The New Normal
Article by Jennifer Waidman – Parent
In the last month there has been a lot of “learning as we go” and adjusting to a new normal. Due to the current situation and the Stay at Home order a large amount of our daily routine was upended pretty abruptly. The kids are now at home all the time. My husband is still working but my work has taken on an entirely new look. I am now doing some work from home on the computer and then going in one day a week to help with food distribution for our school district. As an employee, the meal distribution at Canton Local has been a source of pride, and as a mother it has been a blessing. While trying to juggle our normal household, adapting to remote learning with 3 kids, work, pets, and the fact that we are home ALL the time now, the fact that nutritious meals are coming to us completely free is a very big help! On Wednesday when meals are distributed the kids love to tear into them and see items they are familiar with and miss from school. They also love seeing the fruits and vegetables and ingredients that we can use to create! We have made personal pizzas, nachos, bosco sticks, fajitas, strawberry banana smoothies, banana bread, and the list goes on! The time we have spent in the kitchen together has been priceless, memorable, and a great learning experience for them all thanks to the Canton Local Nutrition team.
Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers
Parenting during this time takes on many changes. For us, it has helped us learn to slow down. We have spent much more time together playing games, cooking, doing art and science projects for school, and enjoying the outdoors. My kids like to play tablets like any kids do, but this has always been something that is limited in our house. We have several acres so it has been easy for us to get outside when the weather allows. We have spent much more time with our pets and even taking the goats along with us for hikes in the woods. We have talked about our garden and the importance of healthy fresh foods. We are even attempting to start our plants from seeds instead of just buying already started from the store. We have chickens and the kids have gotten to see more people reaching out to us for fresh eggs as the stores struggle to keep up with demand. Fresh eggs are so much better tasting that we have gained some “customers” that will continue long past the pandemic. Our 11 year old daughter makes her own goat milk soaps and has had a steady amount of customers during this also. You can check her out on facebook Hailey’s Homemade Goat Milk Soap (@crookedhornacres). I believe many people are seeing the importance of buying local and supporting small businesses and farms in their communities!
Tackling Scholastic Challenges
In regards to learning remotely, this has also been a parenting adjustment. Once we got into a routine it has been going well but it started out a little rocky. Our 13 year old daughter has Down Syndrome which adds a little extra challenge with the learning from home. We have spent a little more time on her assignments and her teacher has worked very hard to match lessons to the different abilities in her classroom. My youngest daughter is 4, and this year was her first taste of school. She was loving her preschool year, her new friends, and the routine. It is hard to explain to a child that age why we can’t go to school and hug their teachers and friends and this is something that she misses very much.
A Blessing in Disguise
While there are so many uncertainties with everything right now, and so many new challenges for families, I will say that I am grateful for the forced slow down and extra time with my family. I hope when this is all over that people continue to buy local, support family businesses, and shop from your local farms for fresh high quality foods! Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember we are all in this together!