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Balancing act: Working full-time while trying to home-school

Danielle Karabin balancing home schooling three boys while working full time during Coronavirus...
Danielle Karabin balancing home schooling three boys while working full time during Coronavirus Pandemic.(wect)
Updated: Apr. 1, 2020 at 3:57 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Stay-at-home orders and mass closures have left many with a lot of extra time on their hands, but not everyone.

“We are two working parents, we both work full-time, we have three little boys ages 6, 4, and 8 and we have two dogs.” said Danielle Karabin. "It’s just never-ending, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., it’s never-ending between the schoolwork and my personal work, my husband’s work, and life in general.“

Karabin works full-time in pharmaceutical sales and began working from home just two days after Governor Roy Cooper announced statewide school closures.

The day those closures were announced, the family of five also moved into a new house.

“We were at least three days behind in the school work and I was not getting my work done, my professional work done and I pretty much lost it a few times because how was I ever going to catch up? How was I ever going to catch my kids up and I felt terrible. I kind of felt like not a failure but like there was no way I was going to be able to do this," she said.

But as the weeks have passed, the learning curve has become a bit easier.

“It just took some discipline and some good friends telling me ‘it’s okay, you’re going to get through this, we’re all going to get through this,’ but I definitely felt extremely overwhelmed,” she said.

And sometimes she still does.

“The teachers have been phenomenal. I cannot believe they pulled this together so quickly, I can’t believe St. Mark pulled this together so quickly. And hearing teachers not only at St. Mark but around the country how well they’ve been able to pull all of this together but there is a big expectation that you’re doing the work and that you’re doing it in a timely manner,” Karabin said.

As for her company, she says they, too, have high standards while still being understanding.

“They’re realistic and they realize that family comes first. So I really do carve out times in my day for my own work and make lists and make sure I check off those lists and get things done myself," she said.

Karabin has found trying to develop a new routine and schedule has helped her boys know what is expected of them and helped her to get work done too.

With discipline and grace, she is taking it day by day, finding comfort in the fact that this is temporary.

“I think the biggest thing is not to stress and to try to not get overwhelmed and know there are so many people that are in the same exact position that we are,” Karabin said.

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