Parents are finding it difficult to achieve work-life-parenting balance amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Between working, running household errands and parenting, the Coronavirus pandemic has significantly altered the lives of millions of people across the world. Incidentally, the COVID-19 lockdown and its repercussions have brought unprecedented changes in the lives of working parents. With schools and child care facilities closed for months, employed parents are facing increased challenges in handling their children’s responsibilities while working from home.
According to a survey conducted by a Pew Research Center in October 2020, a number of working parents experienced difficulties in establishing a balance between their personal and professional life during the pandemic outbreak.
As per the analysis, working mothers found it more difficult to maintain a work-life balance than working fathers due to an increased burden of child care responsibilities. A majority of working mothers noted that key responsibilities like preparing meals, monitoring playtime, or assisting in children’s homework fell on their shoulders amid their hectic office schedules.
According to Pew’s survey, in the initial weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, most working parents said that they were able to take care of their children while handling office work. However, as months passed, they affirmed that it became difficult to maintain a work-life balance while taking care of children’s responsibilities. From 38% in March, the figure increased to 52% for parents who found child care challenging while working from home. Significantly, child care responsibilities depend on the age of children. For parents with kids younger than 12 years, it was essentially challenging to cater to all needs of their children while performing office work.
With schools engaging in virtual learning, parents’ role in their children’s education has also increased. Both parents saw themselves juggling between zoom meetings and office work and homeschooling their children and performing household chores during the pandemic-induced lockdown. More than 60 percent of parents said that it has been difficult for them to perform office work due to constant interruptions from children.
E-learning or remote learning has also led to parents worry about their children’s careers. Many parents have expressed concerns over their impact of the pandemic on their children’s learning process and overall education. In addition, working parents have also expressed concerns over pandemic affecting their performing capabilities as they are not able to give their best to their jobs.
Around half the employed parents (49%) have noted that they are able to give 100% at work since the pandemic outbreak, as per the Pew research. At least 30 percent said that they had to reduce their work while around 6-13 percent of the parents were forced to turn down crucial work assignments or promotions in order to effectively manage child care responsibilities. Working mothers are facing more professional challenges than fathers while handling child care.
While parenting amid a pandemic can be a demanding job, it is important for both mothers and fathers to under the process and effectively navigates their responsibilities in order to achieve the critical work-life-parenting balance.