Single parenting through the pandemic

Single parenting through the pandemic

Juggling household chores, office calls and online classes can be a tough task. Metrolife spoke to three mothers on how they do the balancing act

Representative image.

The pandemic has been stressful for single parents. Forget taking a break from household responsibilities and managing children, these mothers dread to hire external help fearing the pandemic.

Metrolife spoke to three single mothers on how they are coping during tough times.

Time management has been the biggest challenge for a single parent during this time, says Heena Tabassum, 28.

With everything happening at the same time, it is difficult to manage and set aside time for herself and her kids, says the former teacher. "I had to work from home, help my kids with online classes, and also breastfeed my toddler at the right time. An extra pair of hands would definitely help," she adds.

Grocery shopping seemed harder than ever. "Although, we find most things online, some basic items have to be sourced from the local store. Most times, I had to ask my kids to keep their doors locked. I would keep a tab on them via video when I went on errands," she explains. 

"This pandemic gave us the feel of being a single parent because until then, we had the school teacher, the nanny or the house keeper filling small portions of our life," says Heena. Now, the meaning of being a single parent has expanded as parents are forced to play all roles for kids, she says.

The pandemic has made her daughter grow "over-attached" to her, says Jasmin Devadurai, 30. "I'm worried that my daughter will experience separation anxiety when things go back to normal and there is nothing we can do about it," adds the corporate employee.

Her daughter is a kindergartener and too young to understand the ongoing pandemic situation. "I had to use visual tools to explain her (the situation) so she could be more cooperative with me, explains Jasmin.

Things are easier when both parents are around, she says. "With two parents, the kids get to learn from two individuals with two different perspectives. But for a child with a single parent, they do not get diverse opinions to interpret (a situation), which can hinder their growth."

However, the situation was different for Manjula, who had the help of her parents and adolescent son.

"My son and I learnt a lot about each other during this pandemic. My son respects me more than ever. He sees me working hard to give him the life that he has," says the 38-year-old operations specialist.

"I'm blessed to have supportive parents because I know how difficult it can get. I respect all the single parents out there. Taking care of another individual while trying to survive (through the crisis) is not easy," she says.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox