COVID-19 Conversations: Balancing Work and Family Time

Edward lives with his wife and 13-year-old daughter in New Jersey. Edward works as a custodial manager and is considered an essential worker. As of May 2020, he had continued working throughout the pandemic’s shutdown, but worried about protecting his family from the virus and struggled to balance work with spending time with his family.  

A man with a hat and a mask inside of a store.
Edward, an essential worker, shares what it's like to work 7 days a week during a pandemic to support his family.

How is work going? 

Edward: I’m out there every day. I work seven days a week and I might use two or three masks a day. I might use four or five pairs of gloves a day. I might use a half a bottle of hand sanitizer. 

And it’s just that nobody should live like this.
- Edward

I work from 9:30 at night to 6:00 in the morning and then when I get home… It takes me two hours to go through [my daughter’s] school schedule to write down what she needs to do for the week or for that day.

I do what I have to do, and I try to be a responsible man to take care of my household because that’s what a man is supposed to do. If I’m the king of my castle, I got to take care of my queen and I got to take care of my princess and I got to take care of my kingdom.

How is your daughter doing?  

Edward: Well, I will tell you things that are going on in my daughter’s life because she just turned 13 on April 7th. So, she’s finally a teenager…. She’s missing out on a lot of things because any 13-year-old girl is supposed to have that 13-year-old birthday party, and she’s missing out on being with her friends.  

She takes things with stride. Even though she’s 13 years old, people always told me that she had an old soul. When coronavirus just came out, she said, “Daddy, at least it’s not Armageddon”…. With remote learning, I think that she has been facing a lot of challenges because she’s not getting the in-classroom experience that she needs.

What do you wish you had more time for?  

Edward: I would like to be able to spend more time with my wife. I’d like to be able to spend more time with my daughter, but I like to do that outside of the house. I miss going to the movies, I miss going bowling with my family, I miss going on daddy daughter day. I miss going on dates with my wife. These are the things that I miss.

Story Type
long form written
New Jersey
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