It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on moms. Working moms, who previously relied on school or other caregiving arrangements, have had to perform a juggling act like never before. About a million of them have realized that’s impossible and have left the workforce completely.
According to a New York Times report, nearly 70% of moms say they’ve experienced adverse health effects due to worry and stress during the pandemic (compared to 51% of fathers). And it’s not just working moms who are affected. Stay-at-home moms have had to contend with social isolation that has dramatically affected their mental health. The same is true for new moms: According to a study, 72% have experienced anxiety and 41% have experienced depression—nearly triple the usual rates.
Since government and company policies don’t seem to be coming to the rescue, we want to focus on what we can do to support each other. Here are a few ideas:
- Organize a meal sharing system. Take turns cooking for each other’s families (or bring others into the mix for a full-on meal train). If you know she’s working late and you have an easy day, raise your hand
- Share some errands. If you’re going to the drug store or a quick grocery run, ask if she needs anything
- Offer to do laundry. If you’re already doing a couple loads yourself, ask if you can do hers too
- If she has small kids, get her a “keep your kids busy” kit with stickers, coloring books, sidewalk chalk, etc. You can get a lot for ten bucks
- Trade babysitting duties (if you’re in each other’s COVID social circle). Watching a mom’s kids for just an hour or two can bring her to happy tears
- Get her a little indulgence. Wine, chocolate, tea, aromatherapy candle, bath bomb—or something else you know she loves (then see previous bullet so she can actually enjoy it)
- Remind her that she’s doing great. She probably thinks she’s failing on all fronts, so hit her with a pep talk
It’s like we’ve all heard through this pandemic—we’re all in this together. Helping a fellow mom is helping all of us.