Our next ‘Moming through the Pandemic’ story is from Katie, a stay at home supermom. She was 6 months pregnant with a preschooler at home when everything started shutting down. She was also running a blog (Thrifty Wife Happy Life) in her “spare” time. No matter what the pandemic threw at her, though, she has stayed positive and is rocking this “chapter” of her life!
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Katie–we can all learn from your positivity!
Tell us about yourself and your family.
Hi I’m Katie! I am the mom of two, Jack (5) and Anna (8-months). My husband, Kevin, is an airline pilot and we live in Grand Rapids, MI. I worked as a preschool teacher until almost 2-years ago. We had been living in Las Vegas for over 4 years for my husband’s job, but when his company opened a base in Grand Rapids we felt that it only made sense that we move back to Michigan so we could be closer to our parents. Instead of looking for another preschool teacher job when we moved, we decided that it would be best for our family if I stayed home full time.
On top of being a stay-at-home-mom, I also have a lifestyle blog called Thrifty Wife Happy Life. I started it years ago as a little side hobby to keep me busy while my husband was on over nights, but it’s become so much more than just a hobby. I share affordable fashion tips and also my journey through motherhood. It’s now become more than just an outlet for me, it’s turned into a little side job.
How has life changed for you since quarantine began?
At first it was a huge adjustment. Even though I was already a stay-at-home-mom, Jack was in preschool at a child care center full day. When we moved back to MI we decided it was best for Jack to keep him in school full time since that was what he was used to. His school closed in mid-March and he didn’t return until July. That was a big change having him home all day with me and we couldn’t leave the house. He needs a lot of entertainment and he thrives on a schedule so it was a tough adjustment for us at first.
I was also 6-months pregnant when the pandemic first started getting bad in the U.S. and things were scary for a while. I was so worried that my husband wouldn’t be with me in the delivery room or that I would test positive for Covid andmy baby might be taken from me while I had to quarantine. Luckily everything worked out and Anna’s birth went really smoothly.
After Anna was born in June things seemed to be almost back to normal for a while. We did a lot of outdoor meet ups with family and went to the park, but then as the weather cooled off and Covid cases started to go back up things started to feel isolating again.
The biggest change for us is just having no plans at all. We use to go out to eat every weekend or take Jack to the museum or a play place on the weekends. Now we just stay home every week. It seemed like we had a visitor at our house every other weekend, but now that’s rare and if people do come see us we are usually meeting them in the driveway with masks on. It’s just not the same.
What is something positive that has come out of having to quarantine?
The one-on-one quality time we have been able to spend as a family is the best thing to come out of all of this. I spent almost 4 months day in and day out with my son and I realized that I had never done that before. Before that the longest amount of time we have had together was during my 7 week maternity leave. It’s been fun watching him grow and turn into a big brother.
What is the hardest part about it?
The hardest part is not seeing our friends and family very much. Having a new baby and not being able to share her with others is tough. We moved to Michigan so our kids would grow up closer to their grandparents and here we are not being able to see them that often. I had envisioned never having to miss a holiday with family and being able to celebrate our kids birthdays with friends and family now that we live back in Michigan. Instead we have been home just the 4 of us for every holiday and birthday celebration.
What have you learned about yourself during this time?
I’ve gained confidence as a mother during this time. I’ve always questioned my decisions as a mom and I suffer from mom guilt a lot, but this pandemic has changed that. Especially after having Anna. I feel like after all I’ve been through having 2 kids is nothing. I was so worried about adding another baby to our family during a pandemic. I was worried that I’d struggle without any help. I was worried that I would have postpartum depression and I’d be alone, but that hasn’t been the case. I felt really good after Anna was born. She completely turned my year around. Having her at this time has been my greatest blessing. She’s taught me a lot about myself. They both have.
What surprised you the most about your child(ren) during this time?
My kids are so unphased by this whole thing. Obviously Anna doesn’t know anything else, but Jack has been so understanding of everything. You would think he would have been upset that we couldn’t go to the mall and play in the play area anymore. Or that we can’t go stay at his grandparents house, but he’s been so positive about it all. He calls it the germs and he tells me all the time what his plans will be when the germs are gone. He doesn’t even mind that he has to wear a mask all day at school.
What are you most looking forward to doing once life gets back to ‘normal’?
Um everything! Lol! I’m really excited to be able to see our family again. Our parents live 2 hours away, but because we haven’t been able to stay over nights our visits with everyone have been very short. My sister-in-law who lives in California is dying to meet Anna so I’m hoping we can see them soon! I’m also hoping we can go on vacation soon! I miss traveling.
Kevin and I are also dying for a date night out with just the 2 of us. We haven’t done that since before Anna was born. We’d love to go on a trip together to celebrate our 10th anniversary this summer, but we will see how things are at that point. I don’t think I’m ready to leave Anna too long yet. We’d be grateful for an hour without the kids 😂
What is something you began doing during quarantine that you will continue to do (or hope to) once it’s over? Why?
Online grocery shopping!! I never used the online grocery store ordering apps before. I didn’t trust having other people pick out my produce. But after going to the grocery store during a pandemic with all the craziness, plus being 9-months pregnant at the time, I decided to try it. Now I will always do my grocery shopping online. At least my big weekly grocery orders. It saves me so much time and I will definitely never bring both kids to the store with me again unless I’m really bored and just want a challenge. 😂😂
Anything else you want to add?
I will just say that I think the best way to get through this time is to stay positive. Sometimes it’s hard, but I try my best to focus on the positive things in life. I think it’s important to focus on the things you can control in life, not what you can’t. This is only a chapter in our book, not the whole story!