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'It's Very Stressful': Working Moms Struggling To Find Balance Amid The Pandemic

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on working parents, particularly single mothers.

One survey found that nearly one-third of all moms have scaled back, left their jobs or plan to leave their jobs. Experts say that women working in low wage jobs have been the most affected.

On Wednesday, WCCO's Kate Raddatz held a virtual roundtable with six Minnesota mothers. The discussion included moms with kids ranging in age from six months to 10 years old.

"It feels like it's been since the pandemic started a balance of their mental health and their physical health," said Mary Arneson, of Inver Grove Heights. "Not wanting them to miss out on things is a constant struggle."

With the Omicron variant cases on the rise, parents are still dealing with school and daycare quarantines.

"I'm then scrambling for six hours while also trying to run meetings and do my job," said Erin Zielinski of Minneapolis.

This school year is also seeing an increase in other illnesses as students weren't around each other as much in 2020.

"It's very stressful. Lost of tears were shed in the last month and a half...How do people work and have little kids in daycare?" said Amy Grossman of Eagan. "I worry about just getting my stuff done."

Burnout among parents is rampant, according to Hennepin Healthcare psychologist Dr. Talee Vang.

She says low income and single parents, along with parents who can't work from home, are especially stressed. Vang encourages mothers to focus on what they can control.

"I can't control whether the school is going to close down...what I can control is how much time I get to spend with my children at home," she said.

Vang encourages parents to schedule time for self care a couple times a week. She adds that having an understanding of flexibility with employers will help moms juggle work and family life.

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