After the Flatrock-Hawcreek School Corp. staff decided to keep the campus closed after spring break because of the coronavirus pandemic, families were thrown into a new situation.

Suddenly, every family in the district had to find a way to scramble to find child care or to provide it themselves. Every family has its own set of strategies, worries, and silver linings associated with having kids at home longer than anticipated. Schools are now closed at least until May 1st, throwing a whole new set on logistical problems and other worries onto families.

Katie Harrison is a mother of three active boys. Jaden is 12, Charlie is 6 and James is 2. As a stay at home mom, she doesn’t have to rearrange schedules very much to accommodate the older boys at home for awhile. In addition, she has homeschooled her children in the past and feels confident in their instruction. However, as a one income household, they are very dependent on her husband Chris’s income.

“We depend on his income and without it we won’t be able to make ends meet,” she said. 

As a machine operator, his work is subject to the ups and downs of the economy at large, and right now, that’s her biggest worry. So far, work is steady and running as usual. She is offering to watch other school aged children while parents work in order to help others out and also pad the family’s finances a bit.

Stephanie Long is a mother of four, Emma, Addi, Ike and Brody. She also owns Indiana Custom Fabrication with her husband Nate. So even under the best of circumstances, things are busy at the Long household. The coronavirus pandemic has made things much more so.

“We’re trying to keep things positive," Long said. "The kids are enjoying more family time.”

At the same time, mom and dad have started working in separate shifts in order to be home with the kids and still meet the demands of running a business. And the possibility of an economic slow down is another worry.

“It’s a day-to-day evaluation. If suppliers or customers start struggling, we will too.”

Natalie Berkenstock and her husband Ryan both work outside the home, and are trying to juggle their work duties with three social girls at home. Norah is 13, June is 10 and Stella is 8.

“They are basically quarantined and we are in and out,” Berkenstock said. 

While the present situation isn’t ideal, her biggest worry is social distancing and concerns about the disease carrying on for the foreseeable future.

“I feel like I am in a completely different world," she said. "The girls don’t understand why they can’t have kids over. This is way too big for them to realize how serious it is.”

Nonetheless, they are trying to make the best of it and enjoy their time together. 

There are as many stories and struggles in this community as there are families. Everyone is coping in their own ways and worrying about what the future holds. We are all establishing new patterns in our days, new ways of interacting. These three families are no different. They are finding their own new ways of doing things, their ‘new normal’.