NeighborhoodsDelhi Township, Holt & Southside Lansing

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'It was hard to juggle mom and teacher': moms took on many roles during the pandemic, single mothers especially

Posted at 4:00 PM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 16:00:13-04

LANSING, Mich. — During the pandemic, everyone adjusted to new norms of mask-wearing and social distancing. But for mothers, especially single moms, there was the added adjustment of wearing even more hats than usual.

In 2020, Rosanna Hertz, Jane Mattes, and Alexandria Shook did a study on 700 single mothers during the pandemic. The researchers found that single mothers were stressed, primarily because of the added roles they had to take on.

You're the coach, you're the support system

“You're the coach, you're the support system, you're the hugger and the kisser and the teacher and the life source for every single thing that that child needs.”

With lockdown orders in place, the weight fell heavily on single moms.

The respondents were very, very stressed

“The respondents were very, very stressed. Whether they did have somebody like a parent nearby or even living with them, was a factor in terms of getting some support…there still was no daycare and no school,” said Mattes. “It was an extraordinarily stressful time.”

Bre Vining, a single mother from Holt

Bre Vining, a single mother from Holt reflected on being a mom during the pandemic. Vining says she felt like she had to wear several hats. She’s grateful for the time spent with her daughters and says they’ve even gotten closer, but the increase in responsibility was stressful.

We grew even closer

“It was hard to juggle mom and teacher, because I know I have to be stern as a mom, but stern as a teacher,” said Vining. “I had to make sure they were on and make sure they weren't missing their classes, but also when they needed someone, you know, shoulder to cry, and I had to be there.”

Sometimes with the mental health you just lose it and your voice has to raise

“ Sometimes with the mental health you just lose it and your voice has to raise and then they're like, Are you mad? No, I'm not mad. I'm just frustrated. And I want to help. I also want to be there for you. I think there were a lot of hats for all of us women out there," Vining said.

Growing up with a single mother, Vining feels the lessons she learned from her mom and the unconditional love from her daughters helped give her strength to get through the pandemic.

Vining's two daughters go to Holt Public Schools and have returned to in-person classes most of the week, providing some helpful relief.

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