How a working mom is coping in the time of COVID-19

 

My name is Samantha Desmarais and I’m a senior communication manager located in the Renton office. I work on the national public relations team and I have the privilege of highlighting all of the innovative and inspiring work that is being done throughout the Providence family of organizations.

Located in the greater Seattle area, we were among the first in the country to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an unbelievable experience to watch the rest of the country move on as the Pacific North West started to shut down. I’ll never forget receiving the news that our daycare would be closed. The overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety washed over me. How am I going to balance work and care for my one-year-old daughter? My husband had a very similar reaction and we immediately went into planning mode.

I started digging into the backup childcare programs provided by Providence through Bright Horizons. There was a button for crisis care that I hadn’t seen before. I quickly realized that Providence had secured reimbursements up to $100 a day for the childcare of your choice, which was great since there weren’t any openings at the childcare centers near me. We were able to employ a teacher from our closed daycare.

The reimbursement process has been quick and easy. I’ve told multiple colleagues about this program and I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling to balance work and home right now.

Similar to everyone else, our world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did our workload increase, since I work for a health system and my husband is in the supply chain business, but our work-life balance had vanished. If we didn’t have back up childcare as an option, my husband and I would be lost. If you’ve ever had a one-year-old, you will understand the constant need for a watchful eye. Since we brought in the backup teacher our daughter has been painting, going on walks, blowing bubbles, working on taking her first steps and reading. My husband and I can focus on providing financial stability for our household while we are still blessed enough to have that responsibility and can focus on play when the workday has ended.

I can’t find the words to explain the relief we felt when we were able to provide care for our child and also able to fulfill our work responsibilities. There is a saying I’ve heard fellow caregivers use, Providence always provides.  I can officially say, Providence provided. Providence provided care for my family when all other doors were closed. Providence even provided income for teachers by providing my family a reimbursement. We are continuing to pay our daycare tuition to ensure our daycare teachers are still supported. We are a community and we are all in this together.

Providence has eased my way by providing a way for me to care for my family.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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