An Unexpected Consequence Of The Pandemic That's Taking A Toll On Women

The effects of the pandemic have wreaked havoc on the lives of people all over the world. With unprecedented obstacles to address, a particular challenge left some women feeling left out of the "we're all in this together" mentality. In fact, some women, especially moms, felt quite the opposite — as if they were very much alone.

A recent study conducted by the University of Georgia reports that during the more stringent lockdown time, from mid-March through May, over a third of the participating couples depended on the woman for child care. The research determined that this group of women, referred to as the "remote wife does it all" class, was the most unhappy, and had the lowest job performance scores. Psychology professor Kristen Shockley said of the study, "we thought this would be a chance for men to step in and partake equally in child care, but for many couples we didn't see that happen" (per University of Georgia).

The struggles of the working mom

The pandemic pushed many to the breaking point, which according to Shockley, is exactly what some participants said just two weeks into the lockdown: "I'm at my breaking point." She notes the frustrations and resentment of the women who were abruptly thrust into balancing several high-stress position. As the study's 274 couples consisted of both parents working, the men also found themselves feeling additional stress. Shockley believes this was due primarily to the unhappiness of their wives, which caused tension in the marriage.

According to NPR, the struggle of working mothers began long before the pandemic, but became intensified during the lockdowns. Sociologist at Washington University, Caitlyn Collins, points to the research that shows working moms have always taken on double the housework and child rearing in comparison with their husbands. The pandemic forced more difficulties on working moms including having to work at home, school at home, keep the family healthy, and other challenges — which are enough to wear anyone down. Although the situation caused working moms massive chaos and stress, Collins states that this could serve as an awakening to America of the hardships working and single mothers face, and hopefully, start the conversation of how to better support them (via NPR).