Morning Moms: Local principal shares how her family is making it through the pandemic

VOORHEES, New Jersey -- In today's "Morning Moms," we are introducing you to a family from South Jersey.

And this mom has found a way to cherish the little moments during the pandemic, not just at home but at work, too.

Ayelet Mittelman is the principal at Congregation Beth El, an early childhood center in Voorhees.

"Being a mom during COVID is really hard. It's especially hard when you have 112 children. Now granted, two of those children are actually mine," Ayelet said.

She is also mom to 7-year- old Maya and, during the pandemic, she welcomed a baby girl named Saddie.

"Maya is an incredible big sister. And Sadie, my little one, is her biggest fan," Ayelet said.

Ayelet says watching her daughters bond has been a bright spot during this stressful time.

"One of my favorite things is watching the two of them in the basement when my daughter (Maya) is dancing," Ayelet said. "(Sadie) is so excited and she loves watching Maya move around."

But this time hasn't always been easy for Maya who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; her parents are being extra cautious.

"We try very hard to make sure that she still has a happy time during the time that she's home. It's hard for Maya to have playdates with friends via FaceTime and have a friend say, 'Sorry Maya, I have to go. My real playdate is here,'" Ayelet said.

Also during the pandemic, Aylet's husband Matt was diagnosed with COVID-19.

"Managing having a baby and having a 7-year-old who is full of energy is definitely difficult. It was really put to the test this year when my husband ended up in the hospital with COVID," Ayelet said.

But this "Morning Mom" is also a motivator.

Ayelet didn't lose hope or her positive energy because she knew her daughters and students were relying on her.

Whether that means dressing up for Dr. Seuss Day, or even just a fun Wacky Wednesday, she is at the school every morning ready to greet the students with enthusiasm.

Ayelet is blown away by how her students have coped during the pandemic and the resiliency they've shown.

Ayelet also thinks all the parents out there are making the grade too.

"I really think that all the moms and dads out there, we are superheroes," Ayelet said.

Ayelet and her husband also found another great way to boost Maya's spirits.

Just a couple of weeks ago, they surprised her with dance lessons - and she was shocked!

A local studio is offering private classes which cuts down on the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 because of Maya's type 1 diabetes.

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