‘The children, the family, the household, and myself, these made the quarantine up for me, and I was really happy with it’ – positive evaluations of the first COVID-19 lockdown among middle-class Hungarian mothers

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Somogyi, Nikolett
Nagy, Beáta
Geambașu, Réka
Gergely, Orsolya
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During the first COVID-19-related lockdown in the spring of 2020, working parents of young children were in difficult situation when having to manage the multiple burdens. In the studied societies, unpaid household tasks are considered to be primarily female responsibilities, intensive mothering ideals are widespread, and the access to flexible-work arrangements is marginal. In present study, we demonstrate how the above characteristics, created a context, in which – despite the difficulties – participants could evaluate this period overall positively during the first lockdown. Fifty-two interviews were conducted with partnered Hungarian mothers living in Hungary and in Transylvania (Romania), in May–June 2020. Since the home-sphere became the main scene of life during the lockdown, women’s caregiving role has increased in worth. Performing it well provided them an increased wellbeing benefit, and it helped them to evaluate the lockdown period positively. They appreciated having the longed-for opportunity to telework, which enabled enacting intensive mothering in a better accordance with social expectations than before the pandemic.
COVID-19 járvány , távmunka , anyaság , női munka
Journal of Family Studies Paper: First online 27 Jul 2022 , 19 p. (2022)