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To the moms working on the front lines in the pandemic – Happy Mother’s Day

Posted in Community, Featured

Published on May 10, 2020 with No Comments

Ever stop and think about how many moms are working on the front lines during the coronavirus outbreak? Many of the women working as doctors, nurses, cleaners, grocery store clerks and mail carriers have another really important job — taking care of their kids. And they’re working right through the pandemic, even if that means putting themselves at risk of catching COVID-19. For many, the whole situation is putting a slightly different spin on Mother’s Day this year. When she isn’t working for the RCMP in Yellowknife, Cpl. Sally Mackinnon is looking after her three kids on her own. “She risks her life every day just to keep everyone else safe,” said her 14-year-old son, Drew. “It’s a little nerve-wracking.” But somebody has to be brave enough “to deal with the bad guys,” said younger brother Bret, 11, even in the midst of a pandemic. And when she’s off the job, Mackinnon manages to keep things fun, said eldest daughter Briar, 16. “You can always crack jokes with her,” she said. As for Mackinnon, she said the coronavirus outbreak has helped her appreciate “what’s really important,” including the family’s nightly Scrabble games. Anja Balharry has been helping her fellow front-line workers throughout the pandemic by looking after their kids at the Discovery Children’s Centre in Winnipeg. She said she feels strongly that it’s important to do her part, but admits it’s been a stressful time. “You tend to worry a little bit and wonder: Could this be the day that a case [of COVID-19] comes in?”Long hours means she doesn’t get to spend as much time as she’d like with her 15-year-old daughter, Bailey Balharry. That’s “been hard,” the Grade 10 student said. As a family of two, Bailey said, she and her mom “have such a close relationship.” It’s tough knowing that her mom could be exposed to the coronavirus at work, she said.Despite all that, Bailey said she’s “very proud” of her mom for stepping up to help. As an associate scientist at a Winnipeg biopharmaceutical company that makes medicines, Aynslie Wall has been working right through the pandemic. She was able to find child care for her kids, ages seven and four, but juggling everything in this strange time has been tough.Wall said at one point she felt so overwhelmed she started to cry. That’s when seven-year-old Liam stepped in. “I came and I got my baby brother and we gave her hugs,” he said.“I have the best kids in the world,” Wall said. They’ve been “so good through all of this.” She said they helped her realize something important. “I’m not a superhuman. I can’t do it all. It’s time to cut myself some slack.”Even given all that pressure, Liam said his mom still manages to find the time to help him with his math homework.


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