February 25, 2021

COVID-19 has been around for more than a year and regular lockdowns are frustrating for some parents. Working from home and having young children can be hectic.

Many parents had to start balancing their full-time jobs as well as full-time child care with school-age children or younger. Research from the Royal Bank of Canada has found that women have been contributing less to the labour workforce in Canada due to these trends.

Since March of 2020, some parents have had to decide to keep their job or to stop to be able to care for their children. Daycare has been full or too expensive and schools haven’t been open; parents have been having a hard time. 

“Employment among women with toddlers or school-aged children fell 7% between February and May compared to a decline of 4% among fathers of children the same age. Single mothers were even more significantly impacted, with employment among this cohort (with a toddler or school-aged child) down 12% from February to June (compared to a 7% decline among single fathers),” according to research from the Royal Bank of Canada.

Rebeca Joanna Torres, a single mother with a four-year-old son in Kitchener, has been working from home as well as going in. While working from home, she found herself too busy to care for her son which resulted in putting him in an at-home daycare where they will care for him while she finishes work.

“It is extremely difficult. He is 4 and trying to keep him entertained while sitting through hours of conference calls is hard on him, he feels ignored and he also shuts down my computer,” Torres said.

“I do not want to work from home anymore. I have been working around the clock for 14 months and I can’t keep working 24/7, so I am moving jobs for something quieter and with a different focus.”

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