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Everything Sucks Right Now For Working Parents
and you are not alone mama, we see you
Hello Mother Honestly Fam, you are joining 10,000+ mothers - professionals, CEOs, Founders, thought-leaders, experts, employers, and more as we discuss the future of motherhood and work, and how women and families can lead better lives at home and in the workplace. Welcome! If you are new here:
I’m angry, sad, frustrated, obliterated, abandoned, but more than that and worst of all, I feel nothing.
As the pandemic wears on, at Mother Honestly, we asked mothers how they were feeling right now. The responses are numbing. Insurmountable, worry, stress, feelings of abandonment are some of the recurring themes in the metaverse this past week.
And if you are wondering how much support women and families are getting right now, the answer in short form is nil.
The government-funded paid leave we had for Covid recovery and school closures thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (which prevented more than 15,000 cases every day)? Expired. The child tax credit payments? Ended last month. And that paid family-and-medical leave parents (mostly mothers) have been advocating to keep in the Build Back Better economic recovery package? We’re still waiting.
How are mothers feeling about schools closures?
The New York Times asked parents to share how they are handling the current situation with schools and not surprising at all, mostly mothers responded. With hundred of responses collated, the answers basically boiled down to: “Not well”
Cathy Nieng, a mother from Chicago responded “I am screaming inside” and Juliana Gamble a Boston mom of two kids, ages 2 and 7 responded “I cry a lot, I feel a total loss of control of my life.” Some parents whose kids are learning remotely are upset that they are not in school in person and some whose kids are learning in person are upset they aren't learning remotely. It’s clearly a rollercoaster of emotions for parents right now. Find out more about it here.
Is Childcare getting any support?
A little, from some private companies. Amidst the pandemic, some private companies have stepped up their child care benefits. Companies have started to provide on-site or near-site centers, have also expanded backup care, and provided flexible work schedules. Backup care is when a company provides a certain number of days where their employees can seek child care or elderly care if their regular plan falls through.
One of such companies, Major League Baseball (MLB) partnered with Bright Horizons during the pandemic and launched a backup program in August. This allowed employees to access any Bright Horizon center in their area and use SitterCity for in-home nannies or tutoring. Find out what other companies are doing and more here.
Which state is updating it’s paid family leave?
The state of New York!
New York’s Paid Family Leave Is Expanding in Two Ways that really mater:
Expanding the definition of “family member” to include siblings and
Increasing the cap on weekly benefits available.
“Since its inception in 2018, Paid Family Leave has offered eligible employees the ability to take job protected, partially-paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious illness, or provide assistance when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. In 2020, after years of gradual increases in the maximum amount of leave and benefits, eligible employees may use up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave per rolling 52-week period.” Get more information about these updates here.
It’s a Complete Shit Show
Here is a short recap of how Mother Honestly Instagram Community members feel right now about the pandemic and its effect on their personal life, work, health, and well-being.
The responses we got range from relatable to discouraging:
“Hubby is at work so I'm parenting in a mask while recovering from covid”
“None. Job says no wfh if kids are there. Only have 4 hours pto to use. Wing & prayer”
“What can you really do? My husband and I will do our best to work from home and it will be a shit show”
“Closed eyes, stocked fridge and hope”
“I recently returned to work after a 7 weeks maternity leave. I have no hours left for sick or vacation. I've been home with my 3 month old and working a swing shift 8pm-4am all week because the entire daycare shut down for Covid. Before that I was on leave without Pay when my older kid's school went virtual for two weeks. I don't know what I'm going to do if everything doesn't go as planned next week with schools/daycare reopening”
And for first time parents in a pandemic, there are no words
To Make Matters Worse, Women Are Dying At The Hands of Male Surgeons
Women are 32% more likely to die post-op if their surgeon is a man, study finds. The new study found that women had much better outcomes with female surgeons. Read More
Will 2022 be the year mothers experience domestic division of labor?
The way housework and childcare are divided in many homes has become a very public issue because of the pandemic. Without warning, homes morphed into offices, childcare centers and makeshift schools. Both mothers and fathers were equally unprepared for this but as was expected, mothers were the ones who largely stepped into these teaching and caregiving roles at the expense of their mental heath, anxiety levels and sleep. In 2022, there is a number of things individuals and society can do to lessen this mental load on mothers. Read all about these solutions here.
UPCOMING FIRESIDE CHAT WITH EVE RODSKY
Mother Honestly will be highlighting amazing books every month and we are kicking off the year with my brilliant friend Eve Rodsky. In this masterpiece, Eve is giving overburdened women a “permission slip” to explore their creativity and pursue passion projects. Much of the guide deals with how to carve out time for such endeavors, which she terms “the unicorn space.”
Join Eve Rodksy and I on Instagram Live this Thursday at 12:30PM EST and on a Fireside Chat where we will take all of your questions and concerns. Register
YOU GOT THIS MAMA!
This newsletter was written by Blessing Adesiyan, Founder & CEO of Mother Honestly. My best wishes for a safe and happy new year. Send any home and workplace news, sponsorship and speaking opportunities + virtual networking invitations to email@example.com.