Our Year at Home

If someone told me a year ago that we were about to endure an entire year at home with minimal contact with the outside world, I would’ve thought they were talking about the newest movie about to hit theaters. This was no blockbuster hit, but the depiction of the next several months for many Americans – including our family of 5. The sentiment that encapsulates this past year is that there have been many peaks and valleys. The pandemic has brought many highs and lows, and with that came a greater sense of appreciation for life as we know it.

Our son will be one on February 28th (actually a Leap Year baby, so not for another four years…) and his birth actually marks the beginning of our quarantine. He essentially was born in a bubble. Although he has had limited time with his grandparents and has never met our friends, we’ve had a very special time with him. Unlike the typical newborn phase filled with germ packed visits, we’ve been able to avoid that. It has been extra special because typically my husband might have missed out on those ‘first’ moments, but he’s been at home to witness them all. Rolling over, his first word, crawling, standing…..and we currently await his first steps.

Another sign of our limited ventures past our driveway is the low mileage on our van. We bought it a few months before our last kiddo was born, and in one year, we’ve only put about 500 miles on it, and that’s being generous. This includes drive through trips to the Walgreens Pharmacy, our children’s well visits, drives to state parks for hiking and our most recent character curbside pickup last evening to name a few. Barbie and a unicorn princess brought dumplings to our masked daughters, and they were tickled pink! This weekend we’re going to check out a private viewing of THE CROODS at the movie theater. Yes, we have missed out on swimming lessons, ballet, soccer and play dates, but we now take greater joy in the simple things. Playing old records on our victrola, impromptu dance parties in the living room, extra long bath times, Zoom playdates (have you heard of the Caribou App? It’s AWESOME!!!) , baking to our tummy’s content, and more crafts than you can imagine have become the mainstay.

I haven’t had a hair cut since COVID started, and it’s almost down to my waist. I can now add beautician to my stay at home mom status because I cut my children’s hair – as well as my husbands. When we’re able to go to the salon it will be a real treat! Virtual school has been a challenge, but teacher is yet another feather I can add to my hat. My biggest wardrobe challenge has been which color of leggings, or pattern of sweatpants to wear. 

We haven’t stepped foot into a Target, grocery, or convenience store in 365 days and counting. Instead, we’ve supported local farmers through CSA pickup boxes, continue to champion restaurants via curbside pickup/deliver and donated to more charities than ever before. Being removed from the constant hustle and bustle that was our former life, has caused us to slow down, be present and mindful of what really matters. I asked our 5 year daughter what she holds close to her heart, and she said: “love, rainbows, family and the planet.” Spot on, dear daughter, spot on.

This post may make some jaws drop and eyebrows raise due to the extreme measures we have taken, but I feel good at the end of the day. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say we have NOT contributed to the spread of the coronavirus. We’ve respected the guidelines set forth for us, played by the rules, meanwhile protecting ourselves as well as the ones we love. It hasn’t been easy, but there is a lot of GOOD that has come out of this. We’re alive, healthy and we have another shot at how we choose to live our lives when this is all over. Lives have been lost, front line workers continue to sacrifice their own lives, and we should be so lucky to get to stay at home with our family. Vaccine or not, we will continue to be safe until we can meet safely again. We’re hopeful for an outdoor gathering this summer in our backyard. Our girls talk about things they want to do post COVID before they go to bed, so they can still do them in their dreams. So for now, sweet dreams my friends, and here’s hoping all of our dreams come true…

Suzy Burnett
Suzy is wife to an amazing husband, Ryan, and mother to two beautiful daughters, Lucille (4) and Alice (2), with a baby BOY on the way. She is an avid runner, foodie, travel enthusiast, book nerd and lover of life. She recently started a blog, crohniemommy.com, as a way to cope with her Crohn's disease, and to hopefully offer some support and inspiration to others who suffer from IBD. She's thrilled to collaborate with Madison Mom to shed light on motherhood while having a chronic condition.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Suzy we have done the exact same things because of a high-risk kiddo and a pregnancy (we have a 6-month-old). I love this post, and I share this experience. And you are right– I do feel good about not contributing to the spread 🙂

  2. Thank you for recommending the Caribou app! I hadn’t heard about it and I just downloaded it! What a neat idea! Looking forward to trying it out with my 6 year old and her Grandparents!

  3. Looking around us I often feel like we are the only ones that are limiting contact with others. It’s good to know there are others out there as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

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