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Caring for Each Other: The Jones Family

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Kathleen Jones is a single mother who works over 40 hours a week from home. Due to pandemic-related daycare closures, she is now also the full-time caregiver to her 3-year-old son, Gabriel. Her role as caregiver often takes precedence, pushing her own mental wellness and rising anxieties about work and finances to the backburner.

A 32-year-old woman lies in her 4-year-old son's small red bed reading him a book before bed.

Photo by Nicky Quanmina-Woo for Pivotal Ventures

Single mother Kathleen Jones, 32, reads a bedtime story to her son Gabriel, 4, at their home in Washington, D.C. When he began to experience separation anxiety at bedtime, Kathleen decided to give Gabriel more autonomy over his routine, hoping it might give him a sense of control. He now gets to choose which three books his mother will read to him, as well as the location where the reading will take place, and bedtime goes more smoothly as a result.

A 32-year-old woman cups her hand around her 4-year-old son's head as she holds him close.

Photo by Nicky Quanmina-Woo for Pivotal Ventures

Kathleen and Gabriel hug in their living room. Kathleen works from home for the U.S. Patent office for 40 hours a week. In the early stages of the pandemic, with daycare and nursery schools closed, she was also Gabriel’s full-time caregiver and playmate. Each night, after putting him to bed, Kathleen would work for a few more hours before turning her attention to chores like cleaning, ordering groceries, washing dishes, and laundry. She would get five or six hours of sleep before another day.

A 32-year-old woman drags a stroller up a flight of stairs while carrying a bag.

Photo by Nicky Quanmina-Woo for Pivotal Ventures

Kathleen drags a stroller up a flight of stairs while carrying a bag of toys to the second floor apartment that she shares with her son, Gabriel.

A 32-year-old woman sits at her desk in a dark room, her face lit up by the glow of her computer screen.

Photo by Nicky Quanmina-Woo for Pivotal Ventures

Kathleen attempts to chip away at the growing pile of work for her employer, the U.S. Patent Office, after putting Gabriel, to bed. With Gabriel home all day during the pandemic, Kathleen splits her time and attention between simultaneous full-time jobs: her paid work and taking care of her son. Staying on top of her day job often means working late into the evening. 

A 32-year-old woman holds a thermometer up to her 4-year-old son's ear.

Photo by Nicky Quanmina-Woo for Pivotal Ventures

Kathleen checks Gabriel’s temperature with an ear thermometer at their home in Washington, DC.

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