Being a mother is difficult enough, but being a mother in these extraordinary days of the COVID-19 pandemic is much more difficult.
Mothers have always had many roles to fill, but the financial recession has presented them with unprecedented difficulties. About the severity of the pandemic, they still see the joy in their children.
As a new and expectant mother, Visevono Terhüja Shupao, who is married to an epidemiologist stationed in a remote district of Nagaland, was without her husband. On the eve of Mother’s Day, she tells The Morung Express, “The toughest struggle for me as a mother of an infant in these times is to keep my child safe from the virus.”
“Keeping a human being away from physical human touch, particularly with loved ones, goes against nature, but it is necessary if full security is to be ensured,” says the author.
One of her concerns is that her child would have to spend the first few months of his or her life mainly within the four walls, with no physical interaction. She says, “And who knows, years.” The greatest part of becoming a mother, on the other hand, for her is “getting the pleasure of demonstrating my genuine affection for my child and, in exchange, being rewarded every day with all the attention and comfort that only my child can provide.”
It has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Dr. S Amenla Walling, as she is now able to spend more ‘quality time with her only 9-year-old daughter. “However, as we consider the whole planet facing all of these problems—the facts and the current situation—it is tragic,” she says. On a personal level, she is grateful that they do not have to worry about where their next meal will come from, but she is also concerned about how people are hurting. “They have to go in different directions of research and they are at a critical part of life where they are looking out too much for universities and their lives are just left hanging,” she says of those who are already at the crossroads of life, especially students in grades 10-12.
“One of the aspects that makes us feel helpless is that this isn’t a problem that can be fixed within the household. “Overwhelming” is how she explains the feeling of helplessness.
“That would be hard to put it down to something because the entire journey of parenting a child and enjoying them, every moment is so rewarding,” she says.“There is so much burden and lots that mothers have to carry” during these trying periods of the pandemic, she adds.
She does emphasize, though, that stressing out would not help.
Instead, she notes, we need to keep our calm and guide the family toward a healthier lifestyle, noting that “when we say ‘good,’ we also mean attempting to steer the family away from becoming too sedentary and gadget addicted”.
She is convinced that ‘being imaginative,’ which does not require much time or resources, will assist people at home in adopting a healthy lifestyle. “All we have to do is be a bit imaginative and instill safe lifestyles, and we will go a long way,” she says.
Dr. S Amenla Walling, a Deputy Director in the Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, was earlier this year honored by the Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) as an “Established Woman Entrepreneur” in the Direct Selling Industry on Women’s Day. IDSA, which has over 450 direct sale companies registered with them, recognized her as the only recipient from North East India for her contribution to the selling industry.
“This award came as a nice surprise and was something I was still unaware of,” she says, emphasizing that it was given in recognition of her contribution to the uplift and empowerment of other people. She has been a member of 4Life for 12 years and is currently a “Bronze” at the company. She also claims that “when it comes to network marketing, a homemaker can do- whether you are a highly trained expert or an illiterate- and can affect the lives of others.”