PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Parents and their children continue to navigate these uncertain times, with changes happening inside and outside the home.
One Prairie Village family shared their experience with KSHB 41 News after contracting COVID-19.
Kristen Sayers says the fall brought some normalcy, until a pre-Christmas COVID-19 exposure for her middle son, Cole.
The juggling act began, with her oldest Grant and her youngest, Mia.
"We were two working parents and we both are helping professionals," Sayers said. "So you know, we have people jobs that require us to be there."
Her family’s roller coaster ride was just the beginning.
"Then, of course, we got COVID infections, all of us, and that's been a whole different kind of juggling just keeping everyone entertained, working from home," she said. "Juggling how to stay up on school without staying behind."
Everyone had mild infections, and everyone who was eligible was vaccinated. But last month, Sayers made the difficult choice to temporarily leave her job as a nurse practitioner.
"You know, it was really hard. I love my job and I love taking care of kids and I love being a nurse practitioner," Sayers said. "I love being a nurse, it's part of who I am. It's time to just, you know, put family first and kind of decrease the chaos and it's a temporary leave from work and I'll figure out when the good time and what it is to go back."
Sayers' journey is normal, not the exception, during the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Labor says moms left the workforce at a greater rate than dads, but this mother says all parents are evaluating their situations now.
"I think people are reevaluating their professions, no matter whether they're moms or dads or who they are," Sayers said. "They're kind of looking at what's important and trying to evaluate how they can accomplish feeling good about their job and also balancing a piece of life.
As they navigate the rest of winter, Sayers says her family is well versed in resilience.
"We're going to be a better family because of it," she said. "And that's going to be part of our story. We've had a lot of ups and downs in our family between me having breast cancer, having fertility issues."
She was diagnosed 10 years ago, and is in remission.
"[I'm] Grateful, grateful," she said. "It changes your perspective for sure. So you know, we're lucky to have the children that we have and lucky to be here."
Lucky to be together, and learning together.
"[We're] Teaching ourselves to be flexible right alongside our kids," she said.