MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the coronavirus pandemic started in the US, millions of people were left without jobs or forced to work from home, and many children were home because schools closed. A recent study from USC found that women have been hit the hardest, especially working moms.
T Lopez has been in entertainment for 20 years as a singer, TV host and now podcaster. When schools closed, the mother of two added “teacher” to her duties.
“We’ve just all gotta survive and that’s what I feel like it’s been, it’s been survival mode,” she says.
Lopez’s husband also has a full-time job and they’re expecting another child. Keeping up with her own job during with the pandemic got a lot harder.
“There were times when I would wait until they went to sleep, but then I’m exhausted trying to work,” she says.
According to the USC study, 1 in 3 working moms reported being the main caregiver in a two-parent household. That’s compared to 1 in 10 working fathers.
“I was not surprised to see that women were doing more of the care,” says Gema Zamarro, a working mom and the study’s author.
She found women were also more likely to lose jobs during the pandemic.
According to the study, female employment dropped 13 percentage points between March and early April, compared to 10 percentage points for men.
“Once women leave the labor force, it’s very hard to come back,” Zamarro says.
The majority of women surveyed also reported reducing their work hours to take care of their kids.
With the stress of juggling it all, there’s been a rise in depression and anxiety.
If schools can’t re-open this fall, Zamarro fears women will face even more psychological distress. She says it could also have an impact on their children.
USC will continue collecting data for the study.