with a flurry of emails and zoom meetings to attend. The children were often left to their own devices (literally and figuratively).  I now have the musical stylings of Molly and Daisy from something called Toy Heroes permanently stuck in my head. My penance for neglecting Beatrix.

Leo Bea sitting in chairs

Screen time – determining which level is the challenge.

Of course, while I am feeling overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over this, the children see completely oblivious and are happy to have fewer restrictions placed on their device time. My mantra this week has told me that this is all temporary, but I still worry about the longer-term effects of too much screen time and how that will stunt the creativity of my children.

I now separate screen time into the following categories: educational, games, and family TV time. This last category is the cause of some heated debates in our family. Nailed It seems to be the only acceptable compromise. Leo, a fellow night owl, sneaks out of his room every night after bedtime and begs me to watch Community with him – how can I say no? It seems the children are most amenable to compromises when they are breaking their bedtime curfew.

Leo’s bedroom is a library. There are stacks of books everywhere and he has read every one of them. So at night I am faced with the choice of allowing him to use EPIC (an online database with a huge selection of books that he likes), i.e. more screen time, or do I allow him to sneak out and watch TV with me? I know there is a third option, but he is good company and I love laughing with him. Sometimes he goes into Bea’s room and plays dolls with her. She likes playing with him the best.

I still managed to get out for my morning walks every day this week, and we ate dinner together every night as a family, so I am still going to consider this past week a win. I did burn an entire batch of homemade granola, a sign that I was slightly off my mom-game, but my homemade chicken soup and scones will make up for that (I hope). I ordered hand-sewn masks for the family by a local Burlington mother who has been laid off. The idea of leaving my house with the kids while we are all donning face masks fills me with both hope and dread.

Bea and Leo outdoors

When it is just Nicki and the kids – no such thing as social distancing.

I have felt frustrated all week by the lack of clarity around social distancing rules. In other provinces and countries, the citizens are given direction about how to expand their ‘bubbles’ or at least they are aware of when they might be able to start this process. Of my friends, some are being very careful and have not seen their boyfriends in 9 weeks and others are being a lot less careful.

I have reconciled that outdoor visits while maintaining a 2-meter distance is okay; however, the weather this week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends in this way.

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