(BPT) - Fall is here, and with it comes the anticipation of pumpkins, cooler temperatures, and for many, the start of classes. But let’s be honest: The COVID-19 pandemic means this fall is unlike any other in memory, and as a parent, you may be suddenly juggling your new roles of part-time remote teacher, IT technician and cafeteria chef along with your normal work responsibilities. The physical, mental, and for some, financial toll of this arrangement has left many feeling exhausted and stressed.
In fact, MetLife’s recent study on mental health found that having kids at home or no access to childcare or in-person schooling is the biggest single source of stress for parents of kids under 12 (52%) after fear of contracting the virus or a friend/family member contracting the virus (66%). Compounded by rising financial anxieties from possible financial setbacks, many parents are looking to benefits provided by their employer during open enrollment — the period of time wherein U.S. employees can make changes to their health insurance coverage and enroll in other insurance benefits — to build financial strength and help prepare for the unexpected.