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How Charlotte working moms are making tough choices in the pandemic

Studies show women are handling most of the online schooling for their kids, while still trying to work.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The work-life balance has always been hard for working moms but the pandemic has made it almost impossible.

Studies show women are handling most of the online schooling for their kids- while still trying to work. Those same studies show the pandemic could set women back in the workplace for decades.

“It has been a huge adjustment,” said Allison Scott.

Call it the 2020 mantra that none of us wanted, but we’re all constantly adjusting and pivoting just trying to make it work.

Scott said being a working mom is harder now than ever.

"It's really tough. I feel like I’m being pulled in so many different directions," Scott said. "I feel like I'm not exceeding at any of it because I just feel like I’m stretched so thin." 

Scott is the Director of Financial Services at Rowan Cabarrus College. She is also helping her 6-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter navigate their online learning.

“It’s crazy, it really is," Scott said. 

Not much has changed for her husband.

“Honestly, it all falls on me. He’s working like normal. I am responsible for all the kids' school work," Scott said. 

And that’s about the norm these days. Experts say women are twice as likely as men to be responsible for homeschooling, prompting this dramatic headline -- "2020 will be the death of the working mother."

“I said maybe we need to consider that I take a break from work and just focus on teaching them," Scott said. 

But Janelle Patterson said she knows she’s lucky. She’s a first-grade teacher, her husband is a music teacher and they’re managing to share the childcare duties.

“Every mom that is also working also has 13 new things they have to do – very tricky and hard and overwhelming," Patterson said. 

“I teach from my classroom three hours every morning while my husband is helping my 6-year-old then I come home at 11:30 and we switch roles," Patterson said. 

The grandparents are pitching in with the couple’s 2-year-old.

"It's a tightrope every day but we are making it work,” Scott said. 

Both women say they’ve learned some important coping mechanisms:

“Give yourself grace and give others grace and just know that it might not be what you think it's going to be but its gonna be ok.”

Some more advice for overworked moms: try to set some time aside for yourself. Even if it’s just a 20-minute walk before anyone else is up. It can help get you in the right frame of mind to tackle the rest of the day.