Marlee Brunton, of Middlesex, talks about the pandemic and its effects on her family.

How are you handling self-isolation?As a single mother of a 2-year-old, it has been a challenge for me to do my work, be the chef, the housecleaner, the teacher — all of this while holding the grief of an altered life with little time to process, none the less practice self-care.

What has been the biggest challenge for you?Basic tasks that I used to relish are far more complicated when alone with a toddler — shopping for groceries, running basic errands — are suddenly nerve-racking. Some days, I feel like I’m melting.

What has been the most pleasant surprise?The most pleasant surprises are the small moments I used to take for granted or rush through in the everyday buzz of routine. Being home with Charlee all the time, I’ve really been able to notice and appreciate all of her little quirks and really pay attention to how she interacts with the world around her

How much of what you’re doing do you think will you carry forward after the pandemic?I’d like to be optimistic and say we can keep all of the little new routines and adventures we’ve gone on together, but I know that when things go back to “normal” all of those things aren’t feasible. I’ll be sure to keep up our outdoor adventures, because seeing her develop a deep love and admiration for nature and animals has been beautiful to watch.

And what do you feel the lessons will be that come out of all of this?I have definitely learned not to take “days off” for granted, because right now there are no real days off. Self-care is something I’ve struggled to balance being a working single mom, but I think this time has made me appreciate and recognize the need for “me time” in a different way.

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