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How are working mothers coping?

  • Published at 02:15 pm April 27th, 2020
Mother
Photo: BIGSTOCK

The lockdown is particularly challenging for them

As the world grapples with Covid-19, offices across the globe remain empty and phones are silent. While we are holed up in our apartments, work from home has become the trending modus operandi of businesses across the globe. 

The benefits of working from home are countless. To begin with, you don’t need to go out in the early hours of the day, and traffic and bad weather don’t really concern you. Your couch becomes your chair, the coffee table turns into your work station, and your favourite snacks corner becomes your entire pantry. The picture sounds too rosy … doesn’t it? 

However, the case may not be the same for working mothers and wives. This lockdown is particularly challenging for them. They need to cook, clean, and keep their children engaged while also excelling in their work from home tasks. In other words, they have to become a superwoman.

While advice such as “isolate your work area,” “get organized,” and “prioritize your tasks” sound great, in reality, these are next to impossible for a working mother. When children see their parents at home, they want to be with them. And based on my own anecdotal experience, any mother has a tougher time saying no to their children than the father.

I don’t want to give the impression that women cannot be just as efficient and effective working from home as men, because they can and they are. But when people ask me if it’s harder for them, my honest answer is a definite yes.

Her dedicated working space will be invaded by the little beings and will be rampaged with toys and clingy hands. Her children will only understand that mom is at home. Being sorted will be the most difficult thing ever as the children stuck at home are equally agitated. Eventually, the mom in you will give in and take the children in for warm comfortable hugs.

And the list of problems can go on. While this quarantine is Netflix and chill for some, there is a section struggling every day to cope. The act of balancing has become quite challenging amid this work from home culture during this pandemic.

However, amid all the chaos, you have to keep your calm. So ladies, just take care of yourself. Use that extra minute to apply the moisturizer. Make your hair. Wear a nice outfit instead of your PJs. Our mental health should be our first priority.

Sleep. This is the only time you will get to have this much sleep. So ladies, please utilize it. And in case the children are nagging, hand them over to the fathers and move to the next room.

Keep your children close. Work with them fooling around you or having them on your lap. It may make your working hours lengthy, but it will give your inner conflict between the mother and professional a respite.

Children get anxious when they see their parents frustrated. Sustain the calm and enjoyable environment of the house. Laugh with them, play with them. Hug them and, mostly, love them.

Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s okay not to mop the floors everyday. You don’t have to dust the furniture everyday. The house does not need to be as clean as usual. Give yourself that break. It’s already hard doing everything on your own without the army of house-helps that we are normally used to. 

And lastly, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself if you are not being able to feed your children the usual tasty meals. Forgive yourself if you are not meeting deadlines. Forgive yourself for losing your calm. Forgive yourself for not fulfilling your own expectations. And lastly forgive yourself for not doing any of the above. 

Farahnaz Zarrin is a contributor to the Dhaka Tribune.

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