Overcoming obstacles as a family during COVID-19 pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken parents out of the work place and left kids out of school to learn from home. Now, families are learning to adjust to the changes.

Life’s been a little crazy lately for the Pierce family in Pullman.

“We’re living in a little bit of chaos, because we moved in about a month ago. So there are boxes laying around. We’re still not unpacked and moved in completely,” said Stephanie Pierce, mom of four in Pullman.

“I have an 18-year-old daughter, a 15-year-old son, a an eight-year-old boy, and a four-year-old boy,” Pierce said.

And holding down the fort while her husband, John, is working out of state.

“We bought a new house and nine days later, he had to go up to Alaska,” Pierce said.

John’s work schedule is typically two weeks on, two weeks off, but COVID-19 changed that.

“He should be flying home today, but as this has developed, he’s been pushing his come-home date later and later. Now, he won’t be home until at least May 5,” Pierce said.

Because Stephanie works for Pullman Regional Hospital, she can’t work from home.

“When there is panic happening around you, it’s hard not to buy into that kind of panic. I have to keep reminding myself that. We are going to be okay,” Pierce said.

As many moms do, she’s been making it work. But the past few weeks have not been without effort.

“I don’t have it all together. There are nights that I get into bed and I am just completely exhausted, and I get up in the morning. I used to workout at 4:30 in the morning. I’m not doing that right now. I just, I can’t do it all,” Pierce said.

Many parents can relate, and she luckily has help from her two older kids. They cook dinner and take care of the two youngest.

“I feel a little guilty because I am heaping this on them. It’s just the way that it is. Thankfully, they are going to grow up and have some real life lessons,” Pierce said.

Stephanie says she’s in the same boat other parents are in these days. She’s just taking it one day at a time.

“It’s weird, but we definitely don’t have it all together,” Pierce said.

To parents, it’s okay not to be okay right now. But know, this isn’t forever.

“When all of this is over, we’ll be able to get together as a community and we will be able to play again. And the little boys will be able to play together, and we will all be healthy. I look forward to that,” Pierce said.