“At night it would hit me,” Marika Lindholm said. Two decades ago, Lindholm was an adjunct sociology professor, and a newly divorced mom of two small kids. “I was teaching issues of the feminization of poverty. I had a nice analytical approach to it, but I didn’t really get it,” Lindholm said of her academic work. When her research on women and economic instability became reality, “I was humbled by the actual experience.”
Lindholm longed for a place to go when the late-night doubts crept in. So, nearly two decades later, she started one: Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere (ESME), a social network for women parenting solo. Now, in those long evening hours when her own doubts used to surface, Lindholm checks up on moms in the group.
Two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, those check-ins have grown increasingly grim. “A lot of moms are scared,” Lindholm said. “Solo moms in general have a fear about leaving their kids, getting sick, and dying. Suddenly those theoretical concerns become super concrete.”