Working Moms cannot say “stop” to family responsibilities
Over the past few months, many women have been inequitably impacted by the pandemic and the pressures of “staying at home” and taking care of the family. In September, it is expected that most schools and daycares will continue to partly operate online, putting even more pressure on women and adding to their workload. Yet, federal measures are slow to address this gender crisis, leaving working mothers and their employers scrambling for solutions.
Erika Pizarro, Business Coordinator for PIRS Pop-up Childcare (https://www.popupchildcare.ca/ ) knows these struggles first hand:
“I am the mother of two wonderful girls, aged 10 and 7. I work full-time, which has been difficult during the pandemic. The lack of a clear work from home schedule, mixing with home duties (cooking, cleaning) and homeschooling my children is exhausting. As a mom, you cannot say “stop” to family responsibilities. I feel guilty, because I can’t focus 100%, and I’m tired all the time. It sounds chaotic, but I’m learning to manage time better and to not punish myself for not being perfect. I am grateful for what I have. And I thank God for giving me the strength to not give up, and to navigate these challenges together with my family. I’m thankful for a job that’s flexible, and for friends who remind me I am not alone. But I am not the same woman I was before the pandemic.”
So many mothers now seem to have no separation between work, family and home. No downtime, no “me” time. A recent CBC article has called the economic downturn a “she-cession”, since women are “significantly exiting the workforce due to lost jobs and inadequate child care.” The mother, even in 2020, continues to be the invisible force taking care of everyone and everything. Add to that the insolation of being at home, with less support, and no immediate end in sight, and it becomes evident that the pressure, anxiety and stress is causing women to make some tough choices. As a society, we need to make sure that working mothers have adequate childcare options, so they don’t have to sacrifice careers, or their mental health during these extremely challenging times.