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Birth Mother Matters in Adoption Episode #70 – Parenting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Ron Reigns:

Welcome. And thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption with Kelly Rourke-Scarry, me, Ron Reigns, where we delve into adoption issues from every angle of the adoption triad.

Speaker 2:

Do what’s best for your kid and yourself because if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re definitely not going to be able to take care of that kid, and that’s not fair.

Speaker 3:

And I know that my daughter would be well taken care of with them.

Speaker 4:

Don’t have an abortion; give this child a chance.

Speaker 5:

All I could think about was needing to save my son.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My name is Kelly Rourke-Scarry. I’m the executive director, president, and co-founder of Building Arizona Families Adoption Agency, the Donna K. Evans Foundation, and the You Before Me campaign creator. I have a bachelor’s degree in family studies and human development and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on school counseling. I was adopted at three days, born to a teen birth mother, raised in a closed adoption, and reunited with my birth mother in 2007. I have worked in the adoption field for over 15 years.

Ron Reigns:

And I’m Ron Reigns. I’ve worked in radio since 1999. I was the co-host of two successful morning shows in Prescott, Arizona. Now, I work for my wife, an adoption attorney, and I can combine these two great passions and share them on this podcast.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

All right, let’s do this, podcast 70, parenting during the coronavirus pandemic, sheltering in place, some of us are calling it staying home, some of us are calling it quarantining. This is dedicated to all those parents, adoptive parents, non-adoptive parents; we are all, unitedly, experiencing changes. There are blessings in it. We get to spend more time with our kids. There’s a myriad of emotions. Social media is flooded with all kinds of comments, suggestions, complaints, and everything in between. Some of it’s funny, some of it, as a parent… We both are parents, I have a blended family, and so in total, we have seven, six of them living in the home. And the ages that our kids are, are I think every age has its challenges, but we have now an almost nine-year-old. An 11-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 15-yea-old, two 17-year-olds, and then my 23-year-old doesn’t live at home.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

She’s on her own and doing fantastic. So with our almost nine-year-old, 11-year-old, 13-year-old, 15-year-old, and two 17-year-olds, us being quarantined as a family of eight is something for reality TV.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And then with your son, he’s on his own, like my oldest is-

Ron Reigns:

Right.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… and is he quarantined right now?

Ron Reigns:

Yes, he’s no longer working because he works at a mall. So that’s all been shut down, and he is living with his girlfriend and her parents, but they’re all pretty much quarantined. However, she’s still going to work, and she works for not a retirement home but where they take care of the elderly.

Ron Reigns:

So every day she goes into work, she’s got to get her temperature done, and they keep a sharp eye on any symptoms and things like that. Because, boy, that could be just tragic. And I think John’s been very responsible because he’s like, “She’s in a position where she could do a lot of damage if I make a mistake.” So he’s very meticulous about self-quarantine.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

From home, does he stand at the front door with a hose and a bottle of bleach and just-

Ron Reigns:

Do a Silkwood shower?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… spray her.

Ron Reigns:

Absolutely, every single day. But-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Are her –

Ron Reigns:

… yes-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… white now?

Ron Reigns:

… he’s being very responsible, like all of us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

My 23-year-old is working from home now. She has transitioned to commuting at home, and she doesn’t have the best immune system, and she’s tiny. And so I’m thrilled that she’s at home. Now her roommate still goes into work, but he works more in a recreational vehicle rental. So it’s like RVs and the big, what are the big things, not dune buggies. I forget fancy, but you ride them out in the sand. And that’s considered a significant business.

Ron Reigns:

Hey, why not, right?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:
So he is not flooded with lots of people, but he’s doing his part, and he’s going to work. And-

Ron Reigns:

No.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… because I can be an overbearing parent, they have gotten a list of what I would really appreciate (don’t even try it). Meaning, let’s not go to the store; let’s have it delivered. Because if he goes and he brings it home, then my daughter can get it too. So I, unfortunately, am going to come across as one of those parents that is just overbearing, which is probably true. We all have flaws; that’s probably mine. One of them.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not the worst one to have, for sure.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right? So I have always believed that parenting is the most complex, most challenging, and most underrated job. It’s the best job in the world, but it doesn’t come without bad days, hurt feelings, constant regrets over decisions that you’ve made as a parent. Like, “I should have handled it this way.” Or, “Maybe if I had done or education on the forefront, they wouldn’t have made this choice.” And going into this pandemic, this time of absolute, I don’t want to say chaos because it’s not chaos, but it’s so unprecedented. We’ve never experienced it in our lifetimes. We’ve never been in this type of situation.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Schools are closed, so kids are at home. They’re not able to go to their friends’ houses or the mall or the movies. And with us having four teenagers at home, almost five teenagers at home, our kids are social, and this is tough because four of our kids play sports, and they’re unable to play sports right now. And so that’s an issue for them, and I’m sure hundreds of thousands of millions of other kids are experiencing the same thing.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But I think as parents to step back for a moment and say, “Okay, it’s not just us as adults that are experiencing this crisis, this pandemic, this change in our everyday lives. Our kids are too. And when we’re stressed, they can feel it and we’re stressing them out.”

Ron Reigns:

It’s contagious.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Oh, absolutely. And I think they do hear the news, and they’re on social media, and we’ll be at the dinner table, and one of my kids will pipe up about something that they saw on the news. And I’m thinking, “You’re watching the news.”

Ron Reigns:

What 10-year-old watches the news?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I watched Little House on the Prairie and Dukes of Hazard; why are you watching this? And so they hear about, even just, if they overhear you talking on the phone about losing a loved one or a loved one being sick, or how their grandparents are doing, and the job situation. And they hear all these statistics. I think that teenagers, today, are very different from the teenagers that you and I were, in our age. And they seem to be, I think, more on top of it than I know I was. They understood what the word furlough meant, and my daughter was furloughed. She was working at a Harkins movie theater, and she came home and said, “Okay, mom, here’s the paperwork. They told me the CARES Act and unemployment, and….” And I said, “Well, honey, you’re part-time. You’re not going to qualify.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And she said, “No, no, no. They said CARES Act and tried.” So she applied, and, of course, she got denied because she was part-time. But she loved going to work. She loved it. She is a junior in high school, and she’s looking at this, like, “I’m running out of time. This is my time to have fun before I graduate high school.” And I think of those poor seniors this year that didn’t get to do prom, although they’re doing the promella.

Ron Reigns:

What’s a propelled?

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So this summer, I don’t know all the details on it, but the kids that didn’t get to go to prom, they’re hosting it, I guess, I don’t know if it’s statewide or certain… I don’t know Coachella where all the big stars go.

Ron Reigns:

Oh yes.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

They’re calling it promella.

Ron Reigns:

Okay, got it.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And they get to go and have this massive prom. And I said, “Well, I don’t know that that would be fun, anyway, because it’d be so many people, you wouldn’t see people from your high school.” And she said, “Yeah. Okay.” And so both the kids were like, “Are we get to go to promella?” “No.” That’s what senior years are for. So senior year, because now they do like the junior/senior prom, I think senior prom will be just fine.

Ron Reigns:

Really? See, we had junior/senior prom, too.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We didn’t. We had homecoming, and then we had like a ball, like a winter ball, I don’t remember what it’s called, and then prom.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. We had junior/senior prom, so we got to go two years, lucky us.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah, no.

Ron Reigns:

I only went one, but-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

See.

Ron Reigns:

… we were allowed to.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Uncle Ron only got to go to one prom there; I’ll use that on my two kids.

Ron Reigns:

But I went when I was a junior, not a senior. I wasn’t a popular kid.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Okay, see, backward.

Ron Reigns:

Yeah. Yeah. I did it backward, like most things in my life.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I wasn’t going to go there, Ron. So for parents, I think there are like three big… I will come at this from both a professional and personal standpoint because it’s much easier not to practice what you preach. It’s easy to say and not do. So you and I have agreed that we will be honest, open, and candid from day one. And so I’m going to just do that as a parent because we all make mistakes. We all wish we could have done something different.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So working from home with six kids is definitely a challenge. It’s definitely a challenge. Many people understand that people are telecommuting, and they are kinder and making allowances for that. Of course, when we’re on the phone, as we’re answering it, we’re snapping to let everybody know, stop talking, stop the dogs from barking. Inevitably, the minute the phone rings, the doorbell rings, or the children, the minute you pick up the phone and you’re talking to somebody, they have the most important thing to tell you. Or if you go in the bedroom and shut the door, they knock, because then they all of a sudden realize that they forgot something, so then they’re knocking on the door. It’s almost like a magnet.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Working from home has its own challenges, but now, we have children, a lot of us working from home telecommuting have children. And not only are we working from home and navigating that and reestablishing rules and guidelines and expectations, but we’re also now faced with their schoolwork. So we’re now their teacher.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And this is a funny story. And I won’t win mother of the year for this one. My youngest son is almost nine, he’s eight, and he is absolutely obsessed with Fortnite on the Xbox. I mean, that is what he lives and dies for is Fortnite. And, obviously, one of the moms on the website that I read says, “Don’t worry about screen time.” So I thought, okay, I’ll relax a little bit and not worry about the hours he’s on it. And then I started thinking, he really is on that a lot. And he has his own little laptop, and I’m checking with his teacher, making sure that he’s doing the assignments, and he’s telling me, “Yep, mom, I got it. I got it. I got it. I did it all.” And then he’s back on Fortnite. And I’m thinking, “Wow, he’s really fast on school work, but okay.”

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so then on Thursday, I texted his teacher, and I said, “I just want to double-check; he’s totally up to date, right? We’re not missing any assignments.” Because with my older kids, I can go online, and their teachers will list them. Well, this is not like it with him because they have to make up this work and create it. And she said, “Oh no, no, he’s missing a little bit.” And so she sent me these two packets, and I thought, oh, we weren’t as on top of it as I felt we were.

Ron Reigns:

Right, so there goes Fortnite.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Bye-bye, Fortnite, until all the packets are complete. The first night that we had the packets, we didn’t let him get on fortnight until nine o’clock in the morning because he’ll wake up and want to be on it at 6:00. He slept next to it on the floor, like his pillow and blanket, because he has a little TV in his room with his Fortnite. He literally slept next to the TV and the small entertainment center. I guess he just wanted to be close to it, I don’t know.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So, yes, I took the advice, and it didn’t really work out so well. So now, obviously, his teacher and I have set up a protocol, so I’ll know exactly what he’s doing without… Because, again, I’m working full time. So I’m working, and I’m trying to make sure that all six of the kids are doing their work and thinking that… he’s telling me, “Oh, I got it. I got it.” And I’m thinking, oh, good boy. Yay. Good.

Ron Reigns:

Right. So proud.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s much easier than now; I’ll be sitting in my chair at the computer working, and I’ll turn around, and there he is with his laptop going, “Mom, how do I do this?” And I’m thinking, oh wow. Okay. And math is different than it was when you and I were little. And you don’t-

Ron Reigns:

Definitely.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So then I’m calling one of his siblings because I want to make sure that it’s the exact process, and I’m not teaching them the old school way, and it’s… Yeah, so siblings have been amazing. They are my saving grace right now because I don’t like homework. I like projects. I mean,

Ron Reigns:

Okay. That makes sense.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… I love projects. I kind of love them too much. I almost take over. And this is funny, my oldest daughter, again, I’m going to look like this, ah, evil mom, but whatever. When my oldest daughter was younger, she picked somebody she wanted to do a board about and make history. I was really into the crocodile Hunter at that time. I was watching all of his shows. And I said, “I’ll help you if you choose the Crocodile Hunter.” And she said, “I have to choose the Crocodile Hunter?” I said, “Yes if you want me to really help you with it. Otherwise, you can do it on your own.” So then she said, “Okay, I’ll do the Crocodile Hunter.” Then I was like, “This is my board. Back off.”

Ron Reigns:

Back off.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And then I think I even had the nerve to say, “What did we get? When she got graded on it. We did get an A, by the way.

Ron Reigns:

We. Good job.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Anyway. So I think that we’re all learning together. I’m making mistakes. I thought I was more on top of my youngest son’s work than I was. And now, as I said, we have set up, and what I’ve learned is there’s a foolproof plan. Now, instead of him doing all of his work on the computer, I’m printing off the packets. And that way, I can check the packets because there was no way for me to check to see if he did this on the assignment. And so this is much easier for me, and I think him, so I can just go through the packets every week and make sure they’re completed. And then check his mind time. I just the time it 20 minutes on this math site and 20 minutes on that English site, and read for 20 minutes, and it’s good, so live and learn.

Ron Reigns:

Well, it is a transition, and you’re adapting, and that’s the important thing. I mean, when you see, okay, there is a problem. I mean, it takes more time and for you as a parent to go, “Okay,” as you said before, “I’m not just a parent right now. I’m also a teacher in a lot of ways.” And so it’s not easy. Good for you for making those changes that you’ve needed to make. And, of course, nobody could have started this whole quarantine thing and be 100% on the ball; with every single thing in line, we all have to learn, so good for you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. And I thought by sharing that story, I mean, it would let other moms and dads know like, it’s okay to say, “I screwed this up.” I thought I was more on top of it than I was. And the teacher and I together figured out a way that he could be more successful because the packets that he has to have done by Monday night are a couple inches thick; they’re big. Some of them are just, you read a page, and they answer some questions, it’s not… He’ll be fine; we’ll get through it together. But I think it’s important to let parents know, just do the best you can. We’re all going to get through this together somehow, some way. And go, teachers, really go teachers. Because I need them back, Ron. I need them back.

Ron Reigns:

Please.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Well, I think some ways to survive, if you’re working from home with your kids there, is realistic. Maybe set expectations on the front end, and that’s what I’m trying to do. So during the hours of 9:00 to 5:00, that is our work time, if you need something, obviously, we’re here for you, and we’ll help you, but you may have to wait. I may not be able to drop what I’m doing at that moment and jump in and help you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The other thing that I have found is what I have done on the “emergency drill” type, which is, what you do is, you say, “Okay, when the phone rings, what are you supposed to do? You’re not supposed to yell. You’re not supposed to decide to make the dogs run up and down the stairs,” which they were doing at six o’clock this morning. “You’re not supposed to argue with your sister. We’re supposed to be quiet when there’s a phone call or an important Skype meeting. That’s not the time to express yourself; that’s for later.”

Ron Reigns:

Okay. Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

“If I have the door shut and I say, ‘I’m going to be in the bedroom, I’m on an important phone, or I’ve got to complete this,’ as much as I love each and every drawing you make me, that’s not the time that you bang on the door until I open it so we can talk about it.” I love those. I do, and I save all of their artwork. I have bins and bins, Ron, of everything. And I cherish them. But as much as I want to look at it at that moment, sometimes it makes me feel like I’m a terrible parent when I say, “Can we just wait a little bit?” And it’s not me rejecting them because I feel like I’m rejecting them, and I’m pushing them away. I’m not; I’m just postponing. I’m postponing. I’m not pushing them away.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

The other thing is that I do use incentives as well, Fortnite time screen time. Sometimes the kids will want to make a cake, so they’ll make a cake. I’ve also, with my three oldest, once a week, each one of them is now responsible for making dinner for everybody.

Ron Reigns:

Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So I figure I’m teaching them how to cook; simultaneously, I’m giving them responsibility, and then I’m also taking something out of my to-do list and handing it to them. And they’re very creative, and they’ve done a great job so far; I mean, they’re making these elaborate meals. I’d be happy with hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. I’m happy as long as I don’t have to cook it. I’m good. I’d be happy with cereal. But they’re doing really well.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We have a designated area for our “home office,” but if somebody didn’t, I would designate it. Maybe part of the kitchen table or if you have a desk area and that’s your stuff. Our kids would start to come over to my desk and grab a pen and grab this and grab that. And it’s not a free for all. That’s my office space. You wouldn’t walk into my office at our actual location and just start pulling pens off. That’s not okay to do.

Ron Reigns:

It’s not appropriate.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No. The other thing is, is I work from 9:00 to 5:00, but I will often find myself if I have a kid that’s having a hard day or something is going on; I will make sure that I just work after they go to bed.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

So the times I’m working are crazy. I mean, I’ll be sending on emails at midnight and really trying to catch up because, again, I don’t want to be that parent that’s constantly harping on them. Because they’re having a hard time, too, this isn’t easy for anybody. Check off lists; I’m one of those people I love lists. I will put something on a list just to check it off because I feel like I’m accomplishing more.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And planning ahead, working on the weekends, and giving myself a little bit of slack. I still feel really guilty about my son’s work, but at the same time, he’s only in third grade. Hopefully, this will be something he forgets.

Ron Reigns:

He could do it again. I’m just kidding.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. Let’s not do it again.

Ron Reigns:

Do third grade again, okay. Fair enough.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

We’ve got all these kids that are so active, and we’re in Arizona, so we have a pool, and I’m thinking, “Okay, come on, warm-up, warm-up.” And it’s warm here; it’s going to be in the 90s. Well, my almost nine-year-old was like, “Yes,” and is jumping in the pool, and I’m thinking it’s freezing. He doesn’t care. So I will take my laptop out there and sit there while he’s in the pool because he thinks it’s fun. So pool time is another incentive. I don’t think it’d be an incentive to go in that freezing pool, but, apparently, at eight-

Ron Reigns:

Kids are more resilient when it comes to that, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. With teenagers, I think we can increase our expectations in general and have them help clean. I know you, and I talked about this earlier. And part of my hesitation with having teenagers clean is the complaining and the arguing and the negotiating and the, “Well, I did that last time. Why can’t she do it?” And when you have the essential Brady Bunch, which is what we do, three girls and three boys, you get all kinds. You get all kinds of that.

Ron Reigns:

While it should be easy, you think, oh, I’ve got this vast staff that can-

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

It’s an army.

Ron Reigns:

… clean everything. But when they’re teenagers, they don’t want to do it. So it’s tooth and nail just to get them to clean the bathroom after they’ve peed on the seat or whatever.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Right. Right. And when you have two teenage boys and two teenage girls, yes, it can be a challenge. I think allowing them to manage their own schoolwork. I know that we have allowed some of our kids, who are self-motivated and responsible, to allocate which time they want to do their homework. They don’t have to do it first thing in the morning. Whereas I have two other ones that they don’t get to choose the time, they start at nine o’clock, and that has to be done, and now one of them is my almost nine-year-old, before anything else-

Ron Reigns:

Anything.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… that has to come first. The other thing is-

Ron Reigns:

Different children are different, so that’s how that’s got to be. Because some children react very well to a structured, “Okay, 9:00 AM, I’ve got to do my homework. I’ve got to do this.” Where are others like, “You know what? I work better if I can do it later in the afternoon. I can get a couple of things that I want to do done. And then I will go and do it.” But if they’re not disciplined enough to go do it, then you’ve got to set up a structure, certainly.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yep. And catch it on the front end, unlike I did. Another thing that I have just about started, actually, we’re starting this week. There are things that teenagers can do to help our business to put labels on envelopes. They can help burn DVDs that we have created for some agency materials. And they’re going to start helping with that because I think they need to feel like they’re contributing. And I need them to feel like they’re contributing.

Ron Reigns:

Right. As a sense of accomplishment always helps. Yeah, these are all excellent ideas. Thank you.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Another thing that we did for social distancing and quarantining is my daughter really, really is struggling; the one that works, she’s really having a hard time. Some of our kids are fine and their homebodies anyway. But my 17-year-old is really having a tough time, just staying at home. And so, one of her best friends lives about five houses down. What we have allowed her to do is she goes down the street with a mask on. She sits on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street, and they’ll talk for an hour to two hours back and forth and just be able to physically see each other. And it makes her……

Ron Reigns:

If it works for her, that’s great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

Yeah. She says, “Mom, really a mask.” And I said, “Yes, because if she sneezes and the wind blows, just wear the mask.”

Ron Reigns:

Please, for me, come on. Well, I got to say another thing that’s a blessing in this time of the Coronavirus is that it is 2020. And can you imagine 1987, and all of a sudden, your teenage life has been cut off completely? All you have is a rotary phone on the wall. I mean, they’ve got FaceTime, they’ve got Zoom, they’ve got computers, they’ve got video games that they can play together, even with not being in the same room. I mean, thank God for all of this stuff to help them get through this because I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like when I was in high school.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

No. So many companies were offering free, like the educational programs that they can go on. I know Cox has said that for low-income families that can’t afford the internet, they’re allowing it for children under the age of 17. So many people in the community are allowing… Disney is bringing out movies sooner on the Disney channel. So I think that everyone’s trying to help. And I think that that’s us being united and coming together, and I think that’s great.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

But just acknowledging for teenagers that this is anxiety… Anxiety’s normal, and it’s normal to grieve that you’re not with your friends every day, and you’re missing your teachers, and you’re missing just being away from the house. You’re missing being able to go to Circle K and get snacks and that kind of stuff.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And as adults, if we’re having a hard time, I think stepping back and recognizing that they’re having a hard time is essential. And I have to remind myself of that too, because I’m thinking, okay, well, my husband and I are running a business. We’ve got all these kids, and we’re dealing with all these situations, and they’re just as important. And their lives are just as important to them as our lives are as essential to us. And it’s hilarious when you read online some of the parents and the comments they’re making about how frustrated they’re with the kids because I have to say I’m there at times. I get it. I get it. I’m laughing with you, not at you, because I can relate and understand. And don’t look back at this and judge yourself because it’s a hard time. It’s a hard time.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And lastly, one essential thing is April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month. There was a county called Tift County Council on Child Abuse. They’re working to raise awareness during COVID and the shelter in place orders. Amid this outbreak of COVID-19, many families face many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect, parental stress, economic instability, food insecurity, lack of adequate childcare, and lack of everyday routines. And so, really just be aware of what’s going on and don’t let yourself get stressed about things that you don’t need to stress about.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And hopefully, a lot of people in the social work field, and I can say this from being in the social work field, are concerned that having families and children isolated and not getting a break, and not getting a time out from each other, that there will be increased rates of abuse and neglect.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And before the pandemic outbreaking, children would go to school, and teachers and other people could see what was going on. And if there was a problem, and, unfortunately, because there are no other eyes on some children that may be at risk, it’s a concern. We really have to make sure that parents are equipped to navigate these uncharted waters. I know that a study was done a long time ago where when parents would pick up their kids from school, they would hand the parents a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And they had found that during this time, child abuse rates dropped in that particular study. Because when we’re hungry and we’re rushed, and maybe our blood sugar’s a little bit low, we’re not always at our best. And maybe that’s when we’re more prone to making choices we wouldn’t usually make.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

And so I think that it’s essential to, as a parent, take care of yourself. And it’s like the airplane analogy, you can’t put the oxygen mask on your child first, you have to put it on yourself first, and then you can help your child because you’re no help to your child if you’re passed out. So it’s essential to really make sure, as a parent, that you’re doing your self-care, and you are the best that you can be because that’s how you can be the best parent. What is some advice that you would give, Ron?

Ron Reigns:

Obviously, my son is 26 years old, and he is out of the house, so we don’t have to deal with the family thing. But I do find that with Lisa and me, honestly, we’ve been self-quarantined for a few years now because this is just how we live. We work from the house, and we have for a long time. So this isn’t too abnormal, but I know that we have our own spaces. She has an office. I have my own office that I’m talking to you from right now, and that’s been incredible.

Ron Reigns:

So to try and help other families, I was thinking, like you’ve got seven kids plus two adults, and if you can make one space, a room where people can get away from everybody else and be alone and use that. And say, “Okay, you guys got to take shifts, obviously.” But if there’s a place that you can go and whether it’s read or play video games and just be away from everybody for an hour at a time, then maybe that will help to alleviate some of that stress, as long as you can keep them from fighting over it.

Ron Reigns:

If you have a schedule that says, “Okay, Aiden’s got the room this hour. Logan’s got it this hour,” and just go through everybody, and maybe that would help. I don’t really have great advice, but I know that our separation, our areas that we can go, has helped us to… We just thrive. I mean, we enjoy our time together more because we’re not forced to constantly be on each other’s backs.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

I think that’s excellent advice. I think that’s excellent advice. So we will get through this with our listeners, Ron, we’re going to get through this time. And hopefully, at the next recording, we will have flattened the Coronavirus curve-

Ron Reigns:

Very good.

Kelly Rourke-Scarry:

… and everybody will be on the mend. So let’s hope for that.

Ron Reigns:

Thank you for joining us on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption. Suppose you’re listening and dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and want more information about adoption. In that case, Building Arizona Families is a local Arizona adoption agency and available 24/7 by phone or text, at (623) 695-4112 that’s (623) 695-4112. We can make an immediate appointment with you to create an Arizona adoption plan or just get you more information. You can also find more information about Building Arizona Families on their website at azpregnancyhowhelp.com.

Ron Reigns:

Thanks, also, go out to Grapes for allowing us to use their song, I Dunno, like our theme song. Birth Mother Matters in Adoption was written and produced by Kelly Rourke-Scarry and edited by me. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you’re listening to us; we’d really appreciate it. We also now have a website at birthmothermatterspodcast.com. Tune in next time on Birth Mother Matters in Adoption for Kelly Rourke-Scarry; I’m Ron Reigns.

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