In this new segment, Spence Families at Home, we bring you the stories of Spence-Chapin families as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis. If you would like to share your family’s story, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carrie shared her experiences at home with her husband, Joe, and their son, Charlie.
Describe who is in your family.
It’s me, my husband, Joe, and our 15-month-old son, Charlie.
What’s been the best surprise about spending so much time together as a family?
How well we’ve been able to get along! At the beginning, I thought for sure being stuck at home together day in and day out, we’d (figuratively) kill each other. It was really hard at first, but we’ve adjusted now, found a rhythm, and are making the best of it. I’m amazed we’re actually functioning, both as working adults and as parents. And even though it’s hard to try to work a full-time job while juggling a toddler, it has been nice getting to spend this much time with him. He took his first steps one morning and had he been at daycare, we would have missed that!
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Juggling our full-time jobs while taking care of a 15-month old! I know parents with kids of all ages are struggling with different challenges, but caring for a toddler with almost no ability to be independent in any way is really hard when you’re on video calls all day.
What’s the funniest thing Charlie did this week?
When the weather is nice, it’s common for us and our neighbors to leave our front doors open. Charlie has taken to standing at the door and yelling at the outside world for a solid 10 minutes. It’s highly entertaining!
What’s your favorite spot to spend time alone in your house and how long do you typically get away with it?
I’d say my kitchen, but I don’t often get to be alone in there. So I’ll say my couch. I stay up later than my husband, and at night after he and Charlie have gone to bed, I’ll get some time to myself to watch bad TV or read a good book.
When you aren’t busy taking care of everyone else, what are you doing to take care of yourself?
Cooking and reading. And if I get to do those things alone, even better!
What’s a piece of advice you have for other Spence families who are maybe going a little stir crazy at home? Try to get outside at least once a day, if you can. If you have a partner or spouse, lean on them. We all get on each other’s nerves from time to time, but reminding myself to take a deep breath and be calm has helped keep me from losing my mind.