New study shows disadvantaged Aussie mums are doing it tough during COVID

Photo Getty Images
Photo Getty Images 

A new study into the impact of COVID-19 on disadvantaged Australian mums has found they are doing it extremely tough.

The research showed that almost a third of the mums surveyed experienced job or income loss, and four in 10 experienced family stress over an eight-month period during the pandemic. 

Nearly half of all mums who were already experiencing adversity before the pandemic (40 per cent) admitted that the difficulty of managing children's at-home learning, lead to increased family stress.

Changes in contact with family and friends, and difficulties managing usual duties were also proving stressful for families already at risk of financial hardship.

The study by Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) alongside The University of Melbourne, Deakin University, Western Sydney University and Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, found restrictions were not just impacting mums but also their children.

"Changes in family interactions and worries about infection", were noted as a primary concern for parents and children.

Self-quarantine was identified as another experience that directly contributed to overall family stress.

"The financial and social impacts of Australia's public health restrictions have substantially affected families experiencing adversity, and their mental health", the study concluded. 

"Unless the financial and social consequences of lockdown are addressed, the inequities arising from adversity are likely to be exacerbated by this crisis."

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Many Aussie parents have opened up about the impact state lockdowns and restrictions are having on their family's wellbeing. 

Sydney mum Sandy Golder recently wrote an open letter to politicians, highlighting the damage that lockdown was having on families with special needs kids.

She said these families "were hanging on by a thread" and pleaded for support.

"My daughter is getting traumatised, kids across the state and country are being traumatised, families are at breaking point mentally, emotionally, physically and financially," she wrote.

On a positive note, many families who were surveyed also reported experiences of family resilience during this difficult time.

Families have come together to find effective ways of coping with the stress, and were making it a priority to provide support to fellow families in their community.