Notes from Camp Quarantine
Lakai Vinson shares her take on pandemic life
Published in 2021 Virginia Super Lawyers magazine on May 6, 2021
When we discovered personal injury lawyer Lakai Vinson blogs about marriage and motherhood at keepingupwiththevinsons.com, we had to get her take on virtual school, a full caseload, and Nintendo.
The pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us. We have learned new things about our children, our spouses and even ourselves. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned during the pandemic.
Know when it’s time to rally reinforcements
My daughter is learning fractions, including dividing, multiplying, subtracting and adding them. She often asks me for help, and when she does, I try to remember what I learned 20-plus years ago in math class, but there are often times when I have to email the teacher for clarification on her assignments. I have finally come to the conclusion that I may not be smarter than a 5th grader. That’s when I call in reinforcements. I know my limits and I operate within them. I have scheduled a tutor to come in once a week to work on the concepts that I am maybe too old to “get,” and I have called Grandma in to help with my younger two while I attempt to work from home. Sometimes you can’t do it all. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can come to terms with asking for help.
Find moments of self-care, even if they’re in a closet
Surely every parent can relate to hiding snacks so that they don’t have to share with their children. No? Just me? Sometimes I find myself in the closet, hiding, eating my snacks and hoping my children don’t find me. Finding moments for self-care has been particularly difficult. While pre-pandemic self-care often included weekend getaways, spa appointments and favorite restaurants, pandemic self-care is a different beast. Ordering my favorite takeout and eating it in the car has been part of my routine. I have also had a massage therapist in my home. I have scheduled “vacations” where I simply relax without a big activity. We all need to prioritize self-care now more than ever.
Embrace YOUR blank calendar
We didn’t anticipate living in this moment, and on many levels, we miss our old lives. But the pandemic has given me an opportunity to take advantage of one of the things I value most: my time. Before, I was focused on the next work deadline, taking one of my three children to soccer or tennis, or picking them up from daycare so that I could run to swim lessons, only to do it all again the next day. Now, “Can you play with me?” is a question I hear more than ever. I find myself enjoying the nostalgia of Mario on the Nintendo Switch, or laughing until our bellies ache playing Kids vs. Grown-Ups Pictionary. I love the new friendship I have found with my daughter through conversation, and the bonds that I created with my sons just by pretending to be a dinosaur. And I love the moments that I share with my husband because we talk throughout the day as we work side-by-side. We will never again be as available as we are now—why not take full advantage of it?