Eva Amurri, the actress and writer who started her own online lifestyle brand “Happily Eva After,” hadn’t planned on raising her newest child in lockdown, let alone managing her other children’s schooling from home.
“My third baby was born the day Connecticut (my home state) went into quarantine lockdown,” Amurri said. “It was super disorienting to have a new baby in the family, and to be balancing caring for him, myself, and my two other kids alongside a distance learning situation. I had been planning on relying on the school hours for the older two as a way to rest postpartum, but that definitely did not happen.”
A new challenge
Homeschooling has been hard on families all across the country, including Amurri’s.
“My daughter was in Kindergarten and is a very social butterfly,” she said. “It was really overwhelming and lonely for her to do school in a distance learning model and to suddenly just not see her friends or teacher in person.”
The most challenging part for Amurri has been schooling two children at different ages and educational stages, who are not independent with their schoolwork yet.
“I really have to spend concentrated time with both of them,” Amurri said. “Managing the ‘online meetup’ schedules, along with a newborn feeding schedule, was really hard for me to keep up with.”
The isolation took a personal toll on Amurri as well, as it has for many parents of young children.
“I was so lonely not to be able to have girlfriends visit and support me while I adjusted to life with my third newborn,” she said. “I think we are still healing from the ‘loss’ we felt during that time.”
Finding what’s best
When asked to offer advice, Amurri said that every parent should work out a schedule that suits their family best.
“I know some people who started distance learning school at 7 a.m. and were done by lunch time, and love that model,” she said. “Listen to your gut and know that all families work differently. Get creative, and just trust that eventually these strange and scary times will pass.
“I am really hoping not to have to distance learn again this year. It was so hard for all of us involved, and caused a lot of anxiety and stress for both me and the kids.”
Despite the trials, Amurri knows that practicing distancing is the best option for beating the coronavirus and having her kids safely return to school.
“I believe in the guidelines my state has set forth, and I feel good about following them and keeping my family safe in the process,” she said.