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'Quitting my job wasn’t an option': Norfolk mom turns to family to help with virtual learning

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 31, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Measuring tape, 2x4 pieces of wood, a saw and a truck full of lumber.

This mother of three is renovating and making room for someone special.

“I am working on the ladder. So, these will be the slats for the ladder going on the loft bed,” said Barbara Esterlen.

A brand-new bed for her children’s new nanny and teacher.

“I’m excited to see her,” says Esterlen’s middle child, Tucker.

Aunt Geri Lynn is moving from Missouri to Virginia to help her big sister.

“We struggled with finding a solution for the pandemic, virtual learning that so many of us are going through,” said Esterlen.

She is a sonographer - an essential worker at the hospital.

“Quitting my job wasn’t an option. I’m the only person in my house working full time,” she adds.

Her husband is a full-time engineering student. Her youngest son, Theo, is already in daycare. So, adding 6-year-old tucker and 8-year-old Tavon would’ve been pricey.

“To add the other boys, I would think you’re looking at $1,200 - $1,300 a month, which is a second mortgage for most people,” she adds.

For other parents who are still looking for child care, she has some advice.

Related: Local retired teacher now tutoring kids to help with virtual learning

“See what other parents are doing. See if there are any support groups out there… contact your employer and see if they have a plan in place.”

Most importantly, reach out to family for help. Tucker’s excited to see his aunt but says he can’t wait to see his friends at Norview Elementary again.

“I miss them,” said Tucker.

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