How Parents Can Balance Emotional Labor in a Pandemic

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Something was clearly burning.

“Did you take the Bagel Bites out?” I called out to my husband from my desk. I went into the kitchen, opened the oven and saw that the cheese had turned from creamy yellow to the color of rust.

“Oh, I forgot,” he said.

The kids had “extra-toasty mini-pizzas” for lunch as I went back to typing this story, peeved.

Oh, the irony. Here I was, researching the concept of “emotional labor” and simultaneously dealing with it IRL. I had just finished reading a study that found at least 7 in 10 women feel responsible for maintaining their family’s routines and standards. Thinking about Bagel Bites as I browsed scholarly articles on “mother’s mental burden” was annoying, but not as aggravating as the fact that my mind rarely shuts down completely when it comes to thoughts about the well-being of my children or my seemingly endless list of…

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