SPONSORED BY BUSINESS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF HOWARD COUNTY
2020 has definitely presented many challenges for working moms. I thought juggling work, after-school activities, homework, dinner, getting everyone where they have to be on time, laundry, dishes, and household chores was exhausting. The universe decided to test us working moms even more and presented us COVID-19. Now, we have all of the above, but we also have virtual learning, concerns about our children being depressed without their friends and activities, limited social life or family events, and the loss of “girls’ nights” to be able to blow off some steam and get away for a few hours. Now we get away by hiding in the bathroom!!
If this sounds familiar to you, let us all come together and let out a huge sigh that we finally made it to 2021. Who knows what 2021 has in store for us, but we working moms have conquered some of the challenges presented to us and some we’ve learned to let go and let someone else handle, for better or worse.
Each month of 2020 has presented different challenges and obstacles, always keeping a working mom on her toes, or in my case, high heels! 2020 truly felt like a game of Jumanji. You never knew what was going to happen on the next roll.
Well, for me every roll of the dice in 2020 gave me a new challenge to either make me or break me. On my first roll, I had my second child at the end of February. Looking back, this was a relief, since I was set to be induced the last week of March, you know when the world shutdown. Mind you, I had my first child 13 years ago, so I was essentially a first-time mom again.
On my second roll, maternity leave was up for me and paternity leave was up for my husband. I was going back to work, kind of, and my husband, who is in law enforcement, was going back out there with the public, just to add on the stress. I, on the other hand, am an attorney that handles primarily family law/domestic cases. Courts were closed except for some matters. Each county determined whether proceedings would be handled remotely or not. The majority of my hearings were virtual, and I was learning how to coordinate remote work with a newborn at home.
On roll three, courts were reopening; I was back in the office full time; my oldest was starting his 8th grade year virtually and was at home with his brother; and my husband, whose schedule rotates from two weeks on day shift to two weeks on night shift, was set in his ways. I had to learn to coordinate all of our schedules and also find care for the baby when we had to work and my oldest was with his dad. Things were looking up, and we were figuring everything out.
Here comes roll four. The state was shutting down again, and the courts were all going back to remote hearings except for a few matters. Because of the rise in numbers, my office went to a rotating remote schedule as well. During this phase of the game, I must have thrown snake eyes, because my husband got sick, and we thought he could have had COVID. He was therefore put in isolation, which meant my sons and I were quarantined in the house, as well. I was making sure my husband had three meals, ensuring my kids were taken care of, and working remotely. I had a virtual hearing that I needed to appear for, which required me to sequester in my bedroom, hoping that the baby or the dog or combination would not be too loud. I am scared to roll again, but I am hopeful that the next roll has a happy result.
I have somehow figured it all out and kept my hair intact, just like all the other working moms. But this working mom is tired and stressed, as I am sure you all are too. Hopefully, everyone had a happy and relaxing holiday with their family and friends, whether in-person or on Zoom. Let’s not forget to take a deep breath in and a slow exhale to release our stress, or rather the effects of 2020. Stay safe out there!! Let’s hope 2021 is better for all and we can all see each other soon and get back to normal!!!
Sarah K. Jacobs, Esquire, is an attorney with Siegel Law. She handles all aspects of family law matters, including divorce, custody, adoption guardianship and so much more. Sarah has been in the legal field for almost 20 years now, first as a paralegal for 11 years and the rest as an attorney. When Sarah is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, movie nights with the family and relaxing.