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This year for Mother’s Day, we wanted to take a moment to recognize all the amazing moms out there who have been juggling everything from work to childcare to homeschooling, all from the safety of their homes. Here’s what the “new normal” looks like for a few of our WWPR moms. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!


 

WWPR Mom, Kirsten Suto Seckler

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

Husband Chuck, son Ethan (12), daughter Penny (9), dog Jade (13), dog Copper (2)

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

I am working full-time and I am thankful that my husband retired last year after 26 years in law enforcement. I’m not sure how we would have handled this if we were both working. I get up early every day to do a morning workout and dog-walk and then I am typically working at my computer on Zoom calls from about 8 am until 5:30 pm. While the kids have some distance learning from the notorious Fairfax County School System, at about 1 pm every day they are looking for something new to do. Both my children are athletes, so they used to spend their time after school at baseball or gymnastics. Now we need to figure out ways to use that energy. And then there are the dogs. My 13-year-old dog is an amazing office dog, however 2-year-old Copper loves to bark and talk during calls. I will admit I have Zoom fatigue and find that it is difficult to get away from the computer. I miss meeting people for coffee or lunch and having in-person meetings. I also have a bit of guilt that my kids want to do activities with me and I have to work. It’s a tough dynamic for them to understand. We are loving our family dinners, which we really have never had regularly due to our schedules. We have found different shows on Netflix, Hulu and Disney + to watch nightly as a family. My husband has taken on the household duties and shopping like a first responder. The lockdown situation has me out of my comfort zone, but I also know that my kids are growing up quickly. Before you know it will be off to college, so I am trying to look on the bright side and see this time at home as a working mom as a gift.

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

Uncomfortable, anxious, perplexed


 

WWPR Mom, Lori Russo

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

I am home with my husband Mark (43), my son Blaine (8), and my son Quinn (4).

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

Our agency is extremely busy right now, which is a blessing, so I am working from home essentially the way I would be working from the office. Minus the 3-hour round-trip commute! Days are packed with internal team meetings, client Zoom calls, and even a few new business presentations. My husband is a golf instructor, so he is not able to work as normal, but he is finding ways to stay connected with his students through virtual platforms. We are taking turns caring for our boys and helping them with their schoolwork and other projects to keep them occupied. My “me time” is now cooking. Our kitchen has turned out some incredible bread and other baked goods over the past month, which I mostly give away to neighbors. This time together, while challenging, has turned out to be a very special gift for our family. When things return to “normal,” I will miss being with them.

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

Blessed, fulfilled, challenged


 

WWPR Mom, Melinda Tolliver

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

I live with my husband, Kevin, and 3-month-old son, Russell.

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

When DC issued the initial stay-at-home directive, I was scheduled to be on maternity leave for another three weeks. When we moved to full-time remote work I decided to go back early because with both my husband and I home—and my place of work being super flexible—we felt we had it covered. Now, I am juggling caring for my little one with daily Teams calls and chats, plus ramping up for our big celebration week, which will be all virtual this year. I feel grateful to have more time at home than I had planned to with my son, but it is a challenge to manage both at once. I couldn’t do it without my husband who has flexibility with work as well.

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

Busy, grateful, dynamic


 

WWPR Mom, KayAnn Schoeneman

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

I’m surrounded by boys – my husband Brian, nine-year old son Nicholas, our sheepadoodle pup Tripp, and our orange cat Archie.

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

Since early March, my days are a whirlwind as I’m often onsite with a large health system client in Northern Virginia partnering with their multidisciplinary team to support communications for their COVID-19 Coordination Center. We’re providing the latest information internally and externally to team members, patients, the community, frontline workers, and beyond. It’s been highly rewarding and humbling communications work. I’m grateful for my husband, Brian who is an attorney, lobbyist, and true partner in helping with the responsibilities at home. We share the distance learning responsibilities for our son as well as cooking, pet care, and laundry. Since I leave the house for work, I handle the grocery store runs. We enjoy family walks, using the trails around our neighborhood, to help us get time away from our screens and some much-needed sunshine and fresh air. We truly are all in this together in our household!

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

Rewarding. Exhausting. Humbling.


 

WWPR Mom, Tammy Lemley

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

I live with my husband, Eric, and my two daughters, Hanna (13 yrs) and Olivia (10 yrs).

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

Working from home full-time while helping my daughters with online school. Enjoying the extra family time and no commute. We’re staying positive and taking time for bike rides, baking, planting a garden, building a bluebird house, and counting our blessings!

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

Blessed Working Mom


 

WWPR Mom, Anonymous

Tell us about your family! Who do you live with, and what are their names and ages?

I live with my son, Jaxon. He’s 3-and-a-half years old.

What does your current day-to-day look like? What are you juggling?

We wake up around 9 am every morning. I dedicate the first two hours of the day to “home-schooling.” For pre-school age, that consists of coloring, going over flashcards, completing workbooks, and mastering puzzles. For lunch, I let him watch Ms. Monica’s Morning Show on YouTube and then any educational show of his choice after (right now he’s really into planets). For the rest of the afternoon, I am on conference calls (my company uses Skype for business), and finishing up work. During that time, my son is usually playing with his toys or on his tablet, but there have been quite a few times when he would interrupt me during my meetings to ask for something! Dinner is usually something simple that can last for a few days. Think spaghetti, chicken, rice etc. I tend to end my day watching a show or movie with a glass of wine!

What three words would you use to describe your feelings or experience during this time?

overwhelmed, anxious, hopeful