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Full-time family and full-time work during the coronavirus has led to stress and unexpected joy

Rita Giordano, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Parenting News

PHILADELPHIA -- Samantha Brown is pretty tired these days. OK, make that very tired. She's not alone.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever done, trying to do a full-time job and having a toddler home all day," said Brown, a professional fund-raiser and now full-time mom to almost-2-year-old Ethan.

Pre-COVID-19, Brown got to spend three, maybe four hours a day during the workweek with her cherubic little boy. The rest of the time, Ethan was in preschool, and the Center City mom worked.

"Now I'm working in the wee hours, the weekend hours, whenever I can. Ethan is struggling with sleep at night, so I don't sleep much. It's bad. It's not good," she said.

Ethan's dad, Adam Brown, a lawyer with his own demanding work schedule, comes by in the mornings and evenings for precious time with his son and to give Samantha more time to work, but she doubts she is doing either job as well as she should.

"I feel like everything is suffering," she said.

 

So is she is looking forward to the end of this? Is she anxious for day care to reopen?

Brown answers without missing a beat: "I wouldn't give up this time with him for the world."

In many families, the coronavirus has blurred the lines between work and home. For some others, the lines have all but vanished, with grown-ups trying to juggle childcare and work at the same time, often under one roof.

It's bound to be stressful. For many of these moms and dads, holding on to their health and their income was the best they hoped for.

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