Pandemic Sends Moms into Crisis Mode

Pharmacy Times, September 2021 , Volume 87, Issue 9
Pages: 56

COVID-19 may change how stress for women in the pharmacy profession is viewed.

It is hard enough to be a mom and a pharmacist outside of a pandemic.

Crazy schedules, including late nights and holiday and weekend work, have always been an issue. But now women in pharmacy can factor in increased anxiety about sending kids back to the classroom, vaccination responsibilities, virtual learning, and working with at-risk populations, which is sending many into crisis mode. What can we do to help each other during this pandemic, and can it be a turning point regarding how our profession and maybe even society value motherhood?

Based on my discussions with moms and the millions of posts within the Facebook Pharmacy Moms Group over the past 18 months, I can say that many moms are still struggling. Many are still doing most of the childcare and housework, as well as working outside the home for hours on end. It has been extremely difficult to coordinate children’s schedules as well. Many pharmacist moms are at their breaking point. As pharmacists, we are supposed to know exactly what to do for our patients, and as moms, our children and partners also expect much from us. It is the current state of uncertainty that makes it most difficult for many pharmacy moms.

One goal for the Pharmacist Moms Group, and also one of mine, is to use this time during the pandemic to highlight the stress that women in pharmacy have faced and continue to face.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. It is important to remind each other that perfection is not attainable and doing what you can is acceptable.
  2. Every working mother will have a sick child at home at some point, so we need to give these employees the opportunity to stay home.
  3. When pharmacist moms are sick and need immediate coverage, let’s make sure we have backups.
  4. We cannot forget the pregnant moms who are working and who need a place to rest.
  5. Likewise, every pharmacy should have a designated place for nursing moms who need a place to pump.

Most importantly, during this time of stress and uncertainty, we need to stick together as pharmacists and be there for each other.