EP04- The Impact of COVID-19 on Mom-Run Businesses

In this episode of the social media Therapy podcast Alli and Sarah discuss the impact COVID-19 had on their lives as moms and business owners and their perceived understanding of how it affected other women in their industry. Overall, the pandemic has shifted the way business online works today and how women see themselves as business owners.

By Sarah Potter & Alli Paolone

February 23, 2021

2020 affected the way working moms perceive their life as mothers and as business owners. The impact wasn’t 100% positive. In fact, according to a report from McKinsey.com, “Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women. This, among other factors, means that women’s employment is dropping faster than average, even accounting for the fact that women and men work in different sectors.” 

In the US, 11.5m women lost their jobs between February and May, compared to 9m men, according to research by the Pew Research Center. On average, 23% of women were more likely than men to lose their jobs, both temporarily or permanently. Despite this, though, many women took charge of this issue and re-wrote their professional lives or pivoted into doing something else entirely–both Alli and I included. 

Before the pandemic, I was successfully working my way back toward the income I had lost when I became ill in 2019 and then March 2020 hit and everything I had planned went out the window. Not only because my clients lost work which then left me without work as well, but because I had to focus my day time on both my kids and keeping them educated. I had no time for work until summer came. By then, I was burnt out. I had spent three straight months teaching kids 9 am – 2 pm, then trying to switch back to working on projects. Even with this “balance” there were more non-working days, than working ones. 

Alli had pivoted back into the 9-5 work force before the pandemic. But by the time March 2020 rolled around, she was jobless. She like many women now without jobs found their way back into the online business world and either picking back up where they left off or starting something entirely new–no easy feat in the wake of 23% more people in the online workforce looking for work from home gigs. I managed two kids with school, she managed three. 

Ask any parent with school-aged children and they’ll all tell you the same thing: 2020 fucking sucked. Last year presented more challenges than anyone asked for or wanted–both mentally and physically. In this week’s episode, Alli and I take time to reflect on how COVID-19 changed the way women work and what the outlook for not just mother affected by COVOID-19, but their children’s prospects too. 

Things we learned while recording this episode: 

  • Isolation left us vulnerable and woke up a lot of trauma
  • Despite the hardships of 2020 on our businesses we were able to pivot and pursue something that gave us more meaning professionally 
  • Other women experienced positive shifts in their careers and began to speak up more about the dramatic inequalities between men and women in the workforce
  • Pivoting is hard and it’s even harder when you are in the midst of a pandemic where you can’t meet with people face-to-face
  • 2020 sucked…royally, but it also forced us to define our roles in our kids’ lives and bring more attention to the shit tons of work we put into our households. 

Key takeaways for listeners: 

  • Ways COVID-19 changed the game for women everywhere
  • Should you post about your kids on your social channels?
  • Should you reveal your emotional struggles on social media?
  • Why are mommy bloggers targeted as being “just moms?”
  • How motherhood affects our businesses
  • Ways to cope with the struggles of running a business and being a parent
  • How to position yourself as an expert–who’s also a mom


Sarah Potter & Alli Paolone

Meet Sarah and Alli, two social media marketing consultants and digital experts who've been foraging their way since the early 2010's. This dynamic duo sasses the social media industry and sets some unspoken rules straight in this podcast on marketing, life, and all the therapy social media marketer workers need. 

"We’re not here to tell you how to do your job, we’re here to validate the shit out of what you’re doing and reinforce the unspoken ground rules of social media workers everywhere," says Sarah–known for her bold and brash approach to social content. 

This podcast is for more than just social media workers too. Social Media therapy is here for everyone worn out and burned by the ever-changing algorithms and forced sense of care about social platforms, and the social media rat race.

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