This pandemic has upended so many lives. For us working moms, we find ourselves (if we haven’t found ourselves laid off) still working full-time (sometimes even more hours than before to deal with one crisis after another). On top of that, we find ourselves without school or childcare and zero support. We are finding ourselves having to play teacher and nurse and clown. We are carrying the physical and mental load of caring for our families and reducing our pandemic risks while juggling a full workload and keeping our clients or bosses happy. And we working moms are finding ourselves interrupted way more often than working dads.
Working moms have been tossed into a quarantined house with our family and are expected to perform business as usual. (Read more Stop Agonizing: Working from home with kids in a pandemic). But is there a silver lining?
About a month into the pandemic and quarantine, I did an interview for a podcast for moms. One of the fun closing questions I was asked was to talk about a silver lining to this whole thing. Yes, there are so many painful struggles. But there are also some great positives.
Silver lining: Happy Child
I have loved having my husband home. More than that – having Daddy home has been amazing for our son. He’s so used to Daddy being gone a lot. We both still haven’t recovered from my husband being away for a year and a half when our son was a toddler. Those were dark times in my parenting. We had a lot of residual behavior issues for a while. Military life is not easy.
But all this time with both parents home, even if we’re all working from different desks in different corners of the house, our son has never been more content. I can feel the relief in his soul, that at least for now no one is leaving him.
Silver Lining: No Driving
Driving has always been stressful for me. Spending so many years in Houston, I’m not new to traffic. But island traffic here is the worst I’ve ever seen. When it takes me 40 minutes to pick up my son from daycare (that’s 6 miles away from my house) you quickly start to dread having to drive.
It has been lovely not driving anywhere. We’ve done so many walks around the neighborhood, but only driven to the store down the street for groceries. And sometimes even walked to the store with a wagon if our list didn’t have large or heavy items on it.
Especially when parks and beaches were still closed, driving anywhere was pointless. That has since changed with the beaches reopening, but that has basically been the only driving needed.
I have always hated that rush-hour feeling, and it has not been missed in the slightest during this time.
Silver Lining: Family Has Gotten Closer
With everyone being an arm’s reach from each other, we’ve been able to spend so much more time together. Taking a working lunch break as a family has been magnificent. We’ve been making gourmet sandwiches and enjoying sitting down together. Lunches have not been spent at our desks.
We’ve been able to immediately go for a walk at the end of the workday, sometimes even take our elderly dogs, and enjoy the cooler evening temperatures before it gets dark.
We’ve had more family movie nights, family walks, family chats than ever before. Because when we stop working for the day, we’re done. No commute. No time waiting. Just already home together. But that’s been an argument I’ve already had in favor of remote working.
Other working moms are finding a similar silver lining. I’m sharing this infographic from a survey done by Huggable that found some great positives for working moms.
- Working moms report a 60% increase in time with their kids during weekdays
- 63% of moms say they’ve grown closer to their kids
Is there a silver lining to this pandemic for working moms? What are your silver linings? Share with us in the comments!