In our social division of labor, women have always had fewer choices and more responsibilities. Up until March of 2020, it had seemed that we were making a lot of progress: we were seeing women succeed in all kinds of highly skilled and high-paying positions. More and more of us were starting our own companies and running for public office. We had more options for everything from birth control to money management. They started to make dresses with pockets. But last March, the one Jenga block holding everything together was yanked out of place: our only viable solution for childcare (public school) was taken away, and our world came crashing down.


For far too many women, the goals and aspirations they had for their life–many of which depended on continuous progress and professional relationships–have been reduced to a matter of survival. Now we can clearly see that underneath all the choices we thought we could make for ourselves–we will still be relegated to unpaid domestic laborers when all else fails. Not to get too bleak, but when we’re forced to choose between a career and a societal role, we lose a major piece of our identity. 


As we fight to recover from all of the evils of 2020, we need to take a hard look at the division of labor as a society and find a way to take some of the weight off of women. But until then, we each have to decide what’s best for us and our families. The solutions we come up with may be outside-the-box and they may push us to do things we’ve never done before. But we’ve more than earned the right to take back as much control over our own situations as we can get, no matter how unorthodox our methods may seem. 


For those of you who are struggling with decisions about whether to leave work or stick it out, and what to do when your child’s school decides to open up before you feel safe, we put together 4 big questions (and a bunch of little ones) to ask yourself. It’s up to you how you use the answers, but understanding your own needs and priorities and your family’s will indicate what you need to fight for and what compromises you can make to make it through.

What is my purpose and value?

What makes me feel in control?

What are the risks if I leave work, and what can I depend on?

What will the transition look like? 

If I pick a new course, how much will I have to learn?

What are my non-negotiables?

What can I absolutely not stand anymore?

What do I/we need, no matter what?

What can I let go of?

Where can I get creative?

How can I get creative with childcare?

What are our household’s boundaries for in-person socializing?

What resources can I share with others?

How much am I willing to spend on support?

When will I ask for help?

Who can I talk to about specific things I am facing? (Negotiation, finances, parenting, freelancing, homeschooling)

What feels like TOO MUCH right now?

Who can help?

It is supremely unfair that so many women are having to ask ourselves these questions right now. But we have each other. As you take stock and make decisions that YOU can live with, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re looking for some other women who get it, take a look at the conversations going on in our @rEvolutionary portal. Let’s figure some stuff out together.