It’s hard enough to be a mom outside of a pandemic. Factor in lost jobs, reduced hours, juggling working from home with virtual learning, and anxiety about sending kids back to the classroom amid a late summer COVID surge — moms are in crisis right now. KCRW speaks with four moms from across the country to talk about how they’re doing and whether the pandemic can create a turning point in how society values motherhood on a policy-level.
“Moms are still just not okay. I talk to them every day. … Overall, they still have to do the majority of domestic work. The majority of childcare and the majority of them still have paid work outside the home. And trying to do all of those things at the same time is just much worse than it was before the pandemic,” New York Times parenting columnist Jessica Grose says. “We just piled this harder kind of experience on an experience of American parenting that was already much more difficult than it had to be.”
Thea Monyeé is a family therapist in Pasadena and the mother of three teenage girls. She says that many moms have been gripping with the expectations of motherhood and not being able to be beacons of perfection.
“You're supposed to have all the answers. You’re supposed to know exactly what to do. Even your partners are looking to you for that if you're in the mother role. So this state of uncertainty which, in truth, we’re always uncertain — those of us who've been mothering for a while and know it's kind of a crapshoot most of the time,” Monyeé explains. “But this is a different level of uncertainty, right? This is like not being able to give your kid or yourself certain assurances.”