SHE might be a renowned scientist and regular news contributor, but one woman has shown the reality of juggling her demanding job with motherhood while working from home during the pandemic – and let’s just say we can ALL relate.
American mum Gretchen Goldman, 36, appeared on CNN this week to give her expert opinion on some pressing matters, but it’s what she later shared online that caught the attention of many.
Gretchen is a part of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and is often required to appear on TV at a moments notice.
Only having 45 minutes to prepare for the segment – which was mostly spent planning what she’d say – the busy mum, who has two sons, ages 2 and 4, was forced to improvise and chucked on a canary yellow blazer to look the part.
But while she seemed presentable enough on the big box, she later shared the reality of her situation on Twitter which showed her donning a pair of casual black bike shorts (not suitable for TV) with her laptop perched strategically on a chair.
And don’t be fooled into thinking she had a swanky home office either, as the working mum was surrounding by an array of toys which littered her living room floor.
Sharing her reality online, she shared comparison shots of the two perspectives – writing “Just so I’m being honest.”
Her tweet has since gone viral, being liked more than 280k times, and the responses have been “overwhelmingly positive” and reassuring.
Speaking with Buzzfeed News, the mum-of-two said: “[I had] 45 minutes to prepare and that’s prepared both in terms of content and appearance.
“And because of expectations on women on camera, a significant part of that time has to also be spent on my physical appearance and then getting the right setup.”
Under normal circumstances, Getchen said the timing wouldn’t normally be an issue, but working from home during the pandamic has meant she, like many parents, have had to multi task and adapt to new working conditions.
“Normally, if that happened in the middle of the workday, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, right?” she said “I would walk a few blocks to the CNN studio, go record and I wouldn’t have to rearrange my house and make sure that children and their things were out of the camera view and out of the sound space.”
And added: “We’re not near any extended family or anything so we really needed that paid, outside-the-house care to give us that time and space to work.
“Normally I would have a lot more freedom and the time and space to have uninterrupted time, and I think that’s one of the biggest impacts on professionals now is the lack of uninterrupted time.”
While the mum-of-two was able to revel in the lighthearted humour her tweet provided, her seemingly amusing situation isn’t an isolated one.
I guess I just wanted to be honest about the situation because a lot of people are struggling right now, and I think it’s helpful to be reminded that it’s not you alone. We all don’t have it together.
Gretchen highlighted a number of scenarios where professionals have been challenged while working from home in the past six months as a result of COVID-19.
Many TV appearances have even been gatecrashed by kids looking for mum or dad, while others have struggled separating work and home life.
“I guess I just wanted to be honest about the situation because a lot of people are struggling right now, and I think it’s helpful to be reminded that it’s not you alone. We all don’t have it together.
“It’s entirely unsustainable. It’s just laughably infeasible for parents to be working like this,” she said.
She said that while she does acknowledge that “it’s a privilege” to be able to work from home safely with your kids, she’s “very concerned” with how it could “affect women’s careers” – particularly in her field of science where women are “already underrepresented”.
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