Coronavirus pandemic shifts more tasks to working mothers

VALENCIA, Calif. (KABC) -- When it comes to multitasking, mothers such as Kara Pourshahmir are taking on even more during the coronavirus pandemic and finding new ways to push through.

Pourshahmir is an operating room nurse at Henry Mayo Hospital in Newhall. Her day can start as early at 4:30 am, preparing for open-heart surgery. It is a meticulous process, especially now.

"In the operating room we could potentially have a patient with COVID, and we definitely could be exposed through intubation or section of the airway," said Pourshahmir.

Potential exposure is a top concern, but there are many more as she heads home from a 12-hour day to her 12-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter.

"Initially I felt extremely overwhelmed, trying to juggle a full time job and home-school two children," Pourshahmir said.

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She had fears about her son falling behind if she didn't stay at home to tutor him. Some of her colleagues had no choice because their children are too young to stay home alone.

But like piecing together a puzzle, the Valencia mom says a way of managing has been coming together. She sets goals for her children, praises them for trying hard and maintains a sense of gratitude. She is aware that many other families face profound hardship. Among her co-workers, she says, there are many unsung heroes including the custodial staff.

"And I know there's people in the hospital that definitely should have more kudos -- housekeeping and the people on the front lines in the ER unit," she said.

She accepts that tasks along the way may get fumbled but says that's not failure.

"And just realize that tomorrow's another day," she said. "And if you didn't get everything great today, you can still make up for it."

Both she and her husband want to be models for their children.

"Maintaining a good example for them that you don't quit when it gets hard," she said.
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