Earnshaw’s Quarantine Diaries, Ep.3: ML Kids

Julia Arledge, founder of ML Kids, writes on the importance of supporting retailers to savoring family time.

Julia Arledge enjoys a family game night at home.

Dear Diary,

Fall 2020 is just around the corner, but this virus has created a detour in our plans. Even with all the shows canceled, ML Kids has been able to take orders and communicate with our buyers to prepare for the new season.

Since the quarantine, business has taken a dip with so many of the boutiques not allowed to stay open. However, we are still getting reorders from boutiques that sell through social media and online. I am very happy to see that people are supportive of small businesses, especially in times like these.

Quarantine has been interesting, to say the least. For the first time in a long time, I have been able to stay at home with my husband and kids, which has been really nice. We’ve been getting a lot of family time in, playing games, reading, swimming, basketball and binge-watching Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have also taught them a Chinese game I learned when I was their age, called “Ma Jiang.” It has helped  my family learn a few Chinese words and phrases. (My husband is American, and these are technically his kids, so Chinese is not usually spoken in the house.)

Fortunately, both my kids are a bit older, so schoolwork is not too bad of a struggle. I am also challenging them with a little extra schoolwork I downloaded online. They are not fans of all the extra work, but they know it helps to get ahead of the game.

My cat and dog, however, are not so fond of kids running around the house all day. They have been hiding out in our closets and under the dining room table. I am sure they are ready for some peace and quiet by now…

All in all, quarantine has also brought our family closer. We still get on each other’s nerves, but we have learned to navigate our emotions and come out stronger. I try to remember to take a deep breath (and maybe have a glass of wine—or something stronger) when things get tough. Because, I know that one day I’ll be looking back at this moment wishing my kids were home again…



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