Submitted Photo: Braeden White
For freshman Braeden White, the morning of Mother’s Day dawns the same way it has for many years before: with breakfast of citrus pancakes for his mother in bed and a necklace as a present.
However, White also said the pandemic this year has not been forgiving to his mom— Amy White-Meadows, who works at Eli Lilly.
Many working moms seem to be in the same boat as White-Meadows. According to a Pew Research Center Article, titled, “A rising share of working parents in the U.S. say it’s been difficult to handle child care during the pandemic,” 57% of working mothers say it say it was harder to manage child-care while working due to the constraints of the pandemic and work from home.
Similarly, Social Studies teacher Allison Hargrove said working through the pandemic has been stressful for her. Hargrove said it was overwhelming to take care of her children, who had school full time, and teach her students and help them with their AP exams.
Hargrove said in the past, her family celebrated Mother’s Day by inviting her mother and mother-in-law and had the men in their life cook for them. She said she was sad that it could not happen this year due to the pandemic.
Junior Sneha Srivatsa also said it has been stressful for her mother, Sowmya Srivatsa, during the pandemic.
“My mom is an extrovert, completely unlike me. For her, this past year has been difficult because she hasn’t seen many friends in a while, and her parents were supposed to visit us but couldn’t due to the pandemic,” she said.
Junior Ruchi Prakash agreed. She said her mother, Nila Bangalore, was very stressed out during the beginning of the pandemic as she is a doctor and worries for her relatives, many of whom live in India.
Hargrove said, “I felt very conflicted (while working from home). I wanted to help (my children) with their school work, but at the same time, knew my 120-plus students needed me to continue to be entirely devoted to my job. Thankfully, my son, Sawyer, was a major help to his younger sister. It meant a lot to me that he was so willing to assist her during this time.”
Prakash said she tried to help alleviate her mother’s stress by helping her out wherever she could, listening to her concerns and cracking jokes to make the mood feel lighter.
Prakash, who usually celebrates Mother’s Day by giving her mother a card and taking on some extra chores, said her mother influenced a huge part of her life.
“My mother has always had confidence in me even when I didn’t and she is always encouraging me to work as hard as I can. I think without her belief in me, I would have quit so many things and never got to where I have.” Prakash said.
White agreed and said his mother was always encouraging his siblings to try new things that they could possibly take a liking to and gently encourage them to continue on with it.
Hargrove said the pandemic changed her perspective of her mom as well. She said she respected her mom a lot as she was a teacher herself, and was sad that she couldn’t meet her due to fear of spreading the virus.
Prakash, Srivatsa and White all agreed that their mothers were amazing to have handled all that they did while having to juggle work and childcare during the pandemic.
“Frankly, (juggling work and home life is) one of the things I admire most about my mom. Her ability to adapt to a new schedule and keep the house running (with my dad’s help of course) is amazing.” Srivatsa said.
White concurred, saying, “I don’t think she believes this, but I think she’s able to balance her work-life very well, especially since she has a demanding job.”
Srivatsa also said that the one-on-one time during the pandemic has helped grow her relationship with her mother. She said she had a chance to really get to know her mother better during the time they spent together in quarantine.
Prakash agreed, saying that she had taken the time to bake and paint with her mother during the early stages of the pandemic when things were not quite so serious in the vicinity.
Prakash, Srivatsa, and White have all said that their mothers mean a lot to them. White said his mother was a very important person in his life and that they bonded over their mutual love of art.
Srivatsa said, “My mother is one of my best friends to date. She has stood by me for 16 long years through literally everything that’s happened in my life. She always knows the right thing to say, whether I go to her for advice, homework help, or just to talk to her about life.”
Hargrove said although the pandemic was stressful, it helped to better her relationship with her kids and allowed her to catch up on T.V. shows and books she had missed.
Prakash said the pandemic has shown her to cherish moments with her mother and grab them whenever she could. She said she would focus on trying to spend quality time with her mother in coming times.
Overall, Prakash, White and Srivatsa all agreed that their mothers were extremely important people to them and ones that they would cherish for all they have done for Prakash, White and Srivatsa.
Srivatsa said, “In short, she has basically guided me through nearly everything in my early childhood and has played a huge role in shaping me into who I am today.”