The Mom Experience During the Pandemic
Many Americans have faced difficulties and barriers due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but mothers have had it particularly rough. For instance, the effects of school closings and childcare obligations on mothers' employment raised a red flag. Some have even speculated that the pandemic's disruptions may have long-term effects on gender equality in the workplace. As a result, the difficulties of being a working mother increased. Furthermore, juggling a profession, children, and domestic duties during the coronavirus pandemic made women even more conscious of how much they needed to do. If their lives were hard before the pandemic, now they have become almost impossible. More and more moms suffered from parental burnout and didn’t even know it. They just kept going! This post aims to raise awareness of how we can better protect and support moms by talking about the mom experience during the pandemic.
Leaving the Workforce
The coronavirus pandemic has severely reduced women's employment opportunities in just one year after it started. Also, since the pandemic's start, more than two million women have entirely left the workforce. And such figures might increase in the future. In truth, one in four women considered quitting their jobs or changing careers due to COVID.
At the same time, women made up more than 50% of the American workforce before the pandemic outbreak. However, due to the high number of women furloughed or laid off, particularly mothers, this number has fallen to levels not seen since 1988. In addition, due to the closure of daycare facilities and schools, many mothers were forced to choose between working and caring for their children. No sense in stating what the mothers chose, right?
Experiencing Painful Losses
One of the most significant pandemic challenges was encountered by those who have lost a loved one during this time. Losing a loved one to an unexpected, rapid -impact disease is never easy and can be incredibly traumatic. For instance, due to restrictions on visitation during the pandemic, many families have missed the opportunity to say farewell to loved ones. As a result, the family's suffering increased. Families had to plan and coordinate funerals from a distance. Most of the time, women handled these preparations as they are more meticulous. Therefore, many moms had to balance their emotions and duties while maintaining composure.
Handling new challenges
When it became safer, many school districts alternated between online and in-person education. During this time, parents had to deal with some significant changes. Parents juggled working from home while making sure their children were also on top of their schoolwork. As schools constantly reevaluated whether students should attend school in-person or virtually, the changes and uncertainties were difficult for parents, kids, and teachers.
New moms also faced enormous challenges. For instance, some new mothers enrolled their children into daycare, but a new outbreak forced their children to return home after only a month or even less. They were constantly weighing the pros and cons of whether to be stay- at- home moms or trust their new baby with caregivers who may have potentially been exposed to the virus. So little was known about how the virus may impact babies. As a result, the new mom experience during the pandemic was frustrating and scary for a lot of women.
Transitioning to remote work
For mothers who didn’t lose their jobs due to the pandemic, there was a different challenge: transitioning to remote work. While this was a dream come true for many workers, it was particularly difficult for moms. In truth, many mothers had a hard time finding the resources to help their kids learn from home, take care of the household, and work simultaneously. Some even had to take care of an elderly or sick family member during this time, adding to the stress. Furthermore, focusing on work can be especially challenging with everyone at home. As a result, many moms struggled to find enough time and energy to focus on work-related responsibilities.
Some mothers were fortunate enough to receive help from partners, spouses, relatives, or friends. Some even turned to professional help regarding some tasks, as we also advise overwhelmed mothers to do. For instance, pandemic or not, if you need to relocate within Florida but already have too much on your plate, hire moving professionals to help you. In reality, experts can make the whole process easy and fast so that you can concentrate on other pressing matters in your life.
Stay-at-home moms and the pandemic
Despite being accustomed to being at home with their kids, stay-at-home mothers felt more alone than ever and had fewer opportunities to keep up with friends and relatives. Also, they couldn’t keep their usual routines and activities due to the imposed restrictions. Stay-at-home moms may appear to have it easy, but not being able to leave the home or focus on anything besides the children and household caused many moms to feel isolated and sad. On the other end, working moms often experienced mom guilt as a result of not being able to spend as much time as they may want to with their kids.
However, mothers shouldn’t compare or compete with each other. Every mother that feels overwhelmed, stressed, or exhausted has a legitimate reason to feel that way. So instead of judging another mother, it’s better to try and understand each other and offer support.
Single mom experience during the pandemic
As with other families, single mothers must support their families and figure out how to cope with the pandemic. However, they also have to make many decisions by themselves. Due to COVID limits on contact with friends, family, and the community, many single moms found themselves more alone than ever. Therefore, besides adapting to the new way of living, they also had to cope with loneliness.
In addition, single moms were especially challenged due to the financial pressures they faced when schools closed down. Unlike two- parent households, they couldn’t make the choice for one parent to stop working to care for the children because the responsibility to work and care for the children often fell on their shoulders.
So if you know a single mom, check on her as often as possible, even if the pandemic stops. A phone call or a short visit can do wonders for their mental health as it reassures them that they are not alone.
After the pandemic outbreak, people understood that their lives would never be the same again. Everyone was affected in one way or another, and learning to adapt was necessary. However, mothers all over the world were the most impacted. Motherhood is challenging on an average day but especially tough during a pandemic. The overall experience during the pandemic wasn’t pleasant for many mothers. But they learned, adapted, and overcame most of the challenges. After all, a mother's strength and determination to protect her child can’t be weakened by anything, not even a pandemic.
Maggie Wilson is a work-from-home mom of two, writing articles and blogs to help other moms conquer motherhood challenges. When not working, you can find Maggie spending quality time with family and friends.