The COVID Conundrum: Can Childcare Save Your Career?
One size does not fit all
As COVID cases surge, many of us now know someone who has tested positive -- making us more worried than ever about the health of our kids. And though that worry might make us want to keep our kids home from school or daycare, it doesn't change our reality. If you're a nurse who has to go to work, and you have no family to help with childcare, you have to rely on school or daycare. If you're a marketing director who has to be in Zoom meetings all day, and you are constantly being pulled away to deal with your children, you have to find someone else to watch your kids to perform your job. Even if you decide your family can live without your income, do you want to join the ranks of women who are jobless because of the pandemic?
Why this recession is a shecession
Some have dubbed this economic downturn a 'shecession' because the positions most likely to be eliminated by the pandemic -- service jobs like waitress, hairstylist and retail clerk -- are disproportionately held by women. But even more frustrating are all the women who are grudgingly leaving employment and abandoning careers simply because they are mothers who can no longer send their children to school or daycare amid COVID concerns.
NPR reports that "in September, an eye-popping 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce — four times more than men. The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on households, and women are bearing the brunt of it. Not only have they lost the most jobs from the beginning of the pandemic, but they are exhausted from the demands of child care and housework — and many are now seeing no path ahead but to quit working."
“Moms are facing the double whammy of fear and guilt when they bring their child to a public place like school or daycare where they could expose the whole family to coronavirus.”
A New Kind Of Mommy Guilt
Since mothers first began working outside the home and leaving their children in the care of others, women have felt the kind of mommy guilt that stabs you with sadness as you hand off a crying child to get to work in the morning, and pokes you with shame as you sneak out of a client meeting to pick up your kid at night. But now moms are facing the double whammy of fear and guilt when they bring their child to a public place like school or daycare where they could expose the whole family to coronavirus.
These moms wonder: Is my livelihood worth the risk? A better question might be: Is your career worth fighting for? Unprecedented times cry out for unconventional solutions, especially when the existing options have been decried as woefully inadequate since the early 1900s when nursery schools began. Mothers in the United States have been clamoring for more affordable and more accessible childcare for decades. There's got to be a better way.
A safer and more affordable solution
MomSub doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but we are interested in presenting an alternative option that has not been widely used before. Most working mothers rely on either a paid form of childcare like a daycare or nanny, or a free form of childcare like school or a family member. Daycares and nannies are expensive. Schools and grandmas are wonderful when they are available, but there can be days and weeks when they are not an option -- especially during the pandemic.
If you had a neighborhood mom friend you trusted to watch your children for free when she was home with her own, you could greatly reduce how many people your kid interacts with and how much money you spend on childcare. And you would have no guilt about that mom doing you a favor, because you had already helped another mom in your network by taking in her children to play with yours on a day you were home.
The best part about MomSub is that it takes the old-fashioned idea of the village and brings it into the modern era through an app that makes it as easy as one click on your phone to find the care you need for your kids. All you have to do is join our MomSub community here. And the relief of bringing a little more simplicity to our complicated lives is something we can all relate to.