Shelter “in place” (my life in pictures)

In the month we’ve been on a stay-at-home order, I’ve realized a couple things.

First of all, everyone goes through a freak-out before settling into a new reality. I have seen it happen in many of my online friends and, more to the point, I’ve been painfully aware of it in myself. I tried to be pretty proactive in my own mental health (because I have 5 people depending on me to have *my* you-know-what together), and I think, at last, I’ve more or less found my equilibrium.

Second: This situation is, without a doubt, the most intense parenting I have ever done. Every one of my kids is reacting in different ways, all of them requiring intense creativity and problem-solving and prayer.

Finally: The big joke these days is about introverts vs. extroverts. Clearly, the extroverts are the real sufferers here, the cultural narrative goes. I would argue otherwise. There are some introverts who actually live alone, and who are perfectly content because they’re in their element. But this introvert, the one writing this post, depends upon time alone to recharge AND ISN’T GETTING IT AT ALL. See point two above. So don’t write off the introverts as not suffering!

All that being said, however, we have been trying to make good use of the time as family. And therefore I have a lot of photos to share. So here you go: a stay-at-home order in our family looks like this:

Thank God, the first full week of school-and-sheltering-in-place was beautiful weather. We were able to spread out onto the deck, both for schoolwork and for evening. My husband’s job (as media relations for a major university) is very intense at all times, and the pandemic only intensified that.
Palm Sunday Mass as a family.
My second-grader was assigned to do a sidewalk chart religious art. We ended up doing that, but the whole family got involved in their own artwork. This is the “in process…”
The finished product
Teaching flute lessons by Facetime from the patio while the kids were having piano lessons by a different Facetime in the house.
The school district provides meals daily; we don’t really need it, but they insist the food will go to waste otherwise. We get 3 milks a day for 4 kids. You do the math. We’re drowning in individual milk containers, 2/3 of which are shelf-stable. On the up side, I was able to delay grocery shopping for three days after we ran out of the milk I’d bought.
We’re not going anywhere except the parks, basically, but in a family with 4 kids, we simply traded one form of busy-ness for another. These days we can have 7-8 online engagements between 8 and 5 p.m.
Just try to imagine forcing the kids to dress up to go to the park to take Easter pictures when we can’t even go to church.
We are cooking very well, because I don’t have to run people all over the place.
A proper social distancing visit should always end with a nap on the driveway, right?

What does your stay-at-home look like?