Resources for NYC Moms
The pandemic has been brutal for working women, the group hit the hardest in the last year. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a gender equality advocate as well as ONE.org France director, has said that the Covid-19 pandemic has left “women rendered invisible” and has “significantly worsened” their living conditions according to an article this past November in ONE.org.
In their yearly workplace report, LeanIn.org stated, “Covid-19 has disrupted the workplace in ways we’ve never seen before.” For many mothers, work, aka money, helps keep the home together. In September, 865,000 working women left or lost their workplace positions within one month. By December, 140,000 more jobs were lost for women. A report from LeanIn.org shared that due to COVID-19, two million women were considering leaving their jobs. The report also shared that “Women, in particular, have been negatively impacted, and three groups are facing distinct challenges: mothers, senior-level women, and Black women.”
While we have a long road ahead with workplaces (hopefully) using this historic pandemic to learn how to accommodate the working mother better, let’s focus on where we are now. We know there are mothers out there who need a bit of a lifeline. Whether it is knowing of a great site to design a resume, a local state source that may help with childcare, or simply a place where you can go for some extra pantry items for the home — we have a few tools and resources for NYC moms that will help.
Let’s be honest, so many of us haven’t sent a resume in years while others are sending it by the hundreds. But a professional resume is key and to get one right sometimes takes money. When I had to get my resume done a bit ago, I used a free template and called in some favors. I asked one friend to do a brutal edit (she didn’t hold back, I cried and basically had to redo it) and another to check that new draft. In the end, my resume only cost the few dollars it took to print it as most resumes are sent digitally, although, you should always bring a print version to your interview.
For up-to-date templates, go to Canva, there are many free templates, and if you would like one of the more ‘fancy’ designs, there are paid options. I like this template — you can give that prospective employer a blast of color, along with simplicity, and a touch of creativity.
If you have seen your finances drastically cut during this pandemic and require childcare, you may want to see if you qualify for low-cost or free daycare via EarlyLearn NYC for children 6 weeks to 4 years old. Eligibility is based on your family’s income, size, and needs. Although applying for a free or low-cost daycare is not a fast process, I know mothers who applied and could get the help they needed for their families.
Learning Bridges is a free resource/program started specifically to support parents while their kids (3-K through 8th grade) were in remote learning. I, like many parents, found myself needing care for my 4-year-old on some of his remote days, which was every day. I applied and about three months later received a placement at a nearby school that had a great academic program. While I ended up declining the spot, my son had since gone back to in-person learning, I really appreciated knowing this program exists for working, stay at home and job-seeking parents.
SNAP, or Food Stamps
The first option is SNAP, more commonly known as Food Stamps. This is a federal program that provides low- and no-income people the means to purchase food.
This food assistance program covers the basic food products and creates steady support that allots money based on income and number of family members.
To see if you qualify in the state of New York and apply, please visit ny.gov/services/apply-snap.
For more Food Support visit our Food and Assistance Programs for New York Families.
New York has a whole system of food banks throughout the city. Since Covid, they have switched to a “grab and go” method to minimize exposure for the volunteers and patrons.
To find a food bank closest to you, please visit this foodbanknyc.org/get-help/
They also have a mobile food bank operating this February. For more information on that and where it will be headed, please visit foodbanknyc.org/get-help.
Known by several different names, free and communal fridges have popped up around the city. Run by volunteers, it is an endeavor built entirely on trust.
People can take what they want or leave what they want. Restaurants are encouraged to donate to mitigate food waste while simultaneously helping their fellow New Yorkers. Again, people are encouraged to take this food at absolutely no cost.
While fridges tend to pop up randomly in neighborhoods (so keep a lookout ) please check out @thefriendlyfridge on Instagram for a current list and map of community fridges.
Mom Groups That Support YOU
Every mom knows that group or resource is for them as soon as they check out their site or IG. They are your people, your tribe. Here are 4 resources that truly have you and your best interest in all that they share.
A group, unlike the usual mom meetups, Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) offers support and a stigma-free digital space with a community of mothers from all over the world. This is a safe space where you can express anything on motherhood via Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) popular Instagram Stories, which offers mothers the ability to do so anonymously if they choose.
Known as the “TED talks of the parenting world,” Mindr is an amazing resource for mothers’ webinars and resources, especially mothers with a low income and a minority disadvantage. Mindr promotes impactful employee communities, women’s networks, Black professional alliances, working parent circles, Pride communities, and groups recognizing and celebrating many other diversity dimensions and shared experiences. I like to think of it as that source that 100 percent has your back.
Founder Neha launched Mother Untitled as a resource for mothers who step away from the work-life to focus on family life. Something that many women have decided to do during this pandemic. Neha shares her personal narrative and shared stories on the ambitious women who choose to lean into their families. This is a great site and IG to follow for parenting ideas as well as encouragement and inspiration without forgetting you, the mother.
This site focuses on providing tools to the hard-working mother. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that we are exhausted. Mother Honestly provides helpful resources and support. Free membership includes 50+ hours of keynotes & panels, Community Hub, other like-minded moms, job boards, live streams, digital sessions, and resources. This resource is for the working mother and the mother who is putting a pause on work-life, something many women are doing during this pandemic.
If you own an Android and are looking to document what you are grateful for this year, then you may want to try Presently. This free app (and ad-free, whoo hoo) lets you record daily entries as well as jot down past gratitudes. As busy parents know, it is easy to drop off from self-care; you can set helpful daily reminders to keep your practice going. It will also nudge you to share your thoughts by presenting you with an array of questions that get the brain and heart reflecting. You can treat Presently as your personal diary and keep your entries to yourself or share them with others. The app allows you to import and export entries.
Additional reporting: Patrick Delaney