How Real Mom, Laura Furrer, is Dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic
“When you’re in the army, things can change at any given moment. You really need to adapt, but there’s no real routine that you can depend on, so you adapt to any situation that comes up and get into the mindset of not expecting normalcy. The military trains you for that…to be ready when life gets turned upside down.” Lauren Furrer, ex-military, pregnant mother of four (soon-to-be five) in Platteville, WI shares.
Lauren met her husband Derek when they were both deployed in Iraq for 14 months in 2004. Derek and Lauren both worked in the combat stress control unit, a medical unit that dealt with mental trauma and combat.
Today, they are both ex-military and have four kids under the age of 12, and Lauren is expecting. She is 9½ weeks pregnant with her 5th baby and has been extremely ill with 24-hour nausea. Nausea during pregnancy isn’t new for Lauren, but it has progressively worsened, with this pregnancy being the most debilitating.
Her extreme morning sickness has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and social distancing being put in place. In addition, Lauren’s husband works in an industry providing essential service to the public and unavoidably comes into contact with people every day. With Derek’s heightened risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus, they decided it would be best if he stayed at his mother’s house to protect Lauren and the children. Luckily, his mother is wintering in Florida and her home was available.
For Lauren, social distancing has been very difficult, and Derek is still at work 6 days a week. It’s been really hard for him being away from his family and not being able to help her at home, particularly with her being so sick. So how is Lauren managing through it all? She’s bending the rules a little to keep the kids happy: “We normally restrict screen time – limited to an hour after school and homework’s been done, but since we’ve been on quarantine, we’ve not been restricting nearly as much. It’s been a whole lot of Youtube videos and Disney movies on repeat. The rules have definitely relaxed.
The kids seem a lot happier – they are helping each other out a lot more. It seems quite a bit more relaxed than when we’re on the work 8-hour schedule. They go outside, make up games… They don’t have the same bedtime they used to do – it’s almost like a vacation for them.”
But vacation mode or not, with kids ranging from three to 12-years-old, there’s bound to be questions about what’s happening right now. Lauren shares how she’s handling all these questions: “We’ve explained that there’s a bad flu going around and that things we would normally do are closed. They get that there’s a virus going around – we’ve made it seem like its precautionary. We are looking at it like extra precautions, so people stay healthy.
It’s also been a great lesson for them in regard to our faith. I try to teach them that, for us, Catholicism is a source of strength that helps us in challenging times. The world has always been unpredictable and chaotic, but faith is something that is clear, reliable and stable. The crazier the world grows, the more clear and profound the stabilizing force of religion becomes.”
Lauren, like all moms right now, is doing all she can to get through it all! Just finding what works for her and her family – and taking it one day at a time.
How are you all managing your emotional, physical and mental health these days?