Academic mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stressors, strains, and challenges in adapting to work-life enmeshment


  • Chang Su Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, Brandon University.
  • Tsorng-Yeh Lee Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University
  • Gordon Flett Professor, Department of Psychology, LaMarsh Centre for Child & Youth Research Canada, Research Chair in Personality & Health, Faculty of Health, York University



Stress, Enmeshment, Strain, COVID-19, Adaptability, Perfection, Mothers, stress, professors


The COVID-19 pandemic had numerous unexpected impacts on academic mothers around the world. In the current article, the challenges being faced by academic mothers during the pandemic are illustrated based on recently published peer-reviewed and grey articles. The enmeshment of work and family life and the lack of separation from work increases the possibilities of significant professional challenges and possible mental health and physical health problems. Specific themes are highlighted, including strains of learning new technologies for online teaching, increasing workload, and household chores, barriers to scholarly productivity, insufficient support from institutions, loneliness due to disconnection, and pursuing perfection. The need for adaptability is also highlighted. This article also provides some institutional recommendations designed to support various academic mothers in increasing their empowerment, adaptability, and resilience, when they are facing the enmeshment of work and life. Given that the pandemic is continuing and now clearly represents a prolonged stress sequence, it is essential that academic mothers develop and utilize positive resources in order to limit the impact on their personal and professional lives.


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How to Cite

Su, C., Lee, T.-Y. ., & Flett, G. . (2022). Academic mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stressors, strains, and challenges in adapting to work-life enmeshment. INYI Journal.