Extensive research suggests that ideal worker and mothering expectations have long constrained academic mothers’ personal and professional choices. This article explores how academic mothers experienced their dual roles amid the unprecedented shift in the work-life landscape due to COVID-19. Content analysis of questionnaire data (n = 141) suggests that academic mothers experienced significant bidirectional work-life conflict well into the fall of 2020. Increased home demands, such as caring for young children and remote schooling, interfered with their perceived capacity to meet ideal academic norms, including a singular focus on work, productivity standards, and their ability to signal job competency and commitment. Likewise, work demands reduced their perceived ability to meet ideal mothering norms, such as providing a nurturing presence and focusing on their children’s achievement. Academic fathers experienced increased demands on their time but primarily described intra-role conflict within the work domain. Despite a pandemic landscape, ideal academic and mothering norms remained persistent and unchanged. The article concludes with implications for policy and practice in higher education.