- Dr. Preeti Parakh, Head – Mpower: The Centre, Kolkata & Psychiatrist
The pandemic has been tough for everyone and has affected each and every aspect of our lives. But it has been especially stressful for mothers who have to cope with a myriad of problems like home-schooling of children, having to supervise kids all through the day, working from home, running the household often without household help, and so on. It is even more difficult for families with financial pressures due to job losses.
For a mother in these difficult times, it might appear that there are so many responsibilities that it is impossible to do anything right. But it is important to remind ourselves that this is a unique situation that none of us have ever faced before in our lives. We need to relax, take things easy and think of ways to beat the stress. Here are some tips that might be useful.
- Establishing a routine for everyone in the family provides a structured environment for the children and reduces the stress of parents. Maintaining regular timings for meals, sleep, exercise, games and studies can help children adjust to the new normal and also ensure that mothers can get their chores done while children are busy elsewhere.
- Explaining Covid appropriate behavior and precautions to children clearly and patiently will help ensure their compliance and reduce the pressure on the mother of keeping everyone safe. It is also important to practice the same so that children learn by example.
- Connecting with other mothers helps form a support system. Sometimes just talking to someone who is facing the same problems makes one feel lighter. Connecting with the child’s teachers can also be helpful.
- Mothers need to tactfully discipline the children when they misbehave. A child throwing tantrums can be extremely stressful for a mother who has a hundred things to do. Sometimes just ignoring bad behavior helps. Distracting the child with some other activity can also help. Good behavior should always be appreciated as it motivates children.
- Shared family activities like playing indoor games, cooking or gardening together can be very relaxing. This can improve family bonding and reduce stress levels for everyone in the family.
- Ensure the involvement of the father in parenting and share the responsibilities with him.
- Last but not the least, find some time for yourself. Use it to do activities that are enjoyable and relaxing. Take care of your health, eat and sleep on time and exercise regularly. After all, what is good for children is also good for their mothers.