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(Phone rings) Welcome to the New York Times Primal Scream Line, where the floor is yours to yell, laugh, cry or vent, for a solid minute. (Beep)
I just wanted to say…
I’m so sick of my goddamn kids.
This pandemic has made me realize that maybe I’m not cut out to be a mother.
I am doing my sixth load of laundry today.
God, every day I think I can’t do this again, but then I do. I get it, I get up and I do it. Because that’s just what parents do, right?
The pandemic exposed “balance” for the lie that it is. Now, a generation is teetering on the edge.
This Is a Primal Scream
It’s not just the working from home, the record unemployment or the remote schooling. This is a mental health crisis, too.
By Jessica Grose
“All I hear all the livelong day is ‘Mom, mom, MOM! Mom, MOMMMM, mom, MOM, mom!! MoM, mommommommom, MOMMM!!’ Aaaaah!! ‘What?!’ ‘Oh, nevermind.’”
32% The percentage of women ages 25-44 who said child care was the reason for that unemployment.
Three Mothers, On the Brink
Eleven months, multiple breakdowns, one harrowing realization: They’ve got to get back up and do it all again tomorrow.
By Jessica Bennett
“I wish I had the energy to scream. All my energy just goes into getting through every day, until I can go to sleep. I have three kids, all in virtual schools since March, and work full time. And it just feels like failing, every day, at everything I do. And I just want to change, want to be by myself for one minute. I don’t know how to keep doing this. But there isn’t really another option.”
48% The percentage of Black mothers who said the pandemic has had a major impact on their ability to pay for necessities like housing, utilities and food.
9% The drop in labor force participation among unpartnered mothers, the largest among all groups of parents.
This Isn’t Burnout, It’s Betrayal
A psychiatrist suggests ways moms can fight back when the system is stacked against them.
By Pooja Lakshmin
(singing) “I’m going to [bleep] lose my mind if something doesn’t happen soon.”
77% The percentage of parents with kids ages 8-12 who said the uncertainty around the school year is causing them stress.
69% The number of mothers who said they’ve experienced adverse health effects due to worry and stress during the pandemic, compared to 51% of fathers.
Will Biden’s Stimulus Plan Help?
How the president’s proposed stimulus package might affect women and families.
By Alisha Haridasani Gupta
[Crying] “I cannot remember the last time I did not worry, I did not spend my day worrying about so much stuff. Every day is something different. I just want to wake up and go through my day and not worry, and not wonder, and not know what the future holds. Because this right here sucks. And I’m sick of it. I’m so sick of this.”
How to Help Working Parents Right Now
From flexible schedules to paid leave, what the government, employers and the rest of us can do.
By Claire Cain Miller
Let’s Hear It for Sabbaticals, Subsidies and Nanny Reimbursement
How some employers and governments are supporting working parents.
By Claire Cain Miller and Dani Blum
“There is just so much talking. Talking all the time. All day long. Words. Words. Words. So much talking. I just, I need no more talking. No more words. I need no more. No more. So much talking. I just need silence. Please. Silence.”
66%The number of mothers with partners who say they are chiefly responsible for child care, compared to 24% of fathers.
2x The amount that working mothers are likely to worry, as compared to working fathers, that their performance is being judged negatively because of their caregiving responsibilities.
Know Your Workplace Rights
We asked experts to cut through the red tape and legal jargon. Here’s how to protect yourself.
By Jancee Dunn
“I love my kids. I love my family. But we are together all of the time. Like, I never appreciated teachers and school as much as I did now. I don’t want to be my child’s teacher. I am not doing good with this. But, all things considered, things are cool. Somebody else rear my children, please. I miss going out. I miss being drunk. I miss dancing.”
Are you a parent who’s tired as hell? Call us and scream after the beep.
Are you a working parent who needs support?
Mental health resources
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
Parents seeking emotional support can contact the National Parent Helpline at 855-427-2736.
If you are a recent mother looking for support, there are free online support groups offered by Postpartum Support International, with specific programs for Black moms, NICU parents, Spanish-speaking moms, queer parents and more.
The National Women’s Law Center provides complimentary consultations with attorneys in their legal network. Call 202-319-3053 or request assistance at their website.
A Better Balance, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, operates a confidential help line to assist callers with understanding their workplace rights. Call 833-633-3222.
Food and housing assistance
United Way operates a 24-hour help line that connects callers to local food programs, housing assistance, health care resources and mental health support. Dial 211 from your phone.
Mutual Aid Hub offers a nationwide listing of food pantries and community refrigerators and freezers.
EditorsJessica Grose, Jessica Bennett, Melonyce McAfee, Farah Miller
ResearchSharon Attia, Dani Blum
Design and productionDeanna Donegan, Adriana Ramic
Photo editorTiffanie Graham
Audio editorRob Dozier
Print designMary Jane Callister, Shannon Robertson, Elana Schlenker, Felicia Vasquez