Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have, but it can also be the toughest. Over the past year, careers, finances, childcare, and even self-care were often derailed. Yet from new moms to single ones and work-from-home moms to ones who have to go out to work, moms have been digging in and facing these challenges with grit, determination, and most of all, love. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on the challenges moms are facing and how many are finding superhero powers to save the day. And we applaud them now, more than ever!
Pre-pandemic, working moms were already juggling their careers with running the home. When daycares began operating at smaller capacities and schools went virtual, homeschooling and supervising younger children were added to their already challenging task list. The average number of hours women spent on caregiving went from 68 to 95 hours a week. The fallout was huge: Bloomberg reported that in 2020, more than 20,000 women left the workforce to focus on family. Though many moms are now shining at home, many others are shining on the front lines. In 2020, women accounted for 87% of registered nurses and 41% of physicians; we have to assume that some of those were moms. Now that’s a true superpower at work!
Technology is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it has enabled women to work remotely, making it easier to juggle work and home commitments. On the other hand, it can feel like there is no off switch. Working from home has just made workdays longer. For those working moms whose days get hijacked by the demands of young children, responding to emails now happens late in the evening and work has expanded into evenings and weekends. Moms are no strangers to maximizing output on minimal energy reserves: remember tending to your newborn?
Experts are showing that kids are feeling anxiety and stress from the pandemic too. The job of making sure kids stay mentally healthy has in many cases fallen on moms. Moms have turned into cheerleaders and therapists by providing emotional support, making kids feel safe, and keeping spirits up—even while 71% of women reported feeling more anxious, depressed, isolated, and overworked than they did before our collective worlds changed.
Self-care has taken a back seat to family care. Getting groceries, tending to children’s needs, keeping the household running—and in many cases—keeping a career going, has left little time left over for moms themselves. Any while many get help from their amazing partners, it’s still tough with spas and gyms closed to enjoy the normal outlets . But that shouldn’t diminish the re-energizing power of a bubble bath, time spent with a great book or movie, or connecting with friends.
If there’s one thing that motherhood teaches you, it’s how to adapt. Maybe it’s a lesson learned way back when facing a diaper change with one foot out the door. Being pragmatic makes us turn work time into the opportunity to potentially teach kids how to be more independent. Reminding ourselves that timelines may change, but goals don’t have to and it’s ok to make adjustments .. So for all of you reading this, remember to say thanks to your mom for all she does for you. Happy Mother’s Day!