The Indicator from Planet Money - Parenting In The Time of Corona

COVID, lockdowns and working from home made life complicated for parents. Trying to educate kids from home has made things even tougher, so tough many women are dropping out of the workforce.

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Anya kamenetz welcome. Hey Stacy, how's it going good, so I should say you are an education reporter here in NPR. You are also the author of a bunch of books including your latest the art of screen time, which is about being a responsible parent in our modern world with all the technology and stuff. Yeah. That's right. Yeah, and obviously, you know, this is this is something that's changed a lot in recent. Yes. It has I mean being a parent right now and working from home and trying to school the kids also from home. It's been pretty hard. They see a lot of parents are not okay right now. So a few weeks ago. I was being interviewed and my daughter LV who 3 busted in it was free Epic.

I'm sorry.

Poor LV and poor you that's it. That's like that's rough. And you were liking that it was like in the middle of an interview and interview about what a great pair and I am

And how and how other parents are supposed to act which is like me on your your hero. This is indicator from Planet Money. I'm Stacey Vanek Smith. And I'm Anya kamenetz today in the show parenting the job of being a parent has changed since covid-19 up ended everybody's lies. A lot of parents are working from home while their kids are going to school at home or they're working out of the house and trying to figure out what to do with the kids and the result isn't always pretty damn show how parenting has changed and what that means for parents for kids and for mothers in the workplace.

Support for this podcast in the following message come from Google from updating their hours to adding takeout and delivery information small businesses around the country are using free Google tools to adapt learn how at small business.

For almost every working person in this country what it meant to go to work changed radically in March and what am I to go to school changed at exactly the same time the priest Graham Adams leaves in Indianapolis just for kids at home. She is a single parent. I have an 8th grader. I have a 5th grader in a second grader. And then I have a 1 in preschool Patrice Works full-time and Indiana University School of Public Health. It's a desk job so she could do it from home. That's all set at the same time though. Patrice's for kids were all suddenly at home with her trying to go to class online and this presented a bunch of challenges for instance. Patrice did not have 5 computers at home. We basically share devices. If I didn't have meetings. I will pass my device on to whoever did have like a Google meet for their class II issue with space in one house, so he's developed a system.

Turn room my 5th grader sit at the bar in the kitchen. I sit at the dining room table and have my work set up for second grader. He's a special needs student and structure and consistency are really important to him before. He says learning off a screen and the whole idea of being at school while he's actually home which is really difficult for him. And so patrice's she needs to watch him all the time. Make sure he's focusing doing okay absorbing is lessons of my 5th grader, but I'm in a shot of my second grader. So if I hear something I can jump up from where I am and go over to him to assist him with what's going on and to tell him to pay attention. There is no resume class for him and also Patrice had to improvise. I'm just going to be honest with you. I turn on YouTube Elmo's teaching you today. We're going to watch a loop of Elmo videos.

And then I met I will take a minute and may read him a book trying to do her job in a house with four kids at the same time. She's trying to make sure for second graders doing okay with the screen learning and she's trying to make sure her littlest guy is occupied and she's trying to make sure her kids aren't like on their computers and phones all the time and she's also trying to make sure that everybody gets in a little outdoor. What time what time to go be a kid? We actually go outside for recess we get some fresh air. We take a walk around the block or we have a basketball hoop in our driveway. We play basketball and forth. All of this is on top of you know, regular mom stuff caring for the kids kissing boo-boos wiping noses rubbing the household cooking the dishes paying the bills all that stuff and you know, this has been patrice's life for 6 months. I'm extremely exhausted Friday.

After we got done with learning on Friday. I took a shower because I could not remember the last shower. I took I shouldn't say that on this interview but have to take a shower and then I lay down in Saturday. I didn't leave the house. I literally did entire day to recover.

It was taxing like it. I literally felt it in my body like the the week wait on me.

It was a lot for many people. It's too much millions of people are in situations. Like at Reese's and the job of parenting suddenly feels like it's not always compatible with a job in a lot of mixed gender couples were both people work women still take on The Lion Share of housework and childcare and so as a result of all these things coming together women have been dropping out of the labor force last month 600,000 men re-enter the workforce at the same time 5000 women dropped out of the workforce. Meaning they stop looking for jobs. That's today's indicator 5000 women leaving the workforce in August. So Patrice for her part says she does not have a choice. She has to work all over kids are counting on her and you a third of children in the US are in single-parent household and parents. They have to make it work. Even if it's not working the buying that single parent families are in right now is unreal and a lot of them, even if they can't stop working. They are losing hours or having to cut back and I'm losing it.

In that way. So I mean that way Patrice just doesn't have a choice. She did though have a choice about sending her kids back to school. So patrice's District in Indianapolis. They said you can send your kids back to school or you can continue with virtual learning for a semester at first Patrice. The choice seems really clear the schooling from home working from home thing just didn't feel sustainable. It's almost like to have PTSD. I didn't want to go back there. I literally said I'm going to call the school and see if they have spots where the Adams children when school opens up, but then you know, her calculus really changed because there was a pretty serious code outbreak in Indianapolis over the summer now that he's really had to worry about herself or her children possibly getting sick just the quality of the education patrice's the school has actually kind of been a miraculously good job. It got laptops out to all the students. So now all of her kids have their own devices such as the teachers.

I really really hard even still she says the education everybody got which is nowhere near what it was when they were like in physical school. So she had this like really tough decision to make it was an agonizing decision and it was a decision that I went back and forth a couple times. I had to make this decision that millions of parents are having to agonize over she waited all the pros and cons and finally she made her call and healthy and still at least for the next 6 months Patrice Caniff keep trying to do basically the impossible work parent teach cook clean fix the sink exhaustion. Send them back to school and in all honesty. I'm in the virtual learning. I'm in this Rachel any footlong hot cheese in Virtual learning for the Long Haul and Anya that is similar to the decision you made to write right? So

My preschooler is back in the classroom, which is great. Her school is license as a daycare center. So he's able to open. Okay, my 4th grader is at home working on her laptop, but pretty independent for the most part.

And also with the indicator wanted to see if we could potentially help out a little bit with the educating of the children. So if your kids have questions about money or the economy or business, please send it in you can help us a voice memo at in Decatur and that's in Decatur at NPR. Org just have your kids say their name and their age and the question is episode of the indicator was produced by Britney Cronin the indicators edited by Patty Hirsch and is a production of NPR.
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