How hard lockdowns have hit working moms is a favorite media topic. Just survey examples such as The New York Times’s “America’s Mothers Are in Crisis,” to NPR’s “‘This Is Too Much’: Working Moms Are Reaching The Breaking Point During The Pandemic” and “Almost A Year Into The Pandemic, Working Moms Feel ‘Forgotten,’ Journalist Says,” to the Washington Post’s “The pandemic is devastating a generation of working women.”
In an article, “On this Mother’s Day, the crisis for working moms is hard to miss,” a Washington Post columnist sums up this perspective, “And this past year brought into focus a problem that preceded the pandemic: For many women, becoming a mother means being put at a lifelong economic and career disadvantage.” Such articles make no mention of the joys of motherhood, and how the presence of family helped buffer an especially difficult time for most.
Finding the right set-up of work, child care, and time with their children feels like a delicate balancing act for many working moms. They must have everything set up just right, including lots of back-up safety nets in place. Lockdowns obliterated the safety nets.
Taking care of children while working is more difficult in many ways during the pandemic. But the focus on the challenge leaves out an important part of the story—for many working moms, children brought immense joy during a tough time.
The pandemic led to some families reevaluating their priorities in ways that ended up helping them. And yes, some moms even decided to have more children. These stories deserve to be told too.
Homeschooling ‘A Remarkable Awakening’
Take Julie Gunlock. She began the pandemic as the full-time director for the Center for Progress and Innovation at Independent Women’s Forum and a mom of three boys ages 11 to 14 who were all in the local public school. More than a year after the lockdowns started, her local public schools have yet to reopen fully. Having all three kids in virtual public school didn’t work for her family.
“We did a trial in the spring from March to June. When we realized the school wasn’t communicating with us, we decided
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