Working Mothers' Child-Healthcare Hit Hard When Creches, Day-Care Centres Shut Amid Pandemic

P C THOMAS:  National Safe Motherhood Day is observed every year on 11 April to raise awareness about the proper healthcare of women, maternity facilities to pregnant women, safe motherhood and the health issues related to women, childcare task and challenges and so on.

The theme of National Safe Motherhood Day 2020 was “Stay at home during Coronavirus, Keep mother and newborn safe from Coronavirus”. In this year too, I do not know if there would be a better theme than this.

Every woman will admit, this pandemic season not only keeps the pregnant ones at home safe, but the outburst of the pandemic has also compelled crèches and day-care centers to shut their doors. In response, many working women in the nuclear family with their tiny kids are now struggling to balance between household chores and office works with a sudden increase in child care responsibilities. Working women are continually battling, keeping up a balance between their personal and professional lives while at home around their kids in the Covid-19 pandemic. What is more, the situation has hit the women-folk hardest. In an online discussion, one of the working women recently shared her feelings in this way:- “I used to drop off my two-year-old child at a daycare home en route workplace and get him back while returning. This was our everyday practice during the working days until the pandemic broke out. After the pre-schools and childcares were shut down following lockdown, my husband and I are completely befuddled. My husband was forced to choose work-from-home option since I have to attend office now. How can a father be a mother?!  We don’t know how long it can be done.”

Nothing gives a woman more delight than holding her infant in her arms. Yet, for certain working women it is challenging to live fully her motherhood during the continuous flare-up of coronavirus pandemic. Fear, uneasiness and sentiment of vulnerability have gripped them terribly at this difficult time.

Motherhood is not an easy task particularly in the event that you are an employee. The added stress of work can make you depleted of your energy as well as put you in a difficult situation of not having the option to invest enough energy with your kids.

Having professional career makes a woman find her task at home, overwhelming and demanding. This may make her on edge and put her in despair that can even aggravate it. This is very conceivable particularly in the current circumstance when COVID-19 pandemic has constrained all working moms, just like other professionals to work from home.

Women are usually very passionate in whatever they do and they are accustomed to overseeing nearly everything alone. In the present situation, working women find it hard to balance between their commitment to their work and childcare by which they earn for their family and at the same time commitment to care for their children adequately. Under this circumstance, they have no other option but to concentrate on their work, finding an alternate way of dealing with the situation at home with the help of their r relatives who can deal with their children comfortably.

Certainly family is important for everyone. Similarly, the working women who are the light of the family too are important for everyone in the family. So you, working women, you need to take at least 30 minutes daily to spend doing things you would like to do. You can even simply relax and enter into the privacy of yourself away from others. This will help quiet you down, bring down your worries and make you more joyful and satisfied.

This COVID-19 situation, certainly, brought new challenges to safe motherhood.  It means, special attention needs to be paid to prevent and minimize negative consequences of COVID-19, not only for pregnant women but also for every sphere in childcare. Safe motherhood means ensuring all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy together with their children throughout their life.

On the Safe Mother Day, every mother may be inspired by the words of the US Vice-President Kamala Harris: "Women should not have to be presented with false choices that say, “You either have a career or you raise your children.” They should be able to do both! – In spite of challenges!!

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