I have to say I am really counting my blessings right now as my daughter is 18 and is obviously self-sufficient and my son with special needs no longer lives at home. (hey I did my time!) I don’t have the stress that these mothers are facing during the pandemic as they have to juggle their duties whether it is working from home, parenting, and watching their kids when it comes to virtual schooling. It is extremely challenging and I feel for them.
The schools in Ontario anyway are operating as the COVID cases are increasing but the Ford government does not want to close the schools despite that. I am unsure how much longer that can realistically go on for. However, while kids are at school, it gives parents, especially moms or single dads relief and time to focus on their work.
Either way, parenting kids during a pandemic that are still school-aged and especially if they have special needs is becoming an insurmountable task. Never shame moms especially right now, or ever! Life is very hard for everyone in this boat especially.
In March, like the rest of the country, our region’s schools abruptly went virtual and a massive experiment began. Many parents suddenly found themselves overseeing technology and schooling while working from home or after completing their shifts at their essential jobs.
Throughout all of this, the added burden has often fallen on mothers, who in many families still take on a large share of the childcare and housework. Some women are even leaving jobs to stay home with their kids. In fact, just last month 80% of the one million plus workers who dropped out of the job market were women (that’s 865,000 women, compared to 216,000 men.) Others continue to work but are feeling overwhelmed as local schools remain virtual at least through the fall.
So how are parents coping six months into this forced experiment? What does this mean for women in the workforce? And are men doing their part?