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As a working mom - life during COVID

As a Working Mom - Life During COVID

Samantha Desmarais

As many of you know, I've recently moved from Houston, TX to Seattle, WA. Not only am I semi-new to this community, but I'm a semi-new mom, and I'm semi-new to my job. I’m a senior communication manager at Providence located in the Renton, right outside of Seattle. I work on the national public relations team and I have the privilege of highlighting all of the innovative and inspiring work that is being done throughout the Providence family of organizations.

Located in the greater Seattle area, we were among the first in the country to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an unbelievable experience to watch the rest of the country continue to operate as the Pacific North West started to shut down. I’ll never forget receiving the news that our daycare would be closed. The overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety washed over me. How am I going to balance work and care for my one year old daughter? My husband had a very similar reaction and we immediately went into planning mode.

I started digging into the back up childcare programs provided by Providence through Bright Horizons. There was a button for crisis care that I hadn’t seen before. I quickly realized that Providence had secured reimbursements up to $100 a day for the childcare of your choice, which was great since there weren’t any openings at the childcare centers near me. We were able to employ a teacher from our closed daycare.

The reimbursement process has been quick and easy. I’ve told multiple colleagues about this program and I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling to balance work and home right now.

Similar to everyone else, our world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did our work load increase, since I work for a health system and my husband is in supply chain, but our work-life balance had vanished. If we didn’t have back up childcare as an option, my husband and I would be lost. If you’ve ever had a one year old, you will understand the constant need for watchful eye. Since we brought in the back up teacher our daughter has been painting, going on walks, blowing bubbles, working on taking her first steps and reading. My husband and I can focus on providing financial stability for our household while we are still blessed enough to have that responsibility and can focus on play when the work day has ended.

I can’t find the words to explain the relief we felt when we were able to provide care for our child and also able to fulfill our work responsibilities. There is a saying I’ve heard fellow caregivers use, Providence always provides. I can officially say, Providence provided. Providence provided care for my family when all other doors were closed. We are a community and we are all in this together.

Providence has eased my way by providing a way for me to care for my family.