This article originally appeared in the Rewire News Group May 2021 Special Edition, "Reinventing Motherhood." | May 4, 2021 Blog Post

Read the full article here.


Pregnancy is a crash course on strategic thinking and decision-making. I know this because I am a mom who has previously had an abortion. Both were parenting decisions that I fortunately got to make for myself.

However, deciding when to parent is just one piece of the reproductive choice conversation. My motherhood journey has thrust me into the fragile world of parenting, where public policy limits, and sometimes outright denies, the options parents have to raise their families in comfort and with dignity.

The start of the pandemic coincided almost exactly with the end of my parental leave. At first, I didn’t mind the virtual work environment the pandemic forced upon so many of us. I wasn’t ready to leave my small infant in the care of strangers, so it was a benefit that I got to work from home. But, like many parents, as my infant developed into a mobile toddler, I quickly learned two things: Toddlers are curious tiny humans that move very fast, and day care is very expensive.

The first few places I looked into quoted me $700 to $900 per week. My salary was not enough to cover that cost, yet I made too much to qualify for assistance—a harsh reality for many working parents who earn beyond the shockingly limiting parameters for government support. The following few months entailed a pivotal job hunt, enlisting my grandparents as caregivers, and relocation, while also balancing the mom-guilt of having my child start school during the pandemic against the knowledge that socializing is critical for her development and my own ability to work.

I was exhausted. And I wasn’t alone.