From The Confessional: Working Mom––During A Freaking Pandemic––Truths

by Karen Johnson
Originally Published: 
Businesswoman sitting at her desk cleaning hands with sanitizer
Luis Alvarez/Getty

Managing working mom life with raising kids has never been easy, yet year after year, moms continue to somehow manifest extra hours in the day and make it all work. Now COVID-19 has taken the already exhausted, overworked, under-appreciated mother and made her in charge of overseeing virtual learning. Sure, why not? Moms can handle that too, right? No. The limit does exist, and we’ve reached it. Working moms are crashing and crashing hard.

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Here are some confessions from working moms who just want to be appreciated at work, maybe for once not walk into a messy house after a long day, and survive this nightmarish pandemic. Honestly, our spouses and kids and bosses and co-workers better throw us a bone and soon. Because you all need us to make the world keep turning, and we are burnt. the fuck. out.

I’m a teacher. I went back to work in person for preplanning. Two hours in I had a panic attack and ended up laying on the floor in my principal’s office to calm down. Returning to school in person during a pandemic is not safe for anyone.

Confessional #25790852

It just hit me today that I have to go back to work next week with no real plan, no guidance, no consideration for anyone. Just toxic positivity. I'm a special ed teacher. I've been crying all day.

Confessional #25791734

Our school goes back next week. I work there too. Beyond terrified and wish we didn't need the income and insurance. :(

Confessional #25791386

I’m anxious and scared to go back to my teaching job in an elementary school. I don’t know what to do. Do I request a leave of absence or quit a job that I love? Or do I go to work and risk my health and the health of my husband and daughters?

Confessional #25790290

Lots of working moms are being asked to return to their jobs in schools, and they are terrified. Rightfully so. They are scared for their own health and for their families. Moms aren’t allowed to get sick, especially not with COVID-19.

I work in a daycare with 3 year olds. There are 15 in my class. None wear masks, none even know HOW to blow their own nose alone. Nothing makes me feel more worthless than the discussions on school staff safety. Has anyone even THOUGHT of mine?

Confessional #25790867

I’m developing a panic attack reaction to going to work. This isn’t good and I don’t know how to stop it.

Confessional #25792224

And working moms in other professions are scared too. They also want to be protected so they can make it through this mess and emerge safely on the other side.

I don’t give a shit about work anymore. I think I probably never did, it was just a way to keep my mind off of how shitty this world is.

Confessional #25791579

I am so burned out. I am not processing information well at work, spent all day just staring at my computer. I think I got like four emails done. Was not a great mom today either. And “school hasn’t even started yet. I am going to crack.”

Confessional #25791618

My boss called me back to work and I want to already quit.

Confessional #25790851

I feel so lost and feel so unorganized in my work .I feel depressed

Confessional #25791796

Working moms are exhausted beyond measure. They are cracking under the pressure and need a lifeline. Or a safety net. Or a at least some damn sleep.

I’m a mom who has worked so hard the last 20+ yrs to build a corporate career in a male dominated field. If there is no school this year and I have to stay home to play teacher I will be flushing all that hard work. I think we can go back safely. F this!

Confessional #25791536

Today was the first day of virtual school. I have never been so close to full blown nervous breakdown. This will break all working moms out there, it's just not fair.

Confessional #25791486

School is going to be hybrid with 2 days in person in the fall. H thinks I should take a leave of absence from work to do remote learning. I will actually divorce him if he tries to make me. No fucking way, buddy.

Confessional #25791655

Signed the kids up for distance learning. Spiraling into depression. It's too much to balance with working full-time.

Confessional #25789483

The expectation that we can manage our children’s virtual schooling while also maintaining our careers is absurd. And it’s being asked of mothers at far higher rates than it’s being asked of fathers—of course.

Last night at work I was really planning to be a nicer less grouchy bitchy mommy today, then I started my period, came home to dogs that needed walked, a car full of groceries to unload and put up,DH sound asleep and DC arguing over laptop. I want out

Confessional #25791035

DH treats me like I am the worst woman ever. I am always cleaning, or cooking, changing diapers, OR WORKING FULL TIME. His friends ask him for advice on how to get their woman to BE MORE LIKE ME!!! It is becoming too exhausting trying to keep up.

Confessional #25792276

I fucking hate being a working mom. My lazy, whiney, no good baby daddy does nothing but take from me, then flips out on me when I cry or get angry when I’m SO STRESSED OUT. I get to work at work work at home work work work I can’t do this anymore

Confessional #25790150

Finished work almost 3 hours ago but don't want to go home to "D"H and his inquisition so I am wasting time until I have to go home and cook dinner, do the laundry, clean the house etc. He's been at home all day on the couch.

Confessional #25789427

Working moms are sick AF of putting in a long day at work only to come home to a trashed house or to spouses and kids who ask more of us and don’t appreciate a thing we do.

pos co worker milks covid for all its worth! boozing it up at home and getting paid to Drink & Smoke pot on company time! worthless MF still has a fucking job!

Confessional #25790923

Coworker that I didn't like retired yesterday. The only reason I attended her farewell lunch is because it was catered by Subway.

Confessional #25791541

I hold my tongue everyday at work because I make good enough money - not great money but good enough - if they only knew what I really think I’d be fired for insubordination

Confessional #25791173

Every day we deal with shitty coworkers and shitty jobs that we can’t stand. But we are trapped because we need the income to support our families.

2020 might be the year that truly breaks the working mom, and if that happens, the world is in for it. Because women run the world. They manage the family calendar and kick ass at their jobs and know how to run on empty. But there are only so many days a person can run on empty. So take care of the working moms out there—appreciate them, say thank you, throw in a damn load of laundry, put your shoes away, cook a meal.

And at work, whether in person or over a zoom chat, make sure those exhausted women who were up all night breastfeeding a colicky baby or who are fielding teenager hormones at home know they’re doing a good job. They need to hear it. More than ever.

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