All moms can relate to this, right? The younger your child, the tougher it is if you fall ill. Especially, if you aren’t the wealthy types with nannies and house-helps to handle everything while you get the required rest to recover. Lucky you, if you stay in a joint family where everyone supports and helps each other out or better still, if you have a partner who knows all the basic life skills, including cooking, cleaning and CARING!
The current Covid scenario hasn’t made it any easier with the fear of the virus every single time we moms are down with fever, cold, cough or any symptom remotely pointing towards it. We need to isolate ourselves from our kids until we are certain that we are in the clear.
How many of you have dealt with these questions/worries in your head when sick:
- What if my child contracts fever or cold (any other contagious illness) from me?
- Who will cook for my kid now?
- What and how do I cook for myself and the family now?
- It can’t be Covid, can it be?
- Oh damn, more screen time now!
- What about school/activities/playtime at home with me?
- How do I manage all the chores?
- The baby naps only with me but I can’t touch him/her yet!
- I MISS HUGGING AND KISSING MY BABY!
The list is endless (add yours in the comments and I’ll update it).
What really irritates me is when someone asks me, “Oh you are sick now, so who will cook? The grownups can order from a restaurant but what about the kid’s food?” This question often supersedes the questions that can actually make a mother feel better – “How are you feeling now?” Or “How can I help you?”
C’mon, it’s 2022 and moms are humans too, you know, the species that when sick can heal with love, care, rest and medicines. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), in many Indian households when the husband/kid or any other family member is sick, a wife/daughter-in-law is supposed to cook all healthy meals, soups, cut fruits and what not (which she does willingly, even when not asked for). She cares for them, worries about them and checks on them regularly. Unfortunately, when she is sick, she’s often all by herself and people only want her to get well soon because who will do the chores??? She still does as much as she could, because she just cant sit idle, she’s tuned that way.
So I have a few things to tell each and every person reading this so that the next generation has a better life:
- Cooking, laundry and cleaning are life skills. These are not tasks for women alone. If you have a son or a daughter, teach them the same. You should learn every task you need to be done if you stay all by yourself at any point in your life. Dependency isn’t good. Oh how frustrating it was to see men posting videos of cleaning house or cooking when coronavirus and lockdowns just started!
- For parents of small kids – Please let both boys and girls indulge in pretend play. Kitchen set, dolls and dollhouses, the washing machine toys, cradle toys are for both gender. Every single time you buy these toys for only girls while opting for cars and tool sets for only boys, you are making a contribution towards gender stereotyping.
- Please teach compassion towards all to kids right from a very young age.
- Practice gender equality at home. If a kid sees mom doing certain tasks and dad doing certain different tasks, the kid feels that’s the way it is meant to be.
And more importantly, if you have a sick mom/woman in your family, please care for her, check on her once in a while, tell her that she can relax and not worry about the chores, take care of her. If your friend/colleague is sick, please message and check on them because maybe they are feeling lonely in a house full of people where probably no one cares.
If you are a mom who is unwell, please ask for help, even if you need to ask several times. Please listen to your body and say NO when you must rest. Also, your child is observing you and you don’t want the child to grow up thinking that when a woman is sick, she still needs to do everything.
Stay well. Take care.
Hugs and love,