We Are An “Essential Working Family” :: Through a Child’s Eyes

It’s confusing and crazy times for the whole World right now. All of us on the same common ground in the midst of the Global Pandemic that is COVID-19. Some of us have abruptly been laid off from their jobs wondering how we will make ends meet. Businessmen and women have suddenly found themselves working from home and raising their kids simultaneously. Homeschoolers who are used to having daily educational activities away from home have found themselves homebound. There are families like mine where we are deemed “essential workers,”  I work in healthcare and my husband in law enforcement, trying to balance a homestead during this time.

It’s been an adjustment for us all in these past few weeks, and I fear there are more obstacles to come until we see a shift in ”the curve.” #FlattenTheCurve

As hard as it has been for us as adults, it’s just as difficult for our little ones we leave behind on the homefront. I know it’s easy to brush off how they are processing this. Especially if we are under the assumption that our reality is so much more difficult to accept than theirs. It’s easy to assume that they are all just enjoying their time away from school with no homework, but those assumptions may only be surface deep. I decided to dig in a little deeper. I sat down with each one of our fabulous five and asked them some questions about how they are handling our “new normal” in our home. 

Here’s how it went.

What’s been the hardest part about Mommy and Daddy working right now?

“No hugs when you get home because… are you clean? Or are you germy? Can I have a hug now?” – E (age 3)

What is your biggest worry right now with us still working?

“Knowing that you could get Coronavirus and that you’re not like, safe. I worry about one of us getting Coronavirus because you have to keep working. It makes it easier for us to get sick because you don’t get to be home like everyone else. It scares me, a lot.” – L (age 11)

What piece of advice would you give to those families staying at home right now?

“I would tell them to stay home. Play board games and run around outside in your backyard. Oh, with no shoes! Take baths, eat healthy stuff, and take your vitamins. Read some books, watch a movie, and keep up with your schoolwork.” – K (age 7)

If you could leave some words of kindness for “essential workers” like us what would it be?

“I would say, thank you for the work that you do. Keep up the good work because we really appreciate you. Make sure you take care of yourself! You are heroes!” – M (age 8)

What do you miss the most about life before coronavirus?

“SOFTBALL!!! My teammates and my Coaches are like my family. I miss tournaments every weekend. The games and the bus rides to them where we laugh and joke. School, I never thought I would say that, but I miss seeing my friends. I miss the routine. Sleeping, I haven’t been able to sleep well since all of this. I miss my normal life. My first year of high school just ended without warning. I’ll never get it back, and Mom it’s awful.” – B (age 14)

Let us be mindful of one another and that this pandemic is all affecting us differently but affecting us all nonetheless. Take time, we have it now, to get past the superficial conversations. Lean into your relationships with your children as they navigate this with you. Remember, it’s new for all of us. Let us be considerate of this new normal that we are all processing. Please, do your best to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. This is how you help us. So if you should need help we can help you. From our “essential working” family to yours, thank you.

Christina Smith
Christina has been a Louisiana resident her whole life. She now resides in Youngsville with her husband of 15 years and their girl clan who they lovingly refer to as, “The Fabulous Five”. She is an ophthalmology nurse, Midwifery student/aspiring Midwife, Stillbirthday bereavement Doula, and homemade elderberry syrup slinger. Most weekends you can find her cheering on her girls at a softball game, as travel ball is their “family hobby”. She loves all things organic and holistic in nature. On any given day you can find her wearing essential oils and carrying crystals in her pockets. She is passionate about all things birth work, extended breastfeeding, and advocating for racial disparities in our local birth community.


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