Mother May I?
Heading into Mother's Day THIS Sunday, it's a sad fact that although millions of Americans are heading back to work, many mothers with small children are staying home to care for their children. The staggering divide between out-of-work mothers and the rest of the workforce will continue to grow until schools are back full time. That's unlikely to happen in these final few weeks of the school year, and may even continue into fall.
This week, the New York Times took a deep dive into this quietly brewing problem, and it's worth the read.
As we prepare for what might continue to be a hybrid school schedule, the disparity will leave a ton of women behind and certainly impact household incomes. But the long-term implications of an entire generation of women being held back is truly disturbing.
Even as women have made great strides professionally, over the past few decades it is also still fact that many remain the primary caregivers for their children.
I'm still haunted by a heartbreaking article the Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman wrote last summer about mothers having to choose between working and taking care of their kids.
We've all felt the weight of the pandemic on our mental and financial health. We worry about our parents, who are in the highest risk category for COVID. And we stress about our kids who are trying to attend school on screens. With Mother's Day on the horizon, we also grieve with those who lost their mothers or the mothers who lost children to the pandemic.
As we get vaccinated and start to imagine life back in the real world, let's not forget the mothers. When they cancel plans because they can't get a sitter, cut them some slack. And when they reschedule meetings or take them with a screaming child in the background, know that they're doing their best.
To all the moms, stepmoms, aunts, cousins and caregivers who play matriarchal roles in our lives, we see you. Thank you for all you do.