Being a mom is freaking hard (that is a technical term). But throw in a global pandemic, a deep recession, and this new mental health crisis called COVID anxiety, and now you have a full-on disaster! Making matters worse, mothers aren’t given much space. York University is hoping to address this problem with a free course on mothering through a global pandemic.

Led by feminist scholar Joanie Cameron Pritchett, Momming Through The Pandemic is a three-week hybrid discussion group and academic class. Taught online, it’s open to all self-identified parents in the York University community – and the best part is absolutely no tuition payments are required!

Under Pritchett’s guidance, attendees will analyze feminist research on how the pandemic is reshaping parents’ lives for the worse; however, they will also have the opportunity to learn about and discuss policies that could improve the lives of children and families as we rebuild our economy. After all, when we learn more about the problems facing our society – and solutions to those problems – we become better advocates for ourselves and for others. 

The curriculum will introduce attendees to the perspectives of activists, artists, and academics. It will also discuss the lived experiences of mothers battling the pandemic around the world. “The featured authors bring a variety of perspectives, including Indigenous, racialized, queer, disabled, and neurodiverse, as well as a variety of professional backgrounds,” explains famed motherhood scholar Andrea O’Reilly, who helped develop the course.

However, this course isn’t just a learning opportunity; it’s a chance to find strength in community. The class description bills itself as “a place for sharing and an opportunity quilt of connection.” In the words of O’Reilly, “The course will provide a space for mothers for these urgently needed conversations to support and empower mothers in the pandemic.” 

As a bonus, everyone enrolled will also receive a free copy of Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19: Dispatches from a Pandemic, a book about the COVID-19 crisis edited by Andrea O’Reilly and her fellow feminist academic, Fiona Joy Green.

While this course caters specifically to York’s community, it’s great to see organizations providing accessible spaces for parents to learn and vent. Let’s hope other institutions follow suit. With so many obstacles facing my fellow moms these days, it’s nice to see us get some support!

Momming Through The Pandemic will start on May 13th and runs until June 21st. Please email by May 7th to register.