'I would liken it to labor': Working moms reach breaking point during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parents everywhere have had to adjust to a new rhythm of working from home and parenting throughout the pandemic.

Between their own jobs, their kids' online classes, and parenting all from home, days feel like a blur. Some moms in Fresno say they've reached their breaking point.

"I would liken it to labor. You're pushing and pushing and going through the hardest, most painful, sometimes the most challenging experience, but the reward is the baby. And for me the reward is that time with my family," said Kelly Scott.

Scott and her husband have five children ranging from six months to eight years old.

"My husband is also working from home so we're literally juggling like all the little ones. We trade off a lot throughout the day," she said.

Working From Home

Natalie Vargas is a single parent and she's been working from home since April.

"I remember thinking, 'Oh what a luxury to work from home, I want to be a stay-at-home mom', and now I'm dying to get back to the office," Vargas said.

"I have to make the kids lunch real quick and do 20 minutes of cardio in the garage on the treadmill, and then go back upstairs make sure everybody's back on, and on their schooling, and then I have to get back to work in 30-minutes' time. I miss my 30-minute run to Subway and get me my little sandwich in peace," said Vargas, who's a mom to four children.

While balancing these duties, it's been extra challenging for Natalie as she grieves the loss of her mother who died from COVID.

"It was very much a breaking point. I couldn't go check on my son. He didn't go to school, I was calling in and saying we're having a personal day."

Celia Garcia graduated with a bachelor's in social work from Fresno Pacific University in 2020 and was hoping for an easy transition to her master's program.

But when her 5-year-old daughter's school went remote, all of her plans shifted. Her daughter's school became a priority and Garcia is doing school part-time.

"The only solution I had at that specific moment was to go into a closet, kneel, get down on my knees and start crying and praying like please get me through this."

Blessing in disguise

Stella Reyna is a mom of two and says the pandemic has been hard, but it's also a blessing in disguise.

"I feel like when I was always at work, I was kind of missing out on being a mom. Now that I'm working from home, I don't feel like my work is lacking, and I feel more involved," she said.

The mothers say it's also nice to know they're not alone.

They connect with other moms like them through a Facebook group called 'Not your 'average' moms'.
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