Virtually all Americans have lauded the contributions of first responders and medical personnel for their efforts to fight the deadly virus that has enveloped America. Our country would be far worse off than it is without their efforts.
In this blog, I want to salute the moms who have sacrificed for their children, to protect them and educate them under harsh circumstances. Unselfishly, many moms have been spending several hours every day assisting their children as they study from home while still attempting to work in pursuit of their own careers.
This ordeal must be extraordinarily trying. Cajoling five, six and seven-year-olds to pay attention and do their homework, while teachers are attempting to instruct them over a computer is no small task. Parents have recognized the importance of schooling and teachers who safely and conscientiously care for their children and try to assist as much as possible.
But, what about the damage done to moms’ careers in the midst of this diversion? In many two income families, moms need jobs to supplement household income. Is it possible that they will still be awarded raises and promotions when the pandemic is over? Many will, but it is possible that some will be silently penalized and even overlooked for promotions because their absence was filled by some other person.
America has come a long way, but women are still, more often than not, the primary care givers and run the home. A mother’s first priority is her family. The pandemic poses new challenges for moms as it forces them to manage things that teachers have been doing during the day traditionally.
Exacerbating the situation is that parents have to decide whether to send their kids to school and risk infections, and the spread of disease to others in the home. Making a decision to send a child to school or keep them home could have long-term effects on the child. But moms dug deep and have made the best choices for their young ones.
Will the primary care of children ultimately be split more equitably between moms and dads prospectively? In the near future, I don’t think so.
I can barely remember all the things and comfort my mom (Marie) afforded me in my youth. But I can still feel the tenderness, affection, understanding and intimacy of my mom’s presence. She was an angel, and I miss her terribly. My dad was a pretty sensational parent as well, but he did not hug me as often as my mom did.
It’s going to be a different road for moms after the pandemic. They will need to get back on track in their careers. While caring for their children, opportunists might have been filling positions and making more money. Yet, the pendulum has swung very hard in the direction of fairness and equality for all, and I am confident, most working moms will take their rightful place at the table when they are back on the job.
All children should give their moms an extra hug for being there when we need them.