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Parenting is a roller coaster ride even in the best of situations. Coupled with the challenges of a pandemic, the questions and insecurities related to parenting reaches a new height.
S says: Lately pandemic is all I can think about. You might think it would have gotten old by now but it has been here for more than a year after all. Yet every day brings more news… I keep scanning for good news, but there just isn’t anything.
At least here in India, the situation gets grimmer and grimmer every day. Those of us, lucky enough to be able to be stuck at home instead of having to venture out for work every day, moan and groan how boring and tedious every day is. The sameness is getting to all of us.
I can’t help but compare our situation to World War 2 when Anne Frank (and others like her) were forced into hiding…unable to leave their houses for years… At least there are no air raids and bombings where we are. Then they say the third wave is coming…it has echoes of the Third Reich.
I don’t know…maybe I am being overdramatic. But it seems no less than a war against an invisible enemy.
And then there’s my daughter growing up in the middle of all this. She watches too much TV, and I let her do it. She plays too many computer games, and I let her play.
She asks for pizza way too many times, just to break the monotony and I let her eat. At night as she sleeps, I worry if being home all day just with adults, is the light in her eyes slowly getting dimmer?
How will she adjust with other kids when the time comes? With all the online learning she is doing, is anything really sinking in? What memories will she carry of this strange time when she grows up? Tell me R, am I worrying too much? Will the kids be all right once this blows over?
R says: The optimist in me S, is always tempted to say that it will all be fine; and that challenges always bring about important learning which we can’t imbibe otherwise.
Difficult times sharpen facets of one’s personality which might get rusted otherwise.
After all, there could not have been a Gandhi or an Anne Frank without enduring what they did.
However this time around, I see that optimist has questions every now and then. The ‘invisible enemy’ has brought about fear; fear of human interaction.
Fear of physical proximity with other people. For the little time my son went to school in the past year, he used to say that they are not allowed to ‘sing’ the National Anthem.
More chances of the virus spreading. Now that he is back to online school, and when the teacher plays ‘O Canada’ he refuses to sing.
And that’s when I wonder, that, will this pandemic leave with serious dents in our mental and emotional health, even when it is long behind us.
For years up to March 2020, I had successfully kept him away from the screen, engaged him enough with activities that he never missed one per se. And now, the amount of time he spends in front of a phone or a tablet for non-school stuff, would give the pre-pandemic me an anxiety attack.
However, now, I just let him be. My consolation is, there are bigger things to worry about. During the pre-COVID-19 period, there was a list of activities that he had to do; he had to be enrolled for and so on.
Now, the two of us spend hours sometimes singing songs on the Karaoke app, just because there is nothing else to do. Kids are resilient they say; they don’t lose the light in their eyes that easy. However, aren’t they impressionable too?
Will this lack of hope and constant fear rub them the wrong way, for the rest of their lives? We don’t know and can’t tell as this entire situation is a first for us, first for them. And yes, thank goodness we don’t have air raids and bombings S, and nor are we in ‘concentration camps.’ Nonetheless scenes and snippets of the movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ always run through my head and as much as we can, we try to make it fun and peppy in the house. Keep the vibes as positive as we can…
Image source: An image from Pexels
We are an author duo who love writing together. We have written a couple of books together, Tete a tete with R&S and Anu and Isha. read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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