Every mom on the planet is feeling the weight of the pandemic these days, but nothing puts it quite in perspective like the honest innocence of a child.
After a long day of working from home with her kids also at home, (because, COVID), Priya Amin was delighted to receive a drawing from her 6-year-old son Kirin.
“I was busy getting some last minute things checked off my to do list, when my six year old snuck into my office and handed me a piece of paper,” Priya wrote in a now-viral LinkedIn post.
The drawing was of a mom working from her desk, and a child looking on.
After giving her son kudos for his good work, Priya says she looked a little closer at the words he had drawn on the page — four words that broke her heart.
The child says, “Mommy are you done?” and the mother replies, “No.”
It’s the gut punch, and unfortunately, the reality that every working mom can relate to these days.
“I looked at the clock – it was 6:05pm,” Priya says. “Then I looked at my to-do list which seemed to be a mile long. My heart sank – although I don’t like to admit it, this is the situation almost every night.”
Priya, who is the CEO of Flexable, goes on to admit that her ability to separate work life from home life has become increasingly more challenging as the pandemic has raged on.
And she’s not alone in her struggle. Between helping her kids with schoolwork, running errands, and trying to keep up with the constant stream of notifications blowing up her phone, it’s nearly impossible to check all of the boxes. The need to take constant “breaks” has taken an overwhelming toll on Priya’s productivity—and that of so many working parents across the country.
“The guilt associated with that is palpable,” she explained. “Guilt for not doing enough work in the day. Guilt for not being at my best mentally or emotionally. Guilt for spending transactional time with my kids instead of intentional, meaningful time with them. That last type of guilt is what fell on me like a ton of bricks when this sweet drawing landed in my lap. My only solace (which isn’t great) is that I’m not alone in this feeling. Working from home while having family obligations has taken a tremendous mental health toll on the American workforce, and trends show that remote work is here to stay.”
She continued: “I guess the only good thing I can take from this experience is my kids love spending time with me. But it still doesn’t make it easy, especially since my kids ask me almost on a daily basis when I’ll be ‘done’, this was just the first time it was articulated in such a heartbreaking way. If you’ve ever gotten a drawing like this, or ever felt the guilt of feeling like you’re ‘failing’ at balancing it all, please remember you aren’t alone.”
This pandemic has forced so many moms to work as if they don’t have kids and to parent as if they don’t have a job.
It’s overwhelming, it’s exhausting, and it’s leading to burnout that we simply cannot afford.