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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

In the past several weeks, that has changed. Brown is teaching her kindergartners remotely from her family's Northeast residence. Her husband, Donald Brown, 34, employed by a pharmaceutical company, is considered an essential worker, and reports to an office many days.

But that doesn't capture the fullness of life these days. In addition to teaching her class, Brown is also IT troubleshooter for her students and their parents, the explainer of education terms for moms and dads trying to help their kids learn at home. Plus, Brown is pretty much a full-time mom during the school days. That means making sure her kids are on top of their assignments, as well as doing the usual mom stuff. That's multitasking on a whole lot of levels.

"It's too many levels," Brown said, laughing.

But the changes have also yielded treasures. The morning commute has been replaced by together time for the kids and mom in her room before the day gets going. It just kind of happened naturally.

So did other a lot of things as well, just by spending time together.

"I definitely think the relationship between my son and my daughter has made so much progress because they have each other," Brown said.

Meanwhile, she learned new things about her kids -- about their individual learning styles, their senses of humor, their likes, her son's independence and wry wit, her daughter's sense of style and restless spirit -- just by being in each other's company.


Yes, there is something to be said for the separation between work and home life, she said. But when "normalcy" returns, Brown still wants to make time for the newfound joys -- things like baking bread and cooking meals with her kids, and Friday family-movie nights.

She said: "I love that we are together."

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