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Pandemic Up-Ended Our Lives and Probably Til 2023

Raised two daughters age 20 and 22. Still learning as I go through this pandemic like most parents who are upended.

Board games and puzzles we played during shutdown

Board games and puzzles we played during shutdown

Pandemic changed our lives in March 2020

I am sitting here thinking back to February of 2020. Everything seemed ok. My daughter, Sam just got back from Mexico(spring break) the last senior happy moment along with turning 22 and winning two addy advertising awards. She was on top of the world. My other daughter , a sophmore, enjoying her time at school, hanging out at fun sorority and frat events. Then March rolls around, when all of us in Ohio were mandated to shutdown by our Governor.

None of knew how this pandemic would play-out and affect us all as parents, as college kids moving home or even college kids being displaced, living alone--what a mess.

In the first 3 weeks of shutdown, I got to bond with my sophmore daughter. We watched revenge on Netflicks, played board games, did a 1000 piece puzzle, planned our meals together. My husband and I taught her her backgammon. A game I played a lot in college.

My sophmore daughter was suppose to do two internships abroad. Both were cancelled. Now we have airline credits. I wanted my money back. My college grad sent out 50 resumes and also lost any opportunity to get a job or internship at an ad agency. No graduation, just a zoom graduation. Companies shutdown and noone hiring. When will this all end so we can get back to normal?

Spring arrives with a frown..,now we all have to wear masks and social distance

Well all the activities my daughter and I did were now boring. We also ran out of shows we liked watching. There were times of conflict. It is unavoidable when you are indoors all day together. Sure we took walks with the dog, but just the thought of only being able to go to the grocery store was our only hi-light to get out of the house. We ate more dessert and ice cream during shutdown. My poor husband was on the phone in during shutdown from 7am-9:30 PM with his clients. For him work did not stop. Zoom was a new and he had to learn how to use it like everyone else.My daughter and I had to carve out a space on the 2nd floor because my husband talked all day on the phone he would go from the kitchen to the living room and then family room.

May looks promising as we re-open

By May we were fairly antsy. I was. Staying at home was indeed a luxury. But with the uncertainty of Covid news, I did not sleep well. Every day I read the NY Times and looked for updates from our Governor. May was the month that we were allowed to open in stages.

I was ecstatic to re-open my boutique I like working. I do not want to sit home. But now we have to wear masks at work all day. That took some getting use to. The building I am in is great. There is only access to those who have an appt. with a stylist or nail tech. Most of us were busy for weeks. With social distancing and PPE, our set-up is ideal. Very private. My clients were ecstatic to finally get a haircut....

My sophmore daughter whose major is Finance got a paid internship at a financial firm that got her through May-Mid July. She was really fortunate. My husband went back on the road. Staying at home all those weeks did drive him batty.


June offers no jobs for college grads or post grad internships

My MSU grad moved home the 3rd week of July. She had been living in her own apartment and so when she moved back my home, it was a big adjustment for all. She was glad to move home but only until she could find a real job. Let me tell you the market is dead. She applied to 40 jobs and got scammed from two marketing companies on Linked -In. There were Fake companies taking advantage of college kids. "I could not believe that companies would do this in a pandemic." She was angry and frustrated because she did not want to believe the market was this bad. Neither did I. You can network, but there are no jobs. We told her to work on her portfolio, freelance and find a job that has flexibility. She got hired at Express clothing. After all when the market does open, employers will ask what did you do during the pandemic. So she will be a great hire when that time comes.

Our daughter who is majoring in finance was fortunate to find a 8 week internship. She has grateful but so disappointed that she did not get to go abroad. Now she isn't sure what she wants to do. Internships abroad were suppose to enlighten her and teach things about what she might want to do as a career.

Parenting adult children and college kid

I think I am at a loss and navigate each day as it comes. I can tell you that the habits we taught our kids in middle through high school (Do your homework then play) paid off for both girls in that they self managed time, work, homework and social life. It was not easy, but they had their priorities straight. After all, college is NOT free and tuition is costly. Now I am not sure how parents and teachers can teach and how kids can really learn material on zoom. In person learning is far better. Interaction with peers in a classroom setting is better and more effective.

How to deal with the no job and no internship and competing with adults with experience who are laid off is another story. I am not sure how college grads are suppose to get the experience. It is upsetting to kids and parents. After spending so much on a degree only to be told there is nothing now is hard to swallow. I can be angry or I can adapt. Yes, it is unsettling for all of us. There is no answer to this dilemma and even if there was a vaccine, it will still be another 6 months before companies are ready to hire again.

We give our adult kids as much freedom as they need. I don't set curfews. Luckily for me my kids are not slobs, they pretty much cleanup and take care of their things.My kids are respectful. My college grad daughter likes living at home, likes that she has cooked meal...maybe its because she lived on her own and knows now what it takes. "I am surprised. I thought for sure she would want to move out. Practicality and common sense, she knows she could not pay rent and pay more bills with the job market being so volatile. I will not sign a rental agreement just so she can move out, that would be financial stupidity." The car she drives today is 2007 Prius- perfect in that gas is cheap on her budget. We told her to bank and save to move out when the right job comes along.


College remote learning is not a true learning experience

College is a business. They are out to make money. The pandemic has really turned things upside down. No sports (Football)--- now we have football starting October 23, 2020.

Kids are being cheated out of real college experience. Remember when you could actually join clubs, meet people hang on campus on a sunny friends at the cafeteria for dinner?

My daughter and her friends signed a apartment lease in October of 2019. We could not get out of the lease. She doesn't like online learning. How can anyone sit for hours in front of a computer screen. The only solace is that she has great roommates and they do a lot together. There are no social activities. My daughter dropped out of Delta Gamma. It didn't make financial sense to continue in a sorority in a pandemic. She has made the best of it. On her own she is learning to cook. It is a basic skill that everyone should learn. She is a saver and so whatever she made this summer was to help her with her social activities this fall. But there are none. She is upset about how the zoom career fairs have been set-up so soon. Kids have just gotten acclimated and the deadlines for internships applications for finance internships are due and not clear. She isn't sure what she wants to do or go about it. The career board and firms have dropped the ball as far as how kids go about applying for internships in a pandemic. It is a stressful at this time for many college students.

Hanging in there like most small businesses

I can't tell you how awful it is to be an established small business only to see it be destroyed the Pandemic. Most of us are either going to close by the end of year...if we can survive the worth month January 2021 as a business when it will be the slowest month, I think we will make it the rest of year. Life, death paranoia? There is no easy solution. The elections are around the corner and the country is divided on so many levels. I will not discuss politics. Let's hope a for an economic recovery for jobs and a vaccine so that we can get back to normal, whatever that is or will be in 2021.


The biggest reward post pandemic is hearing that my daughters really appreciate us and what we have done for them

Now that September is here and my girls are settled into some type of routine it is the conversations we now can enjoy as adults. My daughters tell us everything...literally. Sometimes it is more information that I really want to know. The reward is having a close relationship after all the ups and downs of high school through their development in college to adulthood. I remember being in tears in those high school years. Girls can get mouthy and mean. Now I just have to hope they don't get too comfortable at home to leave the nest again to start their own independent lives when the job market opens in 2021.

© 2020 Mae Williams

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