As Congress continues to debate the specifics of a much-needed COVID-19 stimulus bill, millions of Americans face fears about whether or not they’ll be able to provide basic needs like food, shelter, and health care to their families. Single parents are among those hardest hit by the pandemic’s economic effects, and single moms make up 80 percent of those 13.6 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“This is beyond politics — this is people’s lives,” single mom of two teens Nellie Riether told NPR back in October, as she couldn’t pay her rent, grocery bills, car payment, and insurance with New Jersey state unemployment benefits after being furloughed from her job in April due to the pandemic. “This is my life. This is my family’s life. We need a stimulus package.”
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Single moms are shouldering the burden of finances, overseeing remote learning for their kids, and taking care of business as usual with cooking, cleaning, laundry and the drudgery of daily #momlife. In an attempt to help, at least with something, on Wednesday Yelp announced it is springing for single parents’ cleaning bills for a whole year, just in time for spring cleaning season and ahead of National Single Parents Day on March 21. As part of its Spring for Cleaning fund, Yelp will award selected users a $4,000 gift card to cover the cost of a professional cleaning service once a week for one year, for two hours each week. Single parents can enter for a chance to win by using Yelp’s Request a Quote feature to find a cleaner in their area, and submitting the quote at YelpSpringsforCleaning.com through March 21.
When it comes to maintaining the house, parents spend an average of seven hours per week cleaning, according to the 2018 ACI National Cleaning Survey — that’s seven valuable hours that could be spent with kids or for self-care. Whether you’re a single mom by choice or not, time is something all solo parents need more of, as well as support from their government, extended families, friends, and community.
“There’s no magic bullet that will make living through this crisis easy,” said an article on single parenting through the Coronavirus crisis from the Child Mind Institute. “But we’ve put together some advice from our experts to help support single parents during this difficult time. In particular, we’re focusing on tips for reaching out to find help (which is crucial to your mental health), balancing work and time with the kids (which can feel impossible) and handling difficult behavior (which is to be expected).”
Even if you don’t win Yelp’s spring cleaning contest (according to the rules, only five will), parents need to remember that old cliché about putting on their oxygen mask before their kids’. No one gets taken care of if a single mom or dad wears themselves completely out. We know self-care is super hard right now, and there is literally no time. But maybe just try to take a deep breath. Right. Now. And reach out for help if you needed it. People care about you, and we want all families to make it through this crisis.
Before you go, check out our gallery on Cute & Stylish Kids Face Masks.
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