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Over the course of the last year, not only have parents had to figure out how to personally cope with a global pandemic, but they've also had to learn how to maintain some sort of autonomy in their lives now that they're home with the whole family — all the time. Mom of three, Melissa Joan Hart, is one of them.
"Trying to figure out how to work from home, how to be school teachers from home, get our kids on the virtual school or hybrid school schedules, or whatever it is your area's doing, it's just been really tricky," Hart tells Woman's Day. "For me, when my kids are in hybrid school, I don't know who's home when." Sometimes, she even forgets that she has to figure out lunch for her three boys, so she's resorted to having Lunchables in the fridge at all times.
"I know the kids are gonna get something that they like, and I don't have to struggle with making something, cleaning it up, and then trying to get them back to their studies," the actress says. That's why she decided to partner with Lunchables to bring the company's new rewards program to parents everywhere. To win free groceries and delivery for an entire year, all you have to do is go to the Leave It To Lunchables Rewards Program website and enter the sweepstakes any time before March 31.
Of course, making sure a Lunchable is always available is only one of the many ways Hart has worked to keep she and her family grounded during the tumultuous year that was 2020.
"Keeping a tight schedule is super important for me to be able to not miss anything and prioritize," Hart says. She connects her various calendars around the house to her husband's and her eldest son's calendars, so they can all keep track of one another's schedules. Aside from what fills her schedule, some days one of her kids may needs a little extra attention than his brothers do, so she adjusts accordingly. Other days, she focuses on her husband or has a girls' day, be it via Zoom or a socially distant walk.
"I really try to find the balance in all those things that make me feel like I'm accomplishing something," she says. "And I'm able to focus on everybody, give everybody a little bit of attention."
On top of their weekly activities — school, work, and sports with people in their Covid-19 bubble— Hart and her family have made it a priority to attend virtual mass every Sunday. "We stand. We hold hands. We sing. Every once in a while someone falls asleep on the couch, as opposed to falling asleep on a pew at the church," she says, laughing. "So, it's not that different." They also pray together over every meal and at bedtime. "We just find time to be together and say our prayers and make sure that we are thankful," Hart adds.
The actress, her husband, and their three boys take turns leading prayer each day, but every prayer ends with a family member asking God for the same thing: to have more peace in their family. "We want to be nicer to each other," she explains. "We want to have more patience with each other. We want to say sorry a little easier. So, that's our goal [for this year]."
As awful as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, Hart hopes it's given families a chance to heal old wounds and learn to communicate better, without yelling or screaming. "That's important," she says. "And I really hope that my kids are taking that away from it."
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