Meet Kristine Binge, a brave mom who had COVID-19! Read below to hear the details, and how she feels so fortunate to have been minimally impacted by the virus.
How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
We have two girls- Carsen (12) and Blaire (6).
Where do you live, and what made you decide to raise your family here?
We enjoy living in the most amazing neighborhood, Bloomfield Village. We became “Village People” almost nine years ago, prior to our oldest daughter starting kindergarten. We sought to align the amazing neighborhood feel we had as children for our family. Our girls can walk or bike to school, and most of their friends are within a mile radius! Quarantine has definitely warranted many bike rides!
Where do your children go to school?
Both of our girls are in the Birmingham Public School System. Our oldest is at Derby Middle School and our youngest is at Quarton Elementary. We love the strength in academics and character education they receive.
What’s your favorite family activity in Birmingham/Bloomfield Hills?
Our “home away from home” is the Birmingham Country Club. We golf as a family and hope to enjoy the pool this season when it opens!
Tell us about your profession. Where do you work, what does your week look like? What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I am a District Sales Manager for a large medical device company. We sell robotic, navigation, and imaging equipment utilized in the neurosurgery and spine specialties. My typical week would involve one administrative day in my home office, and then I would spend the rest of my week interfacing with my sales team and surgeon customers in the operating room. The COVID pandemic has changed how my weeks are structured and how I interface with my sales team and customers. We have learned to embrace technology, so I now spend the majority of my days in sweatpants on virtual meetings, moving from room to room around the house to keep it exciting! What I love the most about my job is there is a patient being positively impacted by the partnership we have with our surgeon customers.
COVID-19: Tell us your story!
My story is one of gratitude, as I feel incredibly fortunate to have been minimally impacted by the virus. I was exposed in mid-March, but wasn’t aware of my exposure until 10 days later at which point I started to have symptoms. I had no respiratory symptoms. Overall, I was very fatigued, had body aches, and lost my sense of taste and smell. I was most concerned about my girls, so my first call was to the pediatrician. The office reassured me, and encouraged me to go to Children’s Hospital on Big Beaver if they started to experience symptoms, which they didn’t. My doctor encouraged me to stay home. In March, it was very difficult to get tested unless you were hospitalized. Thankfully, my symptoms went away after 3-4 days and I was fine. Subsequently, my husband and I both tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies so clearly we both had the virus!
What have you been doing to try to keep your sanity during this time at home?
Our girls were very generous in letting us take over half of their playroom to build a home gym! We bought a cage for a TRX, pull-ups, and banded work-outs. We also bought a bike and a rower. The gym I belong to has been doing home Zoom workouts and posting exercises on YouTube. It has been a lifesaver! I also have a standing virtual happy hour every Friday night with my six best friends from high school! These women are my lifeline!
Have you found anything in particular to be helpful with your kids while they are home during this time?
I want to let all the moms out there know you are not alone! Homeschooling has been one of the most challenging mom tasks I’ve had to tackle. We started by posting schedules on easel boards, ensuring we built in a lot of time for breaks and exercise. I also had to shift my work schedule to do school work with my youngest first thing in the morning because I lose her attention as the day goes on. I want to commend all the teachers out there for having to abruptly shift the way they educate and provide us with tools for at-home learning. We have enjoying the reading apps Quarton has provided us through Raz Kids and Epic reading! Aside from homeschool, I have also built every lego set that exists with Blaire!
What’s one thing you have learned about yourself during this quarantine?
I haven’t necessarily learned anything about myself, but more so to grieve for my girls and keep empathy as the lens when I’m faced with behavioral issues. I think it is easy for all of us moms to feel sorry for ourselves during this time, but our children’s worlds have been completely turned upside down by not having the social and emotional support they thrive on in school.
Do you have any hobbies?
My passion is golf! I am currently the co-chair of the 18 hole league at our golf course. I am a highly competitive person, so golfing fuels my competitive nature!
Is there a charity that you are passionate about/actively involved in?
I get so much satisfaction out of the purpose I have as a professional, so I give back of myself in my career. I have an engineering background, so I am very passionate about speaking to young women about opportunities in STEM. The medical device field is also heavily male dominated, so I founded an Ambassador network, specifically for women in sales, to create a community for women to freely share ideas with the hopes of recruitment of more women to our field and enhancing job satisfaction. This week I spoke on a national panel to share my experiences in my career to inspire women to succeed by believing in themselves!
Follow @krisbinge on Instagram!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!