S5 E3: There is No More Normal, New or Otherwise

S5 Ep 3: COVID and Moms – we are the “real” victims of this shit show (link)

#covid19 #covid #lockdowns #parenting #parentingporcupines #libertarian #libertarianmoms #libertarianparents #libertarianparenting #momlife #momtourage #SCPolitics

COVID is still a thing and yet I’m always a little startled when someone says they’ve tested positive or that they’ve been exposed. Sometime back in 2021 someone said we would learn to live with it and I guess we have. But I don’t want to forget and it feels like I am, and like people have. We’ve forgotten the powerful lessons we learned during COVID. And while there is some lingering momentum for some groups, on the whole we’ve gone back to business-as-usual and it’s scary.

While all demographics were affected by the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the raging debates over vaccines and mandates, we represent a very specific group: working moms. We are (mostly) on the millennial-side of GenX – in our 40s – and have kids in elementary and middle school – two high schoolers now. Melissa works part-time from home, Jess full-time from home, and Kasie full-time outside of home (but it’s academia and there’s lot of flexibility). We were fortunate to stay employed during COVID, but our experiences are not unique: overwhelmed, confused, angry, frustrated, sad, scared, and fed-up. 

If you hadn’t had the “I’m the only grown up in the room,” realization before COVID, no way you came out the other side of it without at least once saying, “Why are all the so-called adults idiots?”

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

So tonight we’re talking about the impacts of the COVID crisis – and make no mistake it was the perfect storm of crises – on working moms.

Let’s break it into categories of crisis.

  • Your family. Your kid’s schooling. 
  • Your employer. Your job. 
  • Your mental health. Your coping mechanisms.
  • The aftermath: what has irrevocably changed and what has (frustratingly or thankfully) gone back to “normal.”

Your Family: what did you learn about the people you live with? Do you like them? Are they fun? My sister accused my family of having a “covid bubble” wherein we got really close, established inside jokes, and actually like one another. It’s alienating, she said, to anyone who’s not us. What about school? What did you learn about your kid’s school? This created a surge in school board candidates and elections. The near-total incompetence of the government-run school system was on display. Our superintendent resigned this year under pressure that began during COVID.

Your employer: how did your business handle the lockdowns? What was the effect on your job? On company culture? On your industry? Has it been easier or harder since then to get back to pre-pandemic levels of productivity? We know a lot of industries are still recovering from the pandemic-caused supply-chain disruptions. Our legislators are quick to make laws forcing industry to recover, but these things have to work themselves out. Who should solve the problems the pandemic caused?

Your mental health: What did you learn about your own ability to cope during COVID? I’m a social person, so not seeing people nearly crushed me. We started having socially-distanced driveway happy hours. Every day, not just Fridays. It really helped us to see our neighbors and friends during COVID. Our family was a spectrum of caution. Some didn’t care one bit, or at least thought the risk was worth it to be together. Others were very cautious. I need exercise, too. It keeps me sane. So my daily walking habit with my friend and neighbor helped a lot. We played a lot of golf, Charlie and me. 

Published by kasiewhitener

Author of After December, host of Write On SC, YouTube channels for both and blogging like it's my job at http://kasiewhitener.com

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