How Are Moms Handling the Pandemic?
MaskSAFE was founded by two mothers with the inspiration to help their families and communities by solving one big problem: how do we keep our masks SAFE when they’re not being worn?
So, in honor of our founders, let’s take a look at how moms are handling COVID-19.
The Task At Hand
The New York Times surveyed mothers who were working from home during the pandemic. 80% of those mothers working reported that they bear a heavier burden when it comes to balancing work with home-schooling and child care. Not only is the lack of equity a continued and troubling trend, the need for mothers to multi-task does not bode well for their productivity.
It is one of the most fundamental beliefs among cognitive scientists – the brain is not built for multi-tasking. Distractions that interrupt workflow should be minimized in an ideal environment, and that’s something that many moms are finding difficult to achieve during the pandemic.
The Hours Slip By
According to Pew, women before the pandemic were already more likely than men to work part-time. The research further showed that part-time workers were more likely to lose hours due to the coronavirus than full-time employees. Add it all up, and women have disproportionately lost hours on the job, and that can be a tough financial pill to swallow. This impact is felt most by single mothers, and others who have limited affordable options for child care.
We Regret To Inform
Working moms haven’t just seen reduced hours, they’ve also left the workforce at a disproportionately high rate. This sad state of affairs has been accelerated by the pandemic, but the systemic challenges existed long before 2020. Caitlyn Collins is a sociologist and the author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. She told NPR:
"The U.S. has no paid parental leave for parents to take during this difficult time. We have no universal child care system on which parents can rely. We have no federal minimum standard for vacation and sick days, unlike every other Western industrialized country," Collins says. "Parents seem angry in a way that I haven't seen them in the past."
Many mothers have had to face one or more of these daunting obstacles during the coronavirus pandemic.
Before and After
Researchers have been probing into the science of stress and motherhood, measuring the impacts of stress and its chemical reactions on both mothers and their children, whether in utero or after delivery.
But now, researchers at NYU have undertaken a study to determine the specific impact of stress from the pandemic, and how that affects the neurology of mothers and their children. Full results won’t be available for years, but the early findings indicate the obvious: mothers face hardships. The coronavirus forced 75% of women to alter their prenatal care; 90% altered postnatal care; and 78% reported elevated levels of stress. The one silver lining NYU’s researchers found was that an overwhelming majority of mothers reported a greater appreciation of life.
We know that there is cause for hope, with vaccines already being distributed across the United States. Along with the introduction of vaccines, we anticipate mask-wearing will continue into the foreseeable future. So we all need to keep up our efforts to protect our masks. That’s why two Mom-trepreneurs created maskSAFE, because when we practice mask safety, we show how we care about the health of our families, our community, and our planet.
- the maskSAFE Family