Naomi Watts reveals the challenges of parenting in the pandemic as a single mom

Naomi Watts’ struggles as a single mother in the pandemic raise an important question about society's treatment of working women.

Actress Naomi Watts attends the Giorgio Armani women's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection fashion show, on February 23, 2019 in Milan. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo credit shou
(Image credit: (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images))

Naomi Watts opened up about her parenting struggles in the pandemic in a virtual interview on Kelly and Ryan Live. 

Naomi Watts spoke for mothers worldwide when she admitted to finding the homeschooling experience difficult — and brought to light the challenges facing millions of women during this difficult time. 

"It's not been super easy, especially in the beginning," Naomi said. 

The British actress, a single mother to two sons who are 12 and 13, has had to navigate the obstacles of remote learning without the support of a partner. She was particularly stressed by homeschooling's technical demands, having revealed her bad luck with computers in a previous Instagram post. 

"I was on my own trying to operate these websites and it was not easy," she said. 

Naomi's children are currently engaged in "hybrid learning," attending school two days a week and learning from home the rest of the time. 

However, she admits she hasn't exactly embraced the role of a substitute teacher. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the Oscar-nominated actress revealed she wasn't the most academic student growing up. While she enjoyed French and English, Naomi found the less artistic subjects much more challenging. 

“I was terrible at math and terrible at most of it actually,” she said. 

Naomi is far from the only mother at war with unreliable Wi-Fi and baffling textbooks. The pandemic has placed immense pressure on women all over the country, inflating their already swollen workload with the added responsibility of home-schooling and childcare. 

Now shouldered several unpaid jobs at home, many women are no longer able to maintain their professional lives. Women have lost 5.4 million jobs since last March, according to the National Women’s Law Center. 

The workforce has seen a permanent loss of 2.1 million women since last February. These women are not planning on returning to employment any time soon — not because they want to be unemployed, but because they need to be. With childcare costs sky high and schools shut, many have no alternative but to quit their jobs to stay at home. 

Women between 25 and 44 are three times more likely to be out of work due to childcare demands than men in the same age bracket. The importance of affordable childcare has been thrust into the forefront of public discourse in recent months, with experts warning that a failure to address this issue could be devastating for women in the workforce. 

"It's an impossible task," said C. Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a Washington, D.C. "Until we can figure out care, until we can figure out how to open the schools, you can just hang it up...for many women."

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.