Rebecca Bromwich is a multi talented mom of four with an incredible array of enterprises under her belt. The lawyer, author, activist and all around inspirational figure has lent her words to ADDICTED today to talk about a new business venture she has launched to help mothers navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccination is an undertaking as impressive and massive in scope as the moon landing. It is a wonderful and exciting opportunity to get vaccinated. I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be vaccinated this past weekend, participating in the widespread distribution of AstraZeneca to GenX across the country. I was thrilled, I was excited, I donned my doc marten shoes, showed up at the pharmacy, got jabbed, posted a selfie, and cried for joy. Then the vaccine immune response knocked me absolutely flat with fever, aches, and delerium. It was a brief period of feeling unwell, but it hurt like hell.
Although I am a single mom after a COVID divorce, I am fortunate to have the father of my children actively involved in shared parenting. I was able to rest for 24 hours after my vaccine without worrying about child care. Many women are not so lucky. It is no small privilege that I did not have a child care concern for my four children in the hours following my vaccine. Again, many mothers are not so fortunate. I have at least two friends who are uncertain about making vaccine appointments because they are not sure how to deal with the child care issues that may arise if they have an adverse immune response.
As with the pandemic more generally, the vaccination situation is powerfully revealing of the disproportionately negative circumstances people with child care responsibilities, disproportionately mothers, bear. Women have left the paid workforce in statistically significant numbers as a result of the pandemic lockdowns and spectre of “homeschooling” hell. It is simply not possible to care for children while working a paid job, simultaneously, without child care. The attempt was made. Something had to give, and, what gave was women’s career aspirations. In jarringly large numbers, away the women went.
My COVID divorce has revealed to me how much I have always, throughout my parenting journey, been reliant on a supportive network or village of other mothers, and other women. Now that I am vaccinated, and now that my own children are teens, I figure it is my turn to help support mothers who are socially isolated in the COVID pandemic. And that’s why I started the Vax Childcare Sisterhood.
I launched my initiative to build a network to provide free short term emergency child care for people in the hours immediately following their vaccine appointments. The vaccination effort is this generation’s moon landing, and it is also an opportunity to take small steps towards collaborative support for child care that, we can hope, can result in giant leaps for women’s equality.
Here is my website; sign up!
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