Here's how four working mothers are doing a year into the pandemic
March 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 26.5%. 2 min read.
It was only supposed to be for a few weeks. A few months at most. One year ago, when the pandemic shut down offices and schools, many working parents were forced to shoehorn their working lives and the school lives of their children into one place: their home. And they had to figure out how to manage it all at once. Millions are still doing it.
One year ago, when the pandemic shut down offices and schools, many working parents were forced to shoehorn their working lives and the school lives of their children into one place: their home.
When CNN Business spoke with a handful of professional women at the dawn of shutdowns last March, they were gamely organizing their work lives around their children being at home as if preparing for a collection of snow days or a quirky staycation -- planning fun cooking projects and hiking with the kids while on conference calls.
Last March, Maira Wenzel was toggling between keeping her two kids on task with online school and taking work calls in her children's playroom, which was a quiet place away from her husband -- who was fielding his own work calls.
Microsoft, where Wenzel and her husband both work, was open to people working remotely permanently, she said.
Katie Perez, her husband and their two elementary school-aged daughters settled into a reliable routine after work and school went remote.
"I am not a person who has ever done well doing the same thing every day," said Perez.
That, along with more connected time with her children and some modest improvements in their life skills, like doing the dishes and staying on top of their school work, have been the big wins for her this year.
"It has been a hard, emotional year," she said.
But online school has left her kids struggling, she said, and most of its management -- not to mention the endless tech support -- has fallen to her.
Together, the three families with five elementary school-aged kids between them (Coomber's 5-year old twins don't participate) take turns hosting a day of remote school.
So she worked harder, she said, to show her employer her value, all while struggling to cover her bills with less income.
Meanwhile Carrithers, who lives with her boyfriend, was also caring for their two-year-old, making sure her 10-year-old was safe once he returned to private school in the fall and helping to support her boyfriend's two middle-school-aged children learning at home.
Financially, the year has put her behind, she said.
Last month, Carrithers returned to full-time work and got off unemployment.