WILMINGTON — While parents have some obvious concerns during the pandemic, many are thankful for the time they have to “slow down.”
“We recognize this time also brings unique challenges and stress for many parents,” said Hannah and Andrew Roberts, mother and step-father of four-year-old Emma Kate.
Their primary concern from the beginning has been the fear of the unknown.
“Current events are rapidly changing and we’ve been worried about the health, safety and long-term financial stability of our family, friends and greater communities as a whole,” said Hannah.
Emma Kate’s been able to enjoy standard play activities and spend some time focusing on her packet provided by her school.
“We’ve also focused on teaching more household tasks such as vacuuming, folding laundry, putting away dishes, gardening,” said Hannah.
Both parents are fortunate enough to work from home, according to Hannah, but that’s presented another unique challenge.
“Emma Kate doesn’t quite understand why we can’t play with her all day long,” said Hannah. “To help ease that we made her a work badge with her most recent school picture and an extra lanyard we had laying around; she quite enjoys typing on her toy laptop, leaving trails of paper clips around the house, and carrying around her notepad spouting directions.”
When Emma Kate isn’t “working”, she loves to paint and read books. Cartoon consumption has gone up a bit too, according to Hannah.
“Thankfully Emma Kate is still young enough that we don’t have to thoroughly explain what’s going on,” said Hannah. “We’ve talked a lot more about germs, how to stay healthy, and what we do when we’re sick — stay home, cover mouth. But overall, we’ve expressed that we’re all on spring break, and to this point that explanation has been sufficient,”
While they wish circumstances were different, they do enjoy the extra time with Emma Kate. They enjoy doing daily routines that aren’t possible with their normal schedules — sharing three meals at the table as a family and taking a walk/hike together every day.
Their other biggest concern has been Emma Kate’s health. She was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“We do our best not to be consumed by it,” said Hannah. “We realize our actions are directly responsible for protecting Emma Kate from unnecessary exposure. While we can’t shield her from everything, we’re trying to do our part in keeping her, and others, from undue hardship.”
They miss their families and loved ones. But they look forward to spending time with them again.
A big relief to them is knowing the essential workers still working out there.
“From our family to yours … thank you,” said Hannah.
Right now, the Roberts believe that all parents can do for their kids is their genuine best.
“If we’re truly giving our best effort then we can hold on to the hope that everything will ultimately be okay,” said Hannah. “And like many hardships in life, we’ll one day look back at this as a light and momentary affliction.”