Being a mom is hard enough without having to worry about a global pandemic. Yet, here you are, struggling through motherhood with millions of other women who have no idea what the future holds. Of course, this lack of knowing what might happen to you and your family can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health as well as your finances and ability to plan ahead.
1. Poor Mental Health
As you know quite well, motherhood tests your patience and mental stability on a daily basis. Before the pandemic, though, you could at least get out of the house for date night or have a break from the kids while they were at school. Now, though, you’re likely stuck with them 24 hours a day all week long. Regardless of their age, balancing work and motherhood becomes a full-time struggle for which you weren’t prepared.
This sudden shift in responsibility can have a major impact on mental health. In a study of pregnant mothers and those within the first year after delivery, 72% currently have moderate to high anxiety as opposed to the 29% before the pandemic. There was also a 25.7% increase in depression. Researchers presume these findings are mostly due to self-isolation and a lack of exercise but fear of the coronavirus, financial stress and increased domestic workload may also be to blame.
2. Panic Shopping for Life Insurance
Panic shopping in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t end with toilet paper and water. Some are also rushing to purchase life insurance, especially moms worried about the wellbeing of their children. For instance, Fabric, which offers instant online life insurance, saw a 50% increase in applications between mid-February and early March.
If you don’t have a policy yet and would like to purchase one, consider getting a temporary life insurance policy. This short-term option varies in length from one to 20 years and is a cost-effective option that will help you feel more secure during the pandemic. In the event of your passing, you can rest easy knowing your children are receiving some form of death benefit in your absence.
3. Tight Budget
Many moms are also dealing with unknowns surrounding their budget and income. In April, 22% fewer single moms had jobs compared to last year. Meanwhile, families with children suffered a 9% decline. With no job, these moms don’t have to worry about finding and paying for childcare. However, they must also worry about when they’ll be able to find a job and if they can survive on their savings until then.
Low-wage single moms were also hit harder than others. By mid-April, 83% of those working as waitresses lost their jobs. Another 53% of cooks, 72% of cleaners and 14% of personal aides were left with no income as well. Now, many live under a strict budget in hopes of finding some form of supplemental income to provide for their children.
4. Finding Childcare
Those who managed to keep their jobs and must still show up for work in person were left with the nearly impossible task of finding childcare. This issue affected nearly one-third of working Americans who have children at home. Yet, as daycares and schools across the nation closed their doors, many had no choice but to quit their job or find friends and family willing to watch their children.
Now, many schools are considering only partial reopenings in the fall, which wouldn’t help working moms with full-time jobs. Meanwhile, up to half of the country’s childcare facilities may shut down permanently due to financial struggles. Thus, this major unknown regarding childcare continues to plague mothers across the nation who worry the situation may grow even worse the longer the virus sticks around.
5. Working From Home
You might think moms who get to work from home have it easy because they don’t have to worry about childcare. However, these mothers are struggling, too. No one knows when the pandemic will finally come to an end or when a vaccine will be available and, until then, work from home moms have will have two full-time jobs — childcare and work.
Naturally, not knowing if or when they’ll be able to rest and constantly agonizing over possibly contracting coronavirus can certainly impact both mental and physical health. Plus, they’ll have to worry about finding someone to watch the kids once the office reopens and they can no longer work remotely. Will they be able to find child care? Will they have to quit their job? It’s all up in the air.
When Will It End?
When will this pandemic finally end? It’s the nagging question at the back of everyone’s mind. Yet, mothers might ponder this question the most. What will happen to them and their children in the future if the situation doesn’t improve? Will they have to homeschool their kids? Can they afford to quit their job or pay for childcare? The uncertainty of it all can be crushing.
All you can really do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Do your part to stop the virus from spreading and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’re all just doing our best.