Surviving motherhood amid Covid-19


We observe and celebrate May as the month of mothers.

It is at this time that we acknowledge all the mothers in the world and honor them for all the sacrifice, strength and support they offer especially to their families. There is no better time to talk about this than during this time of the pandemic.

Being a mom is already a challenge, but most notable is how it plays out at the present time.

Many, like me, juggle work and mommy duties with the current quarantine set-up — a scenario unimaginable more than a year ago.

When I work from home, I am faced not only with my job assignments but concurrently tasked with chores mostly pertaining to my kids. These include setting up their tablets/laptops for their online classes, looking for and searching every nook and cranny/the best area in the house for good internet connection, monitoring whether they are really listening to class discussions or doing something else (watching YouTube or chatting with their classmates on the side), to tutoring/guiding them with their modules and asynchronous activities. These, among other quarantine issues I tackle, like cabin fever which affects kids’ mental health.

Whenever I report physically for work or when assigned on remote, heaven knows the kind of safeguarding and protection I do — from constant handwashing, alcohol spraying, wearing mask and shield, to literally measuring the distance of the person next to me just to ensure I will not carry the virus when I get home.

Then, upon arriving at our place, l spend more precious time disinfecting myself before I finally hug and kiss my family.

The undertaking does not stop there. In my free time, I have to watch the games, music videos and K-dramas my kids frantically support lest I get mislaid not knowing the latest with Roblox, Blank Pink and BTS and be perceived as a fogey for them.

All these, of course, will not be as manageable were it not also for the support of my equally equipped and reassuring spouse, who always comes to the rescue when there are so many things on my plate, as well as other members of the family who watch and monitor the kids when we are not around. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child — or something to that effect.

QUEENIE’S children: Ysabelle, Maxene, Raphael and Gabriel.

I am certain that most mothers can relate and have a similar experience, if not more adventures and tasks than what I have shared. The word multitasking is not something unusual but is actually normal for many of us. This is what wonder moms, as some have coined it, typically do on a regular basis.

The duties and responsibilities of mothers have always been gargantuan, but double or triple that, at this time. Not only do you think of the needs and welfare of the family now, but also have to be conscientious of the fact that this Covid-19 virus should not surreptitiously enter our homes.

I would love to impart many more stories, but one of my kids just sent a signal that the kiddo wants to go to the loo. So there, I need to wrap up at this point since this mommy needs to report for duty, again.

To all mothers out there and those who act as one, cheers! We have survived and continue to thrive — pandemic or not — not only because we have to, but we want to, not just for us, but foremost for our children and family because that is our purpose; and that is what we are.###

*The author, a mother of four (Ysabelle, Maxene, Raphael and Gabriel), is an Assistant Secretary in the Communications Department of the Philippine government.

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