Teleworking, caring for children, cooking, meeting with the boss, classes for the little ones … The coronavirus pandemic has made the lives of most families crazy. And the conciliation in times of coronavirus, does not exist. This is the complaint of the Club de las Malas Madres, which through social networks and an online petition, asks the government for urgent measures so that families can conciliate effectively.
The Change.org campaign has already achieved more than 10,000 support firms. “Families are not a priority in this society. We never were. And even a global pandemic like the coronavirus has not changed this, “they explain in the petition. “In the end we will end up resigning, and we already know that those who resign are always the same: women,” they add.
“The situation experienced in the last two months has uncovered the‘ non-conciliation ’of our country, supported by two pillars that are now missing: grandparents and grandmothers and schools and nursery schools. In this situation many women have been forced to quit their jobs in different ways: leave of absence, reduction of working hours and unpaid leave and even abandonment of the job in the most extreme cases “, explains Laura Baena, founder of the Malasmadres Club.
“The Yo No Renuncio Association of the Malasmadres Club is already noticing this setback and fears an increase in resignations by women. Not in vain in 2017 in its study on stewardship ‘We are Team’, which was answered by more than 20,000 women and mothers the data, already showed a clear gender inequality: 6 out of 10 women give up their professional careers as mothers“, Add.
In this way, they ask the Government for three fundamental measures: teleworking by legal imperative (as a temporary corrective measure, given the current emergency situation); facilitate the adaptation of working day and reduction of it without loss of pay and a remuneration aid for the recruitment of staff for those families in which all parents or legal guardians have to work outside the home.
The real day to day
Several studies corroborate this reality. Anxiety, mental fatigue, guilt and insomnia are the consequences suffered by mothers who telework during confinement, which suffer “greater psychological impact” than men and further bear the burden of household chores and caring for children with the perpetual feeling of “doing 100% nothing.”
Sonia Reverter, PhD in Philosophy at the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló and member of the Research Group on Feminist and Gender Studies, explained to Efe that “the sexual division of work in confinement is tougher” at the moment.
For Reverter, “inside the house there is little awareness of participation by men And now, whether they work at home or away, these patterns of dedication have become tougher. “
Teleworking for women “is not the solution without a major cultural shift” and right now, since the state of alarm was decreed, “we have only gone backwards” in terms of reconciliation and distribution of tasks.
Mothers feel misunderstood, they see an abyss between the expectations that are “sold” of telework and reality. “It is a challenge”; “the mental load is unbearable”; “We only understand what we are going through”; “want to be to everything and have the feeling of reaching nothing”; “feel that you do not give quality neither in the domestic nor in the work”, all with the feeling of guilt always behind.
For her part, emotional management therapist Gracia Vinagre indicates that confinement is lengthening and “it is the mother who continues to bear the burden and concern that the children can follow the thread of the classes “, and for this” he tries to juggle “and always has his attention divided.
Even though the father works at home, says the psychologist, “she is more alert than what happens at the family level” and adapts its work to the children’s sleep schedules and to that of the father’s work.
Despite all the efforts, adds Vinagre, “she has a feeling of guilt for not meeting the work objectives that make her work longer hours and sleep less”, which is generating anxiety and sleep problems as “even their biological cycles are modified”.
Added to these circumstances is the aggravating circumstance that there is no possibility of external help, since those who had a pillar in the grandparents or other relatives now can not count on them, nor with the help services in cleaning the house, at a time when due to the COVID-19 the demands Hygienic-sanitary have increased.
“The excess of responsibility that is inculcated in women traditionally means that the well-being of their family is constantly in the balance and that involves a lot of stress,” adds the therapist, who takes us back “to those pictures of emotional disorders exacerbated these days“
A study by the UNED on the state of mind during the confinement in Spain reveals that one of every three consulted is experiencing anxiety, depression or sleep problems, and of these, 70% correspond to women.
Vinegar has indicated that to this mental burden is added the fact that not knowing how long teleworking will be allowed or what can be done with the children in summer.
The proposal of the central government that they can open the classrooms for children under 6 with both parents working from May 25 -or for the territories that are in phase 2- “may be a relief, but it is also a plus of emotional charge for mothers. “
Sonia Reverter indicates that for some mothers it may be a solution but “those who take them out of necessity will feel badthey can even be socially marked “and again the feeling of guilt will increase.
In short, “it will not alleviate” the stress to which they are subjected but rather “it will lead to more anxiety” and they will even feel that they are “bad mothers”.
Gracia Vinagre advocates “lower levels of self-demand” in this context, since “we cannot feel bad because they see the tablet or eat chocolate”, because “we all have to adapt to this situation”, from which, he adds, “we will get out and everything will improve”.