Sunday, 25 July 2021

Mum: Your Family Needs You to Take a Break!

Mothers are bearing the brunt of the pandemic in most households, resulting in mental health issues. Hence, they must rest and refresh for the sake of their families.

Various studies show that mothers are bearing the greatest impact from the pandemic in most households. YouGovAmerica cites data from the Yahoo News/You Gov survey in February 2021, which shows that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the mental health of mothers. Among mothers in general, 59 percent experienced worsened overall mental health, with increased depression and anxiety. Among mothers with children under 18, 64 percent felt more depressed and anxious during the pandemic.

Various Issues Challenging Mothers in the Pandemic

UCS Healthcare cites the different crisis scenarios that women have to confront during the pandemic. It is difficult enough to be a new mother, learning as you go through the difficulties of caring for a baby. During the pandemic, new mothers lose the possibility of outside help from family and friends.

They also miss out on socializing with others and feel isolated at home with their partner and the baby. They feel anxious about the kind of world they have brought their baby into. Single mothers have even more difficulties without the help of a partner. Having to make decisions alone about their child is also more stressful.

Stay-at-home mums suddenly have to take on the role of teachers for their children who are under distance learning. If they have several children, this task becomes even more daunting. This is on top of all their usual household chores.

Women who lost their jobs and now have to stay home are under extreme stress from the loss of income. They have to make do with their partner's income and ensure that bills are paid and that there is food for the family. They must still keep themselves composed enough to help with their children's distance learning. Some women voluntarily resigned from their jobs because they have to take care of the children studying from home. They have the same stressors as those who lost their jobs.

Grandmothers who previously spent a lot of time with their grandchildren will be suffering from sudden separation and isolation. They are also facing high risk if infected with Covid-19, another major source of anxiety.

What Mothers Must Do

Mothers need to prevent mental health deterioration because this will negatively affect their families, especially their children. As a caregiver, it is your primary responsibility to take care of yourself to continue caring for those who rely on you.

Do not take on everything by yourself. If you live with a partner, agree on a division of tasks. If you are both working or one of you is working, schedule tasks around your respective work schedules but ensure that the distribution is equitable. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your children, as well. If they were not doing tasks before, this is an opportunity to train them.

If you are a single new mother living alone with your baby, do not attempt to be Superwoman doing everything perfectly. Prioritise and do only what is most necessary. Get as much sleep as possible when your baby is asleep and resist the temptation of using that time to do tasks. Doing self-care before sleeping is good, such as taking a leisurely bath. Remember that your baby is dependent on you and your well-being.

Set aside time for yourself and allow yourself little luxuries, even just an inexpensive new makeup brush set. Do your skincare and put on makeup for a video call with your friends. Keeping your social connections active is necessary to your mental and emotional health. Do what makes you happy during this me-time. That could mean watching a movie online, reading a book, playing video games, meditating, or working out.

Set aside time for family fun daily. Your partner and your children are stressed out, too. This will give everyone relief and strengthen your bonds. It can be as short as an hour, but it will be something that everyone can look forward to every day.

Finally, seek help if you feel that your mental health issues are more than you can handle. Look for free virtual consultations online. A professional can help you navigate this difficult time. It will not only benefit you but your family, as well.

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