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Families say shelter-in-place order bringing them closer together

Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 00:12:50-04

WACO, Texas — Families across Central Texas are being forced to spend more time inside with each other under local shelter-in-place orders. Some say it has allowed them to reconnect and grow as a family unit.

Carl Flynn, a Baylor employee, was asked to work from home a few weeks ago. In that short time, he said he has seen a different part of his wife and kids' personalities.

Flynn said his family has spent more quality time with each other. They eat together at the kitchen table and play board and card games in the evening.

"It's been a breath of fresh air, actually, to be together more, to have to lean on each other a bit more in this time," Flynn said.

Flynn added this time has been a welcome relief from the normal workflow. He hopes it will encourage families to grow closer together.

"Sometimes when I'm in the office, it feels like home is an intrusion," Flynn said. "This is a much more organic flow."

The Flynn family usually goes out to eat on Friday nights, but with local restaurants limited to delivery and carry-out options, they have been cooking and eating at home.

"We would usually eat out on Fridays, so I'd get home at 6, go out to eat and get home around 8, 8:30 and just kinda crash down," Flynn said. "Now [eating at home] has become not such a broken routine."

The transition has been especially difficult for Flynn's kids. One of them is in middle school, and the other is in high school.

"They really want to be face-to face with their friends, so it's really hard for them," Flynn said. "They would take getting out to be with their friends in a heartbeat."

To avoid cabin fever and take some stress out of their new workspace, Flynn said it has been important to create spaces to be alone amid the stress.

"We try to have a balance between everyone being together and everyone going to their own to their own corner to do their own thing, whether it's draw or play games or talk to friends," Flynn said.