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Single-parenting during COVID-19 is a juggling act 

O'ahu mother details her experience

By: Kaliyah Natividad

15 November 2020

O’ahu mother Nicole Wallace is grateful she can work from home while her daughter attends Kindergarten online. Being a mom, a teacher and a worker is complicated, but Wallace is getting creative and making the most of this quality time.


“It’s very challenging for us as parents because, well the patience. And then it’s not like I’m just home,” Wallace said. 


In 2019, 32% of children in Hawai’i lived in a single-parent household, and 26% had parents that lacked secure employment, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Book. 


Pre-COVID-19, it was a societal norm for children to go to school for most of the day. Now, everything has changed. 


“I’m still working, so it’s like you know my focus is divided between her and work, and some days I’m so busy with work that she doesn’t do her assignments until I’m done with work which is like 4,5 in the evening.”


Wallace’s son is in pre-school which falls under the classification of a day-care and is permitted to remain open. Although, for her daughter, distance learning is the only option.


The single mother explained that her daughter was supposed to start Kindergarten, which is a milestone in a child’s life. 


According to Scholastic, Kindergarten is a place where children can build self-esteem and social and emotional learning skills. 


Since her daughter attended pre-school, she misses the interaction with other kids, and cannot wait to go back to school. 


Online Kindergarten is an interesting concept. 


“This technology was not built for a 5- or 6-year old child,” said Connecticut fifth grade teacher, Mr Dicks, in an article published on Slate. (Dicks, Hersey, Holbrook, Scott)


“You know I’m working, and at that age, you have to be interactive with them. You can’t just be like, ‘go do your assignment,’ you know. So I’m doing Zoom calls for work and stuff while she’s on her zoom calls and she has a question, so I have to hurry up and mute my thing and help her. So it’s been a challenge, but I am grateful I am able to work from home,” Wallace said.


Wallace was unsure if a babysitter would be able to provide her daughter with the same level of support.

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