By: Luscious Mother
Sarah and Anna here together today to welcome you into October, National Work and Family Month! Also known ironically this year as the month the U.S. Department of Labor announces insanely troubling statistics about how moms are faring in today’s COVID economy. Spoiler alert!—it ain’t pretty.
In August and September, those months of back to school, more than a million Americans over the age of 20 left the workforce, and 865,000 of them, roughly 80%, were women—and the vast majority were married women. While of course, marriage is not a true measure of parenthood, there’s an obvious correlation at play here. This is a child-care story, friends, and moms are taking it in the teeth.
Last Sunday, CBS News reported that in addition to the tidal wave of women leaving the workforce, primarily to care for their suddenly home-schooled offspring, moms are managing over 80% of housework and school responsibilities, and, no coincidence here, 57% of mothers are reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This is what happens when you lay a pandemic and the ensuing collapse of our support structures like school and daycare on top of a country that was already at the bottom of the barrel in terms of supporting working parents: the only industrialized nation without universal parental leave and other key family support policies.
The reality is, we mothers were just barely getting by before remote learning and work-from-home (but keep your kids out of sight and earshot so you don’t disturb the big client meeting) kicked in. Now, this pandemic has ripped the veil away from what was already crumbling parental infrastructure and upended the tenuous “work-life balance” myth that women have been forced to create and believe.
The two of us are lucky. We have been able to keep working during the pandemic. Our kids are old enough to have some self-sufficiency, and we have been able to create situations, with huge help from our families and communities, in which our kids can thrive while giving us enough free space and quiet time to remain (mostly) functional. We work for ourselves, and no boss is telling us to keep the kids off our Zoom calls. But we also know that for so many (865,000+) other women, those options don’t exist. You can’t Zoom to a job as a grocery clerk or a housekeeper or a doctor. And who watches your children then?
So this is precisely the problem we at Luscious Mother are working to solve. It doesn’t have to be this way. We’re already working with companies at an individual level to design programming specifically for their employees, creating workshops, trainings, and monthly calls. And these moms and their companies are thriving. Why? Because they are getting the tools and support necessary to get the job done.
And in the meantime, during <ahem> National Work and Family Month, and we think about where our national priorities really should lie, here are two things you can do right now: First, reach out to your fellow moms, offer a hand, offer an ear, offer a masked conversation circle in your gargae with a space heater like our Luscious sister, Sheila recently did. You are not alone, and neither are they.
And second, we hear there’s an election coming up. Consider those 865,000 mothers, make sure you’re registered, and make a plan to ensure your vote counts!
In the meantime, if you need support, for yourself or your business, reach out to us. Join our free community call (details below) or e-mail us to set up a free 30-minute consultation session. We’ll be here for you.
Love & Lusciousness,
Sarah & Anna
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