‘I Feel Like I Have Five Jobs’: Moms Navigate the Pandemic
by Jessica Bennett Edited by Lea Bishop
This article reflects the dilemma many parents, and especially women, are now faceing. The Covid crisis has created a new reality where many parents are now working from home. They serve as childcare providers, house cleaners, chefs, and household CEO’s. They are doing this while continuing to do all the tasks required by their jobs- hold/attend meetings, completing assignments, communicating with co-workers, etc. And they often have to do these tasks while their children are competing for their attention.
These can be stressful situations where the division of labor in a household becomes more critical. For the 80% of single-parent households headed by mothers who carry the sole burden of household responsibilities, this is a particularly difficult situation. Women also serve predominantly as the caregivers for family members. Even today, when gender equality is more widely accepted, women continue to do more of the domestic and childcare tasks in opposite-sex couples. According to a 2017 survey, 77% of mothers take their children to doctor appointments compared to 24% of fathers; 40% of mothers take time off from work to stay home with sick children, compared with 10% of fathers. During the current health crisis, these roles will only become more pronounced.
The mothers in this article all admit that they are juggling many hats very precariously. Their stories reflect their attempts to navigate this Covid crisis with humor and by seeking help from their partners and children. Amid the challenges, they are also often evaluating their own priorities and choices
To read this article in its entirety, please link to:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/parenting/childcare-coronavirus-moms.html