No matter where you are in the world right now, your life has been impacted by the fast-moving and dangerously lethal COVID-19—the coronavirus. Millions of Americans are trying to get information to educate their family about preventing the spread of the virus—all while practicing safe physical distancing. Schools are cancelled, remote work has been mandated, and all of a sudden we’ve been thrust into a brave new world called “home.”
This is a solemn and intense moment for many of us at Moms Clean Air Force. We have colleagues who are caretakers of young families, some with elderly relatives, while others have college children overseas who can’t get home.
Yet, in the midst of chaos and turmoil, moms do what moms do best. We figure it out.
Each of the states we work in, to serve our community of over a million moms and dads fighting to protect children’s health, has a state coordinator. Our entire Moms Clean Air Force team is working from home. Many of our state field organizers, national team, and volunteers shared how they are mothering in the midst of the coronavirus here:
Columba Sainz has three children, ages four, three, and one. She is role-playing with cardboard boxes, finger painting, gardening, playing in the tub, and playing carwash. They are planning to explore the trails in South Mountain and gardening at Space of Opportunity. They are following teacher activities, watching Frozen 2 and Kung Fu Panda, and making empanadas. They are still in the hunt for toilet paper.
Shaina Oliver in Denver is taking care of four sons ages 8, 11, 12, and 14. She and her husband feel outnumbered! Getting them outside has been the main goal to staying healthy. The kids are baking, playing soccer and football. Shaina says that being Native American, she’s burning the last of her sage and cedar. “In my community we believe that sage is an anti-bacterial killer that Native Americans have used to keep bad spirits away.”
Yaritza Perez is keeping up her health and wellness along with her daughter by doing at-home workouts. “Fresh air and vitamin D are so important! Not only are we taking care of our bodies, but we are now taking time out to read and improve our brains too. Brains and Beauty! With the extra time at home, we are now able to tackle some of the at-home DIY projects we have been meaning to work on. One of my new favorite things is to make DIY sanitizer from the aloe plants we have in Florida. This much-needed family time together is a blessing in disguise.”
Dr. Tonya Calhoun has delved back into our “Breath of Life: Bible Study Curriculum”, to understand how this specific curriculum can be offered (and facilitated) as an interactive, online bible study for families and congregations that want to focus on faith during this crisis.
Patti Nicholson lives in Pinckney. She’s taking her kids outside to see the signs of spring. Elizabeth Hauptman of Brighton holds gym classes outside on the trampoline. In Redford, Nicky Marcot is encouraging others to support local businesses until the coronavirus passes. They are all connecting with grandparents, family, and friends to play virtual games on the computer or with the help of FaceTime or Skype.
Trisha Dello Iacono is managing her household of seven. They’re doing puzzles of maps of the U.S., playing lots of games of Uno, participating in online Italian music classes with friends from Italy, and completing assignments from their local public school workbooks. The baby has been participating in lots of briefings on climate and COVID-19 related video calls. And they’re all stocked up on toilet paper.
Celerah Hewes and her family enjoy getting outside with the dog, taking nature walks, and researching animals and places to visit online. They are also taking this time to write letters to friends near and far. Her family is also reaching out to elected officials. Celerah says, “Being at home is an opportunity to share time in the kitchen with grandma with cooking projects, including making homemade salsa!”
Cinthia Moore in Las Vegas has a two-year-old toddler. They are spending this time making cookies, learning the colors, learning the alphabet, and counting in both English and Spanish. Over the weekend they explored Wetlands Park.
Vanessa Lynch says, “Our local school has begun online learning, so noise cancelling headphones were ordered online and arrived yesterday. We have engaged in family dinner via phone with the grandparents, lots of hugs and ‘I love you’s…’ throughout the day, and our dog has never been so well walked in her life!”
Catherine Flowers in Houston is managing the stress of having her college-aged children working through an absentee semester. “As a mom of young adults, this time has been challenging. Instead of celebrating, there is so much anxiety. My daughter’s Tulane College graduation in New Orleans was scheduled for May 15. There have been several coronavirus cases on campus, and her anxiety about exposing it to my elderly mother is off the charts.”
Julie Kimmel set up a mini Montessori classroom for her five-year-old with moveable alphabet printables and DIY ten beads made of pipe cleaners and pony beads. Julie runs in the morning and takes her daughter for bike rides around the neighborhood twice a day. They bake, make smoothies, slice fruit, plant flowers, and spend tons of time doing crafts and coloring.
Leah Barbor is keeping her spirits up by focusing family time outdoors during the reemergence of spring in West Virginia. “We’re sowing seeds, swinging, and playing Spring BINGO!”
Sasha Tenenbaum lives where “attached” rowhouse living is the norm. “Our neighborhoods are dense, our family is working overtime to avoid the density. The other day we thought we were so clever for driving an hour outside the city to climb a nearby mountain only to discover the entrance was closed due to the pandemic. COVID-19 can close a mountain! Our sweet spot is going to the park right after breakfast when it’s still empty and the air cool. My girls ride their ride their bikes gleefully while I jog. And for a fleeting half hour, that public space is all ours…I’m trying to take one black-and-white photo every day to remind our family how we lived during this time.”
Molly Rauch says, “I am not a rigid schedule person, and online learning for my sons has been hard so far. But each night we hold a plank competition. We turn on classic rock, set the timer, and assume plank position. Some friends and family have started joining us virtually through FaceTime. It’s a silly couple of minutes that we all look forward to. We’ve been getting outside a lot too. Yesterday my 13-year-old son brought the guitar to the front yard. I sang along as he played, and we waved to some neighbors walking by.”
Stephanie Klein is at home with her two daughters (ages three and five), husband, and au pair. “We are staying busy by doing kids yoga, listening to audio books checked out from the local library, and making lots of arts and crafts. We’ve also been taking walks/scooter rides through our neighborhood and hiking in Great Falls National Park. The girls’ teachers have sent home packets of worksheets, so today begins homeschooling!”
Please let us know how you’re mothering during the coronavirus health crisis on Facebook.