Working mothers come together to make virtual learning work during pandemic
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Nearly three million women left the workforce over the past year, according to CBS News.
The number of working women dropped about one percent across the United States in 2020. While some were due to job loss or furloughs, others were because they had to stay home with kids for virtual learning.
It is the tough reality so many parents faced this year - if they go to work full time, what will their kids do for virtual school? While some moms and dads quit jobs to stay home, one group of moms leaned on each other to get through.
Dr. Yael Elfassy says she was only in charge of virtually learning once a week thanks to her mom pod.
“We’re bonded for life, we have gone through a lot together,” said Elfassy.
A group of five working moms each picked one day of the week to host all the kids at their house. Then, they were able to work the other four days.
“You are always going to choose your family and luckily my family was extended and I had these amazing moms that helped me out,” Elfassy said.
Dr. Elfassy works as a pediatrician at a clinic downtown. She used eight hours of sick time each week totaling more than 200 hours during the past school year.
“It was definitely a worry. At some point, maybe I would get sick or my kids would get sick and I would have to stay home and I would not have any time left,” said Elfassy.
But they made it through and she feels extremely fortunate compared to other working moms that didn’t have that option.
“Even in the physician community, so many moms have had to just quit so I can only imagine other professions,” said Elfassy.
In the U.S., women with children under 18 had a participation rate in the workforce of 71.2 percent in 2020, which is down a full percent from 72.3 the previous year.
“I think we are going to have to take some big strides to come back and hopefully we will,” Elfassy said.
While some parents might enjoy the at-home lifestyle, Elfassy says it was not for her and she cannot wait for the kids to be back in school five days a week.
Savannah-Chatham Schools will wrap up on Friday so this is officially the last week of the mom pod that Dr. Elfassy says she hopes they never have to use again.
Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.