The pandemic has pushed 3 million women out of the workforce, one million mothers, amounting to $64 billion dollars in lost wages, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. These natural caretakers have had to lean-out of the workforce during the COVID19 public health crisis. With school closures, a shortage of childcare resources, and grandparents unable to turn to, women and mothers have been no longer able to outsource many essential caretaking roles and are experiencing a she-cession.
My Important Girl, a children’s book just released authored by former news reporter and columnist Leslie Yeransian Dolsak, celebrates mothers for stepping up to the plate during the pandemic. It spotlights the many roles a mother has, no matter how mundane or minor. From cook to historian to teacher to cheerleader, mothers have been the backbone of children’s lives during this public health crisis.
On this Mother’s Day there is no better time to celebrate mothers than now. The past 13 months has hit caretakers hard, with half of mothers who left the workforce during the pandemic stating they will not return anytime soon. Three out of four mothers indicate levels of depression, anxiety or toxic stress. Hardest hit by the pandemic, single mothers Asian and Hispanic, nearing levels of 10-percent unemployment, having to leave their jobs to care for their children, mainly because their jobs didn’t offer remote options.
“While we openly talk about ‘leaning into’ the workforce, we really need to take a moment to praise the women, the mothers who have had to pick up the rubble of this public health crisis,” said Dolsak. “They were given no choice other than to hunker down and pull their families through this. They are the silent who need to be celebrated.”
“Mothers need to be praised right now more than ever. Children need to look at their mothers’ roles through a lens of gratitude. This book does both,” said illustrator Kate Filyakova.