OPINION SUNDAY: Happy Mother’s Day by Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath

Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath with her mother, Kathi.

This Mother’s Day, I want to take a moment to thank all moms in our community —and all the people who have stepped up and filled in for them during the pandemic to care for our young people and aging populations.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the multiple roles that caregivers — who are often women — play in our community. Women disproportionately faced the challenge of navigating working from home while providing care for everyone in the home. From ensuring their children did not miss out on virtual classes, activities, and other essential building blocks that nurture our young people and help them to grow, to tending to the needs of another generation of older adults in the same household, caregivers faced unprecedented demands.

McKinsey & Company reports:

By our calculation, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women.

For many families, it was assumed that these additional responsibilities would be done by our mothers. (In West Hollywood, we know that not all households have moms, but the caregiving challenges remain.) Those who were lucky enough to be able to continue earning a living from home still had to face the burden of making up for the loss of access to childcare and school because of the LA County Public Health Order. I heard multiple stories from moms who formed social pods (or “quaranteams”) to take turns sharing the responsibilities, and to give some semblance of a routine for their children despite the disappearance of the typical structures of everyday life. 

Women also disproportionately worked in the frontline jobs that were essential to everyday life and to keeping people healthy and safe. From nurses and medical assistants, to grocery workers and pharmacists, women continued working in the face of tremendous risk to themselves and their families, from whom they had to often quarantine to ensure their safety. Extended periods of work tackling the effects of the pandemic, combined with lack of access to their essential support networks, caused dire circumstances. For example, the JAMA Network reports that the rate of suicide for female nurses compared to women in the general population during the pandemic is high. The trauma that women on the frontlines faced in doing their jobs alone, combined with the trauma of sacrificing time with family and loved ones, will have devastating and lasting effects.

That’s why we need to start investing in a real system of support to relieve women from the burdens of unpaid care and to support their own mental health and well-being. The COVID-19 emergency exposed the dangers to women’s health, to our economy, and to our children’s developmental progress when we do not treat care as a profession worthy of a living wage. By treating care not only as an essential service but a viable career path, we can provide support to families who need it, and employ women who are already doing this work while boosting our economy.

One group that is already invested in making this a reality is Mom Congress, a national membership organization dedicated to addressing the most pressing policy issues of motherhood including what they call the “motherload” (the stress that U.S. mothers carry, at higher rates than other developed countries). Former West Hollywood resident  and Women’s Advisory Board Member, Melaney Lubey, is an online member community caucus moderator for Working Moms: Paid Family Leave & Affordable Child Care, and has been leading the charge in our region. While LA County contemplates new systems of care and support for our region, we must be a loud voice for real investment in affordable care for our children and older adults.

Instead of sending flowers or cards, let’s do our part to raise awareness and demand action to create access to affordable care. In West Hollywood, let this be how we say, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

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[…] Publishers Note: WEHOville is proud to present a series of editorials from all the candidates for LA County Supervisor which serves West Hollywood. Here once again is Richard Bloom’s editorial and West Hollywood Councilmember and current Mayor Lindsey Horvath’s editorial. […]

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[…] Publishers Note: WEHOville is proud to present a series of editorials from all the candidates for LA County Supervisor which serves West Hollywood. Here once again is Richard Bloom’s editorial and West Hollywood Councilmember and current Mayor Lindsey Horvath’s editorial. […]

Barbara Meltzer
Barbara Meltzer
1 year ago

Thank you so much Lindsey for this beautiful and important essay. My Mom is gone, but I hold on to wonderful memories. We are so lucky that you are our Mayor…..and like a parent, you think of our wellbeing. Thank you too for shining a light on the problems that so many women face—women of all ages. Family Caregiving, provided mostly, but not always by women, is especially difficult. There are so many women who are caring not only for their children, but for their parents as well. I know, not only by your words, but by your deeds, how… Read more »

AngelsOfStrength.AS1

Kathi…you are obviously a Super Hero Mom by far as well as kind and compassionate and very understanding of the challenges our moms face in many communities…. What blessings we have that you chose to elevate vast strength through your passing the Sword of Strength to your children….and may every obstacle lead to teams. Our focus is the invisible mothers enduring DV and gaslighting or even racial or🦸🏿‍♂️ lgbt microaggressions and the damages mothers endure without sober spiritual allies. We honor the “mothers of invention…as necessity is the mother of recreation.” We have🦸🏿‍♀️ rescued mothers in interventions and fostered two… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by AngelsOfStrength.AS1
Joanne
Joanne
1 year ago

Women will rule the world soon. Just look at the men who screwed it all up. Go Lindsey.

Mom
Mom
1 year ago

I’m alone this Mother’s Day with my kids spread out all over the country. Covid hit our family in many ways that is hard to describe. When I saw this photo of Lindsey and her mother it brought a tear to my eye. She must be so proud of you as many of us in the community who support you are.

Kathi
Kathi
1 year ago
Reply to  Mom

Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day to you too! My daughter is an amazing person who loves WeHo and all the residents and it makes me so happy when residents comment and appreciate her dedication to the people and your city. I was fortunate to see my daughter at the end of April but we too are miles apart this Mother’s Day. Lindsey has always made me and her family very proud of her many accomplishments and work she does to assist those in need. Take care and thank you for supporting Lindsey as Mayor.

Carleton Cronin
1 year ago
Reply to  Mom

Dear Mom – No, you are not alone. The very fact that others are reading your note here means you have reached out and touched other who might also feel alone. Happy Mothers Day from me – and the several of my family to whom I have told of your comment.

JPM
JPM
1 year ago

Your an incredible person and happy Mother’s Day to you and your beautiful mom.

Kathi
Kathi
1 year ago
Reply to  JPM

Thank you for your kind words and enjoy your day too!

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 year ago

Ugh! The politicizing of Mothers Day. Thanks Wehoville.

Andrea
Andrea
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

It’s clear you don’t appreciate your own mother with this comment.

Randy
Randy
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

I clicked on this article specifically to see if someone would make a negative comment, like your comment. Thanks for not disappointing me. Why can’t you just be nice? Or hold your comment? So, she’s the mayor? She’s not allowed to write a nice editorial, like this one? Who, in your world, is allowed? Zero politicians? Ex-politicians? Business owners? I’m just curious what criteria you’d apply to be OK with. Larry has put it out there many times that he is accepting of editorials from the public, at large. Are Steve Martin’s editorials “political,” because he used to be on… Read more »

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