Daniella Knight called it “tag-team parenting.” She worked part time at a property-management company during the day while her husband took care of their three children — 3, 5 and 9 years old. She took over during his 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift as a litigation data analyst. After kissing the children good night, she worked her second job as a pediatric sleep consultant.
“We were already barely making it,” Ms. Knight said. But she thought she could temporarily put up with the exhaustion and stress so they could save enough to stop renting in Alexandria, Va., and buy a house with more than one bathroom.
The coronavirus pandemic added full-time home-schooling to their load. She stopped going to the small property-management office during the day to avoid contagion, instead driving there at night when it was less crowded or empty.
“Mom and Dad were at the end of our ropes, beyond exhausted,” she said. “I started to have panic attacks.”
Then, in June, her husband was laid off. He applied for unemployment insurance, Ms. Knight said, but “we have not gotten one dollar.”
Her husband found another job, working for the government, but has to wait six to eight weeks for his security clearance.
“We still have to pay our bills, our utilities, our rent, everything,” she said. The monthly cost of their health care alone is $1,600, which they had to tap their savings to pay, and they are counting on the unemployment benefits to kick in. “We can’t get by with another two months without that,” Ms. Knight said.