A Bit of Relief

After I wrote last week about how much we are struggling right now, my mom emailed and offered to come and stay with us.

We have followed every single guideline around social distancing, travel, and being around people not outside the household. We haven’t seen family in person since Christmas of 2019. But my mom has received both doses of her Covid vaccine and is incredibly careful.

My response was “How quickly can you get here?”

It is easy to book flights these dates, so she arrived the next day with a planned stay of three weeks. I spent Saturday moving all of my work stuff up to the master bedroom so that she could have my office entirely to herself as a guest room (including borrowing a desk from Theo’s room). I emptied out some drawers in my office closet so she would have a place for her clothes. I printed out charts showing the kids’ remote learning schedules and Autumn’s daily routine.

There isn’t any data yet about whether a vaccinated person can contract Covid and spread it to an unvaccinated person, which would be our risk in letting someone stay with us. But after Ger and I talked and did some reading, we decided that the risk was so minimal that we wouldn’t require my mom to wear a mask in the house.

The kids have been “no mercy” when it comes to the chaos that happens during the day. Theo announced on Tuesday morning at 10:30 that he had a science project due in two hours (likely one that had been assigned much earlier…) Quentin had a book to read for his reading group and he couldn’t find it. My mom quickly ordered it for her Kindle (with the understanding that Quentin will pay her back out of his allowance if he can’t find it). And Autumn has had various meltdowns whenever she sees fit.

If my mom hadn’t been here, the science project wouldn’t have been done and Quentin wouldn’t have his reading completed. Because that’s how it goes. Ger was in a meeting for 90 minutes that morning and I had to write an article draft and get it over to my editor. Neither of us could stop what we were doing for the amount of time that would have been needed to help the kids. It isn’t possible to work and also be an at-home elementary school teacher’s assistant.

We are gladly accepting the help, as it has given us some relief that we have gone more than a year without. We plan to escape next weekend to a nearby Airbnb so we can have some complete peace and quiet. My mom helps with laundry and dishes so that also removes some of the daily grind. We can focus a vast majority of the day on our jobs – something that hasn’t happened for such a long time. This has been particularly beneficial as I’m getting into the groove of a new job.

So I’m enjoying the reprieve… and looking forward to the next few months (summer?) when vaccines are more widely spread and we can expand our bubble even further.