Thankfully my kids have entered High School at this point. I can't imagine how hard the next few months will be for the working parents of Elementary School age students.
Just a few years ago, my usual weekday was driving my daughters to before-school care in their school gym, then driving 10-minutes to the train station to take a 50-minute ride to Manhattan. Before all of that could occur, we all had to get dressed, make sure we had schoolwork, snacks, lunch, dues for Girl Scouts, signatures on forms and any other random item that the school day required.
Before 6PM that night, my husband would pick them up from after-school care in that same gym. If it were 6:08, they were already wearing their coats and standing by the door, with the light being turned off. There wasn't much room for error. He would then go to the grocery store or straight home to start some dinner.
Sometimes he had to travel for work, as did I. It never failed, he was in Chicago for 2 nights, and one of my kids would end up in the nurse's office. I remember having to leave an offsite with my company (not great timing), frantically hailing down a taxi to try to make a train home in the next hour, only to watch it pull away. I started crying out of frustration in Grand Central Terminal.
But, what are we to do? Many jobs will not allow you to work remote after the COVID restrictions start to lift. For many school districts, there will only virtual learning for the remainder of the year. For the ones that can return, with precautions in place - will there be any before and after-school care? Even when it exists, it's not perfect.
Most often, if a job has to be sacrificed, it ends up being the woman's position. It usually pays less, and well - that's her second job.
When we do continue working, the comments from supervisors without kids, or ones with young children - who can afford live-in help, just have to roll off. Many of us have dealt with the jabs - I was once asked "why don't I just a take a leave of absence, if I have to deal with my kids?", after not seeing a last minute request for a 7AM call. Or, asked if I was a "soccer mom who needed to go home to make meatloaf" and, "oh, you don't have to come to that 6PM meeting, you have kids to get home to", by a bitter, female colleague. Co-workers would should up for work after 11AM with a gym bag, but having kids made you a less-than employee in many cases.
What are your thoughts on this dilemma?