Source: The Hindu
This pandemic has added one more layer of regular anxiety that every parents face, but experts says there are ways to fulfill aspirations.
Piyush Gugale, and his wife, Neha, were blessed with a baby boy on April 23. Piyush is doing her duty at DNB pune but still haven’t got a chance to cuddle his son and be with neha, while both of them are doing well 143 km away in Ahmednagar, Maharastra. “Inter-district travel is out of the question now. Moreover, given the risk of Coronavirus exposure, I don’t want to take a chance though the choice is so hard,” says the young father.
Anant Mehra and Subhra Mittal welcomed their firdt child on February. They heave a sigh of relief over finally putting behind the sheer “dread” of being in a hospital. “But the uncertainties didn’t end there. I realised that some baby products that were in fact essential for us were not categorised as essential items, rendering it difficult to procure,” he says.
During these pandemic all the new parents, expecting couples as well as parents to toddlers are witnessing a tough time. The anxiety and fear in these circumstances is making it even more difficult.
“The top priority of parents should be health and safety and helping the kids build good immunity”, says Abirami Thiagarajan from a family of industrialists in Madurai who recently welcomed her second child, a girl. “My (elder) son will soon turn two. I feel there will be a lot of restrictions, especially on travel, in the coming months, if not a few years. This may have a negative impact on the emotional and intellectual growth of children,” she says.
Parents who run online business are having a tough time balancing work and home. Being at home they have to take care of their business as well as keep an eye on their children. Anant, who runs an online design brand Krita and Penna (meaning ‘chalk and pencil’ in Swedish), talks about “multi-pronged stressors” young parents face today. “As a parent, questions of stability and sustainability as a self-employed person concern me now, though I prefer to stay optimistic and take things one at a time. For instance, since the lockdown, our domestic help stopped coming. So we have to take care of our baby and get all the household chores done as well, in addition to ensuring the business is kept afloat. Multi-tasking is inevitable. Also, with the ongoing pandemic, there just can’t be any let-up about cleanliness and hygiene,” says Anant, who has been posting quirky anecdotal cartoons on social media on parenting
Psychologists advise parents to stay cautious and careful, rather than being anxious and panicky. “The ideal thing is to continue having a healthy life and lifestyle within the four walls of the home. One way of helping kids get used to certain realities is by slowly integrating preparedness into the set of values,” he says. “Anxiety may only make parents more edgy, inadvertently driving them in incorrect directions, like being overprotective or turning into helicopter parents. This may create a vicious cycle of anxiety,” says Dr Deepak Gupta, Child Psychiatrist, Centre for Child and Adolescent Well Being, Delhi
A good way of battling the stress of multi-tasking as a parent is to “adapt”, aided by careful planning. “In having to navigate by multi-tasking through hectic schedules at the pace of technology, some may lose their emotional anchors. It helps to schedule reminders to briefly tune in to one’s own rhythm — our breath, our heartbeat and even to the rhythm of nature. These can help us modify our pace and stay emotionally stable. Then, physical exercises and practices such as yoga and meditation are also helpful,” says Dr M Nithya Poornima, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.