Of the millions of lives impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, single mothers faced a significant change which interrupted their ways of making a living once work hours were cut and schools transitioned to remote learning.
For Jasmin Tirado, a 34-year-old mother of one, the situation led her to “do Amazon deliveries and make extra cash.” Along with working additional jobs, single mothers must cook, clean, and educate their children.
“During the pandemic, my hours were cut at work. I lost about $600 every two weeks. Since they had given stimulus checks, I was able to pay my bills on time. As a single parent, I tend to live paycheck to paycheck. Without the stimulus check, I would have been in trouble,” Tirado said.
There are approximately 13.6 million single parents in the U.S, those of which struggled to make it past the financial burden the pandemic caused. In an article written by Tim Henderson, nearly 5.7 million women were said to have lost jobs, compared with 3.2 million men.
“I thank God that I have always been able to provide for my daughter. I would do any job to make sure she has enough. My biggest fear when it comes to my child is not being able to provide and leaving her in this world alone,” said Tirado.
Though the stress and frustration of the inability to find childcare during the pandemic led to job losses, quitting was not an option. Mother of four, Shannon Verastegui, said how much of a financial burden the pandemic had on her daily routine, especially since she was put to work part-time.
“We were shut down at work, schools were shut down, and we had to do everything from home. It was chaos working around kids and then working on their studies at the same time,” Verastegui said.
Parents had little to no option but to teach their child the curriculum that was being taught from a screen while balancing work since childcare was no longer in service.
“My child was unable to attend school in person, so everything was done at home. It was extremely hard to talk to patients and help with schoolwork. There was no childcare at all,” Tirado stated.
Providing for your child or working was the position most single mothers had to face being in during the pandemic. In a two-parent household, the fear of being unable to make a living for them is minimized.
“Most men, and a lot of men, walk away from their responsibilities. One still has a fear of being a single mom because you feel like you might go wrong in some area. You still have a fear that even if you give it your best, it’s sometimes not enough,” Verastegui said.
During COVID-19, being a single parent was already challenging. Now, the responsibilities are even more difficult, especially for new single mothers.
“Do not be scared to ask for help and take it. Being a single mom is not a curse or a punishment and it will get better,” Tirado said.