As a fellow mother facing new challenges, I want to encourage you to remember that we’re all part of something bigger.
If you’re a mom reading this article, then you’re probably sitting behind your laptop or stealing a few minutes of “normalcy” on your mobile phone.
A recent BBC article titled “’It’s OK to have a bad day’: The challenge of motherhood during the pandemic” acknowledged that mothers have had to pick up the brunt of the parenting challenges in the last eight months. The article explained that just prior to the pandemic, women were shown to handle an average of 15 more hours per week on “domestic labor.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, the article further states, “families reported an additional 27 hours spent each week on household chores, childcare and education.” If you break that down, it is equivalent to 5.4 hours of parenting duties every weekday – that is equal to a part-time job!
We have seen the weight of this stress in the faces and stories of our clients, as well as in our own homes. While it is easy to dwell on the hardships of the current state of our lives or the untidiness of every room your kids have been in today, I challenge you not to get caught in the negativity. I know – it is easier said than done!
As a fellow mother facing new challenges, I want to encourage you to remember that we’re all part of something bigger, even in the midst of uncertainty and chaos. It could be your family who you see on Zoom calls, the friends who text you, your church family, or your neighbors down the street. For some Catholic Charities clients, it is their case manager who is guiding them through this pandemic with the support and resources they so desperately need.
You are not alone. Other moms and single dads know how you feel. We encourage our clients and friends to stay connected with other parents, and look at the other resources provided by Children & Family Services in our monthly e-newsletter.
And if the extra 27 hours a week that you are putting in feels unsurmountable, it is okay to ask for help when you need it. You can call the Compassionate Ear Warmline, a listening service for people in need, at 1-800-WARM-EAR. Other options include reaching out to your doctor, counselor, case manager, or anyone else who can provide you a means to cope. Yes, your children depend on you, but remember it is okay to have a bad day!
For more information on Children & Family Services, please contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 659-8279.