Dr. Jill Biden has an exclusive interview in Parents Magazine. Jill was a working mom as she raised her children. Not only did she work a job, but she also continued her education within her field, ultimately obtaining a PhD in education. She will be the first woman to continue to work the job she held prior to office while serving as FLOTUS. Jill said working while Joe Biden served as vice president gave her a good perspective on both being in the administration and the people they served. She wants that same experience now, which is incredibly insightful, if you think about it. Parents Mag asked her about the challenges of being a working mom when she was doing it but also, about the unique challenges parents face now, during the pandemic. Jill said moms today need to give themselves a break because they are doing just fine.
Why has the pandemic dealt such an unfair blow to working moms?
Many moms were having a hard time juggling it all before the pandemic. Now they can’t send their kids to school while they work. There are no playdates to help burn off energy. They’ve lost the network of family and friends who can help out. And they’re expected to supervise remote learning while working or job hunting.
During the campaign, I met a mom with a son with a disability. His remote learning required more supervision than she could provide while working. She made less than her husband, so of course, she was the one to quit. I think stories like that are playing out in a lot of homes.
What would you say to the thousands of women who are struggling?
Maybe you’ve made mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner one too many times. Maybe your temper is shorter than usual. Maybe you’re too tired to be the “fun mom.” It’s okay. You’re not failing. You’re strong. You’re resilient. And you’re doing your best to carry your family through one of the most difficult times in memory. We’re going to do everything we can to get through this, together.
As you know, I have a great deal of respect for Jill. Parents Mag tends to throw soft balls in their interviews. So I understand that is what they are looking for from Jill and that’s what she gave them. Things are extremely hard for families right now. I think most of us get that we can’t do it all when it comes to doing the dishes and serving the same thing for dinner. But there is a psychological toll that comes from missing the mark when our loved ones need our help emotionally, academically or whatever and we feel we’ve fallen short. Unfortunately, those are the things we replay in our minds, not the times during the pandemic we nailed it. So it’s hard to see our successes while while we’re still in it.
Yes, most of us will get through this. Some of us will be fortunate to do so together. We are strong and resilient. But I recognize that’s not really making any of this easier right now.
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