Mandatory online learning leaves single parents with impossible choice

"A lot of the labor that's taking place right now and over the next two weeks and beyond is going to be disproportionately borne by women."

Every day, Jessy Duncombe has to figure out how to put food on the table, help her two school-aged kids navigate the complexities of online learning, and keep her three-year-old daughter occupied and out of trouble.

And that's all before lunch.

As a single parent with three kids at home all day, there's no way for her to go to work as a chef, she said, so she's been forced to turn down job offers and manage her household on her recovery benefit cheques alone.

"I sometimes feel hopeless, but because I know the kids are looking up to me, I try to keep a smiling face," she said. "I keep a good attitude around them, but when I get by myself, it's like, 'what am I supposed to do?' It's really tough."

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Written by Nicole Thompson
January 9, 2021
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Contributed by the Here For Students Staff
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