As I started to write this blog, I immediately got distracted by my little lady dumping out her box of arts and crafts all over the floor. If I have accomplished one task throughout the pandemic, it’s the improvement of my ability to multitask and increase in my threshold for patience. Even with my newfound growth in those areas, I will be the first person admit that working from home with your child(ren) is tough; and I only have her home two days a week! (for those of you home full time with your kiddos, you’re on my prayer list!). Even if we have additional support in the home, we all know our kiddos will bypass your partner, grandma, or anyone else sitting in the same room with them and come ask mommy for a snack while she’s enjoying her only 10 minutes of privacy taking a shower!
It will come as no surprise to any of us that statistics show that women have been more negatively affected by COVID-19 than men.
The impact of the pandemic has added pressures on women in ways we have never seen before. We know that domestic violence rates are high, and women more than men are the ones giving up or losing their jobs to support their families. Women are beginning to wear many hats – mother, home-school teacher, boss, employee, maid, caregiver, daughter – and more. These roles are almost impossible to manage long-term for those in complicated circumstances, correlating in more than two million women nationwide dropping out of the workforce.
As mothers, we are constantly judged and face stigma for our life choices. Stay at home moms don’t “work,” and working moms aren’t attentive to their families. It seems like there is an impossible standard to live up to. To work toward a solution, everything begins with education and support. Once the problem is identified, then we can change it. We need to start having conversations recognizing the inequity of gender roles, and to work on efforts to decrease the wage gap and increase support for childcare and paid family leave. These conversations can hopefully lead to progress and policies benefiting women.
With the negative impacts of COVID-19, now these conversations are as important as ever.
This is just a little piece of my story, but I know the pandemic has impacted everyone in significant ways, especially for women. Increased stress is one of the most prevalent effects on women due to the pandemic. If you are a working mom at your wit’s end, or just feeling like you need extra support to manage your new reality, call us today 716 539 5500. You can also check out nyprojecthope.org for tips on how to cope, manage stress and anxiety, help, avoid burnout at work, and more!
Spectrum Health has some built-in support for you, too, if you can grab a few minutes of ‘me’ time.
Community of Caring has daily, free diversions with purpose. Check out the Mindfulness minutes every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10am, or burn off some stress with Adult Hop at on Fridays at 9am.
We’re here to help!
By Shannon Schwarberg
Senior Program Manager of Special Project Development