Ideas & Advice

Think Build Back Better’s Failure Was a Blow to Working Moms’ Success?

CEOWORLD magazine
Written by Publishing Team

Wait for Omicron to keep his kids home after winter break

We are two years away from this pandemic. OF THEM. YEAR.

Moms have been trying to juggle professional expectations for two years while being thrown into whole new situations with managing childcare, virtual school or even home schooling. Two years afraid of losing their jobs due to downsizing due to a pandemic or having to divide into 85 different spaces in one day, knowing something must suffer.

Two years of uncertainty and all we want is normalcy.

And for some people, it was like that for a little while. Like we can breathe again. But with the rise of potentially more contagious variants like Omicron, working parents are starting to panic that we are going back to where we were. Nearly 7.4 million children have tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic and 1,015 children and adolescents under 18 have died of COVID-19 so far and the numbers are only increasing … exponentially.

Who will shoulder the burden of sick children in need of testing and 10-day quarantines as Omicron quickly makes its way to every small town in the United States? Moms, of course. And who will take a hit when it comes to climbing the ladder and succeeding in the corporate world? Moms who work. Did you think the failure to Build Back Better was a big blow to advancing fairness for parents, and especially mothers? This variant strikes fear in the hearts of working mothers in a much more immediate way.

As a pediatrician and business owner, I fully understand the impact of the increase in coronavirus cases on everyone: working parents, their children and the communities around them. Everyone wants children to be able to stay in school if it is safe to do so, but working mothers will inevitably be the ones who have to find concrete solutions in the event of sick children or closures. entire schools. Here’s what I say to the professional women I work with as they face their Omicron fears head-on.

Fear: working mothers will once again be taken out of the labor market.

We know COVID is here to stay and has a seasonal nature. When it’s cold outside we all go inside and we breathe on each other and cases go up. Due to these normal cases + varying increases + five year olds and barely able to be vaccinated, mothers will have to look after their children on their own or scramble to find child care. But most of us can’t afford to have childcare options just waiting behind the scenes.

Solution: mindfulness.

Stay here and now. I know I know. It sounds like an escape, but stick with me. Taking advantage of assumptions will not help. Staying present will be. Remember that “this is what it is”, rather than thinking that you have to find a solution. at present for something the details of which we don’t know. Which is CRITICAL so as not to lose it completely. We’re not going to be able to predict the future (spoiler alert!), So it doesn’t make sense to spend more time or money on things that may or may not happen.

Solution: Determine the potential resources.

Mindfulness is no excuse for doing nothing. What you CAN do is start looking for options without allowing it to consume you. Are there resources you can tap for short-term and immediate care, such as friends, nanny networks, or short-term babysitters?

Solution: Treat the time spent looking after your children as a break, not a major break.

If you need to take a step back and take care of your children in the short term, try to maintain a long term perspective. It’s a moment in time and, yes, it’s a setback, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are quitting your career forever. Like maternity leave, it is simply a (very unfortunate and unexpected) break.

Fear: Your employer might not see you as as complete an employee as someone else, or see you as a burden if you have childcare issues that arise.

You never want to feel like your “that” person in any situation, but especially at work. And it can be very uncomfortable to feel like the only person asking for certain benefits or rearranging things.

Solution: parent aloud in your organization.

Talk about yourself as a parent and the things you are struggling with or thinking about. Don’t be silent on these things. ESPECIALLY if you are a senior manager. Let them know that you’ve strategically thought about other solutions that might help them, like working different hours or working remotely.

Solution: have a network of moms around you.

You won’t always be able to see the best solutions. Sometimes you need an outside perspective that can help you think through – one that understands you and is in your best interests. If your employer is sponsoring an ERG, this may be the time for you to lean on it and advocate within it.

It looks like COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, nor is the unfair burden it places on working mothers. The failure of Build Back Better has shown us that we still have a lot of battle ahead of us when it comes to fairness at work and at home. We can, however, look for real solutions to plan ahead, surround ourselves with resources and support, and stay alert when everything seems out of our control (because, as it turns out, COVID really is) .


Written by Dr. Whitney Casares.

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