Small Business, Canceled Plans and Beauty in Togetherness - MetroFamily Magazine
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Small Business, Canceled Plans and Beauty in Togetherness

by Natalie Pettijohn

My family and I live in rural Oklahoma, and while seemingly tucked away in the corner of our state, we aren’t free of the global crisis we are all facing. As small business owners, my husband and I immediately had to stop and think about what this looks like for us. We are responsible for our staff and providing them income. We are thankful that we are small enough to make adjustments as needed to survive the uncertainty of the next several weeks, although the future is still worrisome.

We had plans this year to take a spring break vacation to Miami to see grandparents, which we ultimately decided to cancel. We had even gotten so desperate as to consider making the 22-hour drive to Miami in hopes of avoiding the airplane germs. That idea quickly faded after a couple of sleepless nights with our newborn. I wish I could say I handled it gracefully, but I felt like a 5-year-old giving in to bedtime when we scratched the trip altogether.

I decided to reframe my attitude and our situation. As a mama to four, ages 10, 9, 6 and 3 months, we can find value and enjoyment in this time! We’re all in this together so we might as well make the best of it. Here are some tips that worked with my family, and I hope will work for yours too:

  1. Cooking with the kids is something they still love doing at their ages, and we have to eat – so vôila, knocking out two birds with one stone. I told them we’d start a new family cookbook, and we’d filter through the ones we want to save or not. The Corona Cookbook. Humor has to save us here, right?!
  2. A walk! A walk is free. We scavenger hunt outdoors. I load baby in the stroller and the three big kids are on task to find specific items to gather. JR takes them out in the old truck to ride in the pasture and listen to Hank Williams songs until sunset, just to help pass those long evening hours.
  3. Because we’re all friends here, I’ll be frank: screen time for these babes just went way, way up.
  4. This is the time to be honest with our children. Having brought home our newborn two weeks after he was born because of a NICU stay, our older kids already understood a minimal concept of quarantine. This obviously took it to a whole new level. We explained that just as we were careful with him before, the whole world is now living similarly. Let’s take care of one another, make sure our kids feel of no burden to us and do just as we are instructed to do so that we are the real-time ‘flattening of the curve.’

Wash your hands, love your babies, enjoy the break. This too shall pass.

Natalie Pettijohn is a wife and mama from SW Oklahoma … Argentine-born, Texas-raised and Sooner bred. Natalie and her husband own an insurance agency and her time is split between work and raising their four babies. Her hobby will forever be travel and it is one the whole family shares. Find captures of their life over @nataliahpettijohn on the IG.

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