Updated 6.22.21. Special to TheHUB – It’s been a mother of a year and, for moms, it’s not over yet. But it is getting better, according to Rachael Quinn, a mother of three and the founder of the Your CBD Store national franchise, and owner and operator of four Florida-based Your CBD Store locations.
The pandemic has most American moms living what feel like dog years. The veterinary guide used to equate a dog’s age in human years essentially says that a dog ages the equivalent about 7 human years during a calendar year.
Does this past pandemic year has felt like it’s been “emotionally equivalent” to seven years?
“It sounds about right,” says Quinn, who notes that many millennial moms report it’s felt more like a decade.
Bestselling author, Founder and CEO of Undercats Francesca Cavallo agrees and launched a social media campaign to nominate mothers for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mothers are the invisible army carrying us through the pandemic, according to Cavallo, who was struck by “the number of women who told me they teared up as they read my post,” she wrote.
“Many mothers who have been juggling then endless pressures associated with homeschooling, taking care of aging parents, safe shopping and ever-shifting pandemic-related safety guidelines don’t feel like they’ll be able to breathe until the fall when the kids get back to school, COVID rates continue to fall and routines normalize,” says Quinn.
And that’s an optimistic view, according to experts who predict mothers are likely to feel pandemic effects for years to come.
McKinsey and Oxford Economics estimate that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, two full years after men are expected to fully recover.
Mothers are three times more likely than fathers to have lost a job as a result of the pandemic, according to a study from the Pew Research Center.
Add in the emotional toll, which is hard to measure, the timeframe expands exponentially.
“Mothers feel a keen sense of responsibility toward family welfare, and are particularly sensitive about their kids’ wellbeing,” say Quinn. “Many moms, including myself, have been deeply concerned about not doing our kids a disservice. We’ve had to learn a new level of patience and develop completely new skill sets overnight, none of which were a part of our pre-pandemic lives.
“Even though the return to school provides some relief from homeschooling and other household stressors, it brings a completely different and unique set of worries. And many of them are beyond our control,” says Quinn.
Moms have had to learn to pivot, according to Quinn’s sister-in-law, Lauren Beno.
“The adjustments have been constant,” says Beno, a mother of three and Your CBD Store – North Port owner, who also manages three Your CBD Stores including a newly-opened Bradenton (Cortez Road) store, in addition to two Florida-based locations.
“Throughout the pandemic, women have had to call upon and rely more on each other,” says Beno. “That bond has not only helped us build greater strength and capacity, but a network to carry us through whatever lies ahead.”
She and her husband Matthew believe in the value of compassion and have worked to incorporate kindness in their three daughters everyday lives.
“During the pandemic, we found ourselves repeating the same mantra we instilled in our kids — to be kind,” says Beno. “It wasn’t always easy, but I’d definitely say it helped us to build an even stronger family bond. … It’s important to empower people to believe in themselves, particularly kids. Don’t let circumstances overcome you.”
Quinn agrees, noting that she has witnessed the importance of staying connected.
“Most of our parental skills have been modeled and assimilated from others, particularly our parents and extended family. The pandemic changed that. There’s no guidebook for that. We got through this thing together,” Quinn says. “Women rallied together and helped one-another, one challenge at a time, whether at work, at home, in the community.”
A prime example is when foot traffic crashed at Quinn and Beno’s Your CBD Store locations. They found time to launch a phone tree to connect with customers, particularly the elderly and those known to have chronic conditions.
“That one simple act of just ‘checking in’ on people was incredible,” says Beno. “It brought some to tears and quite honestly, I believe I may have gotten more from those calls than our customers.
Many of Your CBD Store business owners supported similar pandemic-related outreach campaigns. Together with Quinn and Beno, they connected with millions of moms throughout the pandemic. The calls provided a welcome point of contact and led to newfound friendships, according to Beno.
That bond is more important now than ever, according to Michigan-based Your CBD Store Owner Kate Diebolt, who opened her store in Plymouth (MI) with her co-owner and husband Jim in 2019.
“Now that things are opening back up, we’re facing a whole new set of concerns,” says Diebolt, who reports that in addition to continued health and safety issues, moms are worried about their kids’ assimilation.
“As a mom of two young kids, I can attest to the stress,” says Diebolt. “With the fall school term ahead, I join the many moms worried about their kids’ ability to regain lost social connections, manage new school pressures and meet academic standards critical to their future success.”
Kindness matters now more than ever, according to Beno.
“Sure, many moms appreciated our ability to quickly create convenient curbside pick-up and custom delivery programs, but it’s our kindness that matters most,” says Beno. “I hope it sticks.”
It’s a Nobel Prize-worthy thought. There’s nothing this world cannot conquer with any army of mothers behind it.
Editor’s note: Readers click on this link to find a Your CBD Store location in your neighborhood.