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At no time in recent history have moms spent so much time with their offspring than in the weeks leading up to this Mother's Day. The coronavirus pandemic has closed schools, upended workplaces and shuttered life beyond the patch of ground called home for countless kids and parents. For many households, the forced adjustments may have forever changed family dynamics.

To see how moms have been coping in these days of 24/7 togetherness, we reached out to Chattanooga Moms, an online parenting resource for Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia families. Founded in March 2016, the site "started with 15 ladies, and now we are a strong team of over 30 brilliant and talented women who are brave enough to share their voices with the Chattanooga community," says founder Natalie Rickerson. "From our guides, directory, event calendar [and] neighborhood community groups, we are where families go to find out where to go and what to do."

We posed a few questions to several of the contributors to get their reactions to life in lockdown over the past few weeks. Here are their thoughts on what they've learned, what they've missed and what's first on their to-do list when something close to normal life resumes.

Email Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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Danielle Guess, age 31, three children, Ringgold

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? Not the strangest, but the most out-of-the-ordinary thing we did was collect flowers from the yard and leave them on neighbors' front porches. We also made sidewalk inspirational messages for all the families now walking more in the neighborhood.

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? I learned that my children are really good friends when forced to only have each other as playmates. I also learned the power of playing in pairs — three really is a crowd! I also learned that family meals together (now two a day!) are sacred times where the phone needs to be put down and we communicate face-to-face, something we weren't getting enough of with so many evenings tied up with sports.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? We are ready to go to the beach and visit family in South Georgia! I got away alone right before this happened, and I'm so glad I did.

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? The kids and I both had a hard time not hanging out and being with friends.

* What would you do differently next time? Next time, please no! Honestly, I would put myself to bed earlier. I got into the habit of a 1 a.m. bedtime that made morning times rough.

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? A CalPak backpack! And to spend time equal time in silence + together playing with my three kiddos.

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Danielle Guess with her three children.

Amy Mejias, age 37, three children, Ooltewah

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? Bought a new car via text and signed the paperwork in our driveway.

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? I could never home-school!

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? Simply, I want to be able to go walk at the Greenway again. Also I will look forward to the little things like taking my kids to the zoo or even to the grocery store with me. More complex, I can't wait to go to the beach for a vacation again!

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? Mostly just having mine and my son's school from home and trying to manage all of that with the baby's naps (and my naps).

* What would you do differently next time? I hope there isn't a next time!

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? Since I am having my third baby in a week and a half, I'd love my house cleaned! I'd also like more antibacterial wipes. I'm running out of those!

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Amy Mejias

Jessica Pope, age 32, two children, Signal Mountain

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? Downloaded TikTok [a video sharing site]. Need I say more?

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? I learned that our lifestyle was more go-go-go than I would have thought. I love heading into Chattanooga pretty regularly, but I didn't realize how much my mental well-being depended on it. I would have checked the introvert box before, but now I am second-guessing that. I also learned I am the only one fazed by this revelation. My husband and kids seem to enjoy the leisure afternoons in their pajamas day after day. Also, I am apparently the only one not immune to calories.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? I want to get back to our amazing city! I look forward to spending a day pretending to be a Chattanooga tourist again and hitting all of our favorite places, one right after another. Bridge walks, The Ice Cream Show, Coolidge Park, Rembrandt's Coffee House, the Riverwalk and so much more is calling me. I was planning on taking the beginner's rowing class at the Lookout Rowing Club this season, and I am hoping they can safely continue on schedule too.

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? Our son (3) fell at the beginning of quarantine and broke his arm so bad he needed surgery the next day. It was very difficult navigating the ERs, an overnight hospital stay, surgery and the beginning of recovery with all the regulations and unknowns. This added to the growing list of demands at home. We both are mostly working from home, finishing up the college semester online, continuing to home-school our pre-K daughter and meeting various volunteer and social obligations. Keeping a 3-year-old boy still while doing all of that was definitely a challenge.

* What would you do differently next time? I would stock up on more activities. We could have used a large stash of art supplies and age-appropriate games. We have leaned on the tablets a lot during this time, something we normally wouldn't do. And maybe quarantine with friends.

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? Last year I started my Mother's Day brunch tradition at the Westin, and I was looking forward to finding another amazing place this year. I am not certain our family will be ready to attend anything like that this year, but I would love brunch at home full of food and small token gifts from local vendors and restaurants. Rembrandt's coffee and one of their cakes would put it over the top.

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Jessica Pope with her husband and children.

Jennifer Davis, age 34, one child, Chattanooga

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? My husband grew a beard for a couple of weeks, his longest facial hair experiment to date. He finally shaved it off when he couldn't stand it anymore, but he kept the muttonchops. I wish he wouldn't.

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? I've learned that my son really doesn't mind being at home all the time. In fact, he seems to prefer it. He's not once asked about seeing any kids he knows or going anywhere that I'd normally take him, like the library or the Creative Discovery Museum. While I'm going stir-crazy sitting at home all day, every day and trying to simultaneously work/ensure his survival, he's perfectly content playing Legos with breaks to watch "Octonauts" on his tablet. And I kind of suspected this before quarantine, but my husband would be a better stay-at-home parent than me. He cleans and stuff. It's bizarre.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? I just want to be out in public again without wearing gloves and a face mask. I want to browse Target, eat in a restaurant, see a movie in theaters. I know it'll be a while before these things can happen, but they're all on my to-do list.

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? We're still quarantining and will until we feel it's safe based on info from health experts. So the hardest part is not knowing when we'll get to return to normal activities. The total disruption in work and home schedules has been a drag, too.

* What would you do differently next time? If we could all manage it, I'd suggest self-quarantining with my parents as a joint thing. They'd probably say no — my dad is in a high-risk category — but it would help to have some help with the kiddo. Plus, they have a pool.

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? A vacation. But since that's not happening for the foreseeable future, I'll settle for a meal from Ichiban (takeout of course) and an entire day to myself to do whatever I want, which would most likely include rereading Harry Potter and watching true-crime docs on Netflix.

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Jennifer Davis

Jama Oliver, 39, four children, East Ridge

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? We painted our dining room window with washable paint to make it look "festive" like the photos I saw on Facebook. It was not festive. It was a mess. But the kids loved it!

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? I learned that we all spend way too much time running here and there. We are all happier and more relaxed at home! Although we home-school, we still spent a lot of time shuffling to classes and activities, but we've been much more productive and engaged since being home more.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? We want to go to Urban Stack for Kids Eat Free Night!

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? The uncertainty and financial worry has been the hardest. I'm a planner, and not being able to plan for the long term has been really hard. Financially, I took a hit as an hourly worker and had to scramble to make up that income elsewhere. It's been a positive, but the transition was hard.

* What would you do differently next time? Next time? Please don't tell me there will be a next time!

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? I want someone to come deep-clean my house. With all six of our people never leaving the house, it is impossible to really clean. I would give just about anything to have someone send me away and make my house sparkle!

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Jama Oliver

Rebecca Heid, age 36, one child, Lookout Mountain

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? Can't think of strangest. Funniest was to have a picnic in our princess dress where the princess sat in the basket so as not to get her dress dirty.

* What lessons did you (mom) learn about your children? Your partner? Or your family in general? Our family is super-blessed. We work pretty well together. I confirmed that my daughter is a super-social creature and that friends and outings will be an important part of her life. She also thrives best in an atmosphere that allows for creativity. And I occasionally fall very short in providing that atmosphere, but I have done better than I feared I would.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? Take Lillie to her favorite hot spots: Creative Discovery Museum and Tennessee Aquarium. I also want to make as many play dates as we can handle and find our more-social routine.

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? Missing my [extended] family — so badly it is like a toothache.

* What would you do differently next time? I would like to find a more scheduled routine for our day.

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? A gigantic piece of chocolate cake and a pretty framed photo of my daughter.

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Rebecca Heid's husband and daughter.

Sarah Gibson, age 34, three children, North Chattanooga

* What's the strangest thing your family did during self-isolation? Had a scavenger hunt with Barbie dolls.

* What is the first thing you want to do when you are finally able to venture away from home? Take my kids to the park.

* What was the hardest thing about self-quarantining with your family? Lack of alone time.

* What would you do differently next time? Have lower expectations about the structure of our day. Give my children an opportunity to have input rather than scheduling it in advance.

* What do you want for Mother's Day this year? A quiet house, a meal in peace, a morning to sleep in.

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Photo from Natalie Rickerson / Sarah Gibson with her husband and two children.
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