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GMJ anchor Keitha Nelson shares the ups and downs on delivering the news from home

I didn't think this would be possible or necessary but it is.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are certain occupations that are not considered family friendly. Those that require extensive travel, unpredictable hours and don't allow for the possibility of working from home. For nearly two decades I was under the impression that the field of broadcast journalism was one of those non-family friendly careers. Then I had children and quickly realized that like most things in life, you have to make the best of any given situation. This crisis our world is now experiencing is likely teaching many people that same lesson.

The coronavirus initially was an awful reality for men, women and children in a faraway land. And sympathetically we all thought 'those poor people in China.' Fast forward now they're probably thinking the same thing while looking at us. In an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus many businesses have managed to transition their employees to working from home.

As I watched that trend across the nation, I never thought it would reach this close to home. But the eeriness of this pandemic has made its way inside of my home as I broadcast live in a makeshift studio in my loft. The setup isn't nearly as sophisticated as most people would imagine. With minimal equipment, some creativity and patience it's somehow working.

Credit: Keitha Nelson
GMJ anchor Keitha Nelson works from home during coronavirus pandemic.

I've entered week two of working from home and I can best describe the adjustment as a bumpy road with a few smooth patches along the way. My equipment doesn’t seem to want to work outside of the newsroom like it should and staying focused with infants constantly squealing isn’t the easiest thing to do.

But the smooth patches that help to ease the pain of the inevitable pitfalls include my loud twins, Journey and Trey. They're the result of many years of prayers answered. I can recall vividly the day before I returned to work from maternity leave. I was anxious to get back to doing what I love as a journalist but felt torn knowing I'd have to leave my babies in someone else's care.

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I'm certainly not alone in that struggle and I know I'm not alone with my current thoughts and fears. This new normal we're adjusting to will no doubt abruptly change. And the millions of moms out there getting used to caring for their little ones while working from home will have to once again readjust.

I fear getting comfortable with cuddling and kissing them during breaks while working, nursing them instead of pumping throughout the day and not having to hoist on shapewear or uncomfortable shoes.

Newsrooms tend to be filled with energy, new information and ideas. It fuels the creativity needed to put together a good newscast. A bit of that creativity feels stifled without your team nearby. So does the good outweigh the bad as we figure out how to successfully work from home? Because staying home could save lives- I'd say yes, yes it does.

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