What Is It Like to Be a Mother During a Pandemic?

By: Morgan Forrester, Ileana Rodriguez | May 2020

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As we approach Mother’s Day this weekend, we at NC Child honor the strength and resilience of all those who mother our children.

Many of us are struggling to find a new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents and caregivers are being especially challenged, not only to find some normalcy for themselves, but also to provide some stability for their children.

To add to the strain, those caring for children at home are navigating increasingly chaotic environments. Every member of the family, so used to having separate lives, is now forced to intertwine and work, learn, and play all in the same place.

New burdens on mothers

There’s a lot of pressure on households, and it’s falling particularly hard on the shoulders of women and mothers. Across the world, even before the pandemic hit, women do more housework and childcare and have less leisure time than their male counterparts. They are often the household managers with brains always activated with planning, anticipating, organizing. And, as a national poll shows, women are more likely than men to say their lives have been disrupted because of the coronavirus.

We’re hearing from families how they’re making difficult decisions on how to divide unpaid labor in the home. Like nurses who set up tents in their garages to protect their family, leaving only one parent to care for the children. Grocery store clerks who scramble to find someone to care for their children so they don’t lose the only income their family has. Those who are only able to manage 2-hour shifts, alternating childcare and home-schooling for young children.

Closed schools and isolation make parents’ and caregivers’ lives significantly harder. Yet despite the multitude of adversity and challenges, mothers are not wavering. They’re holding families and communities together in new and remarkable ways. Filling homes with love and comfort – cuddling little ones under blankets, baking treats, reading stories, bandaging scrapes, and playing games.

Honoring the mothers in your life

As we approach Mother’s Day this weekend, we at NC Child honor the strength and resilience of all those who mother our children.  

The new moms who are navigating pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum in brand new ways, often without their own mothers at their side.

The mothers who have lost their job and are navigating extreme difficulty with keeping their children fed and in their homes.

The mothers who are caring for their children and an elderly or disabled family member at the same time, without additional support.

The mothers that have lost a family member to COVID-19.

We see you. We honor you. We promise to never stop working until we can ensure you have what you and your children need to thrive.

To honor your mom or a resilient mother or caregiver in your life, you can make a gift to NC Child here:

Your gift will ensure that kids and their families who are affected the most by this pandemic have access to what they need to thrive.

We also invite you to flip your camera on and say a few words about how these awe-inspiring women have shaped your life or are caring for those they love now. We at NC Child want to lift up and cherish these people in your life and share with our online community.

To share a video with us, click here. 

We are so grateful for all of the mothers, parents, caregivers in our lives. Even as you face an unprecedented pandemic, you show us that through adversity, you are still building a brighter future for your families and your communities. Thank you.

Ileana Rodriguez is NC Child’s Development Director.
Morgan Forrester is the Director of the NC Initiative for Young Children’s Social-Emotional Health at NC Child.