‘I Cry on Tuesdays and Fridays’

‘I Cry on Tuesdays and Fridays’

Moms are still primal screaming their hearts out.

By Jessica Grose

Michelle Pasos, 46, describes herself as someone who has “always been extremely healthy.” That is until the pandemic, when she ended up in the emergency room because she had a bad reaction to a drug prescribed to bring down her elevated blood pressure.

Managing work and caring for her 7-year-old daughter had left Ms. Pasos exhausted and medically vulnerable. So when the hospital gave her the option of going home and monitoring herself, or staying an extra night, she chose to stay. It was the first time she had felt calm in a year.

“I’m watching HGTV, feeling very relaxed,” said Ms. Pasos, who lives in Atlanta. “It almost felt like a time I needed to spend by myself. It’s been a year of virtual learning and having everybody around, it’s very overwhelming.”

“I didn’t even want to leave the hospital.”

Ms. Pasos is one of hundreds of people who have called into our Primal Scream phone line since the eponymous series, which explored the emotional and economic pressures on a generation of moms, published in early February. Since then, a major stimulus package that could provide a boost to American families — the nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan — has been signed into law, and the latest jobs reports show that mothers have been returning to the workforce. I wanted to check in with experts, and with the moms living through this time, to see if conditions had improved since we did our original reporting.

The short answer? Though there is additional federal support to families, more Americans are vaccinated every day and job loss is not quite as dire as it was in the early days of the pandemic, unemployment claims remain higher than they were in previous economic crises. And moms are still not OK.

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