But trying to figure out this school year for her 7-year-old daughter, Ava? That almost broke her.
“Any time we brought it up over the summer, I would burst into tears. I couldn’t even handle thinking or talking about it,” said Devor, 36, of Point Breeze.
What pained her was the sense that the school district seemed to have no plan. “I thought the only way I could take some control over the situation was to be home and help navigate it,” she said.
Her husband, Tivoni, switched his schedule so she could have Fridays to launch a new voter-engagement nonprofit, Better Civics.
Even so, Devor said, “The stress just shifts. We’re running out of coping mechanisms. Our bodies and our brains are only equipped to handle so much, and without an end date, I don’t think this is sustainable.”
For other women, it seems there’s no choice except to persist.
One is Tamika Diggs, a 44-year-old mother of three who, like about half of parents in Philadelphia, is on her own. Her sons’ father died in 2016.
Before the pandemic, she was managing — even planning a two-week trip to Japan, her first time on an airplane. Now, she said, “It’s had me at the breaking point.”
She works nights as a concierge at a luxury apartment building. She finishes her shift at 3 a.m., then Ubers home to West Philadelphia. When her alarm goes off, after an hour and a half of sleep, it feels like an assault.