This is an important opinion piece. It talks about the failure of our institutions and policies to acknowledge working parents, even as plans for schools move ahead. And working parents are too tired to fight back. Here is the poignant sub-title: “Our struggle is not an emotional concern. We are not burned out. We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.”
Mary Katharine Ham applies the lessons she learned after her husband’s death to coping with things that are out of our control. Here’s a quote: “What we’re all being called to do now is learn how to parent in a crisis. This is familiar territory for me, and the good news is that the parent you are today is not the parent you have to be tomorrow. Your parenting identity is not nearly as intransigent as your pantsless, potty-training toddler.”
Black children make up a disproportionate part of the poor in the US, and face racism and high levels of food and housing insecurity. Add to that the effects of COVID and COVID-related shutdowns on black communities and families, and we have a lot work ahead of us.
Many COVID action plans assume that there are two parents at home. Alison Stine reflects on what single parenthood looks like these days. One thing that sticks out is that single parents are up against company policies that do not allow them to get sick–at all. Some standout statistics from the article: “According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 in 10 parents had no sick leave at all in 2011. No federal law has been passed for paid sick leave, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 12 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for workers.”
This article shows how things have gotten much worse for parents since April 2020. Childcare is now even harder to find, and the burden is falling disproportionally on women. Mothers are 2.5 times more likely than fathers to report facing mental health challenges.