Being a mother during COVID-19
Being a parent is by no means an easy task, even during the simplest of times. When you add the global pandemic to the mix, parenting has only gained in importance and complexity. As mother to an 11-year-old, I know what the terrible twos were like and how to handle them. I also know to soothe a child who has just lost her tooth or fallen off a swing. I have experience in calming her down, talking her up, motivating her, and reading her to sleep.
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On a given day during the second wave of COVID-19, I was unfortunate enough to have been away from my daughter who was staying with her father for the weekend. This 2-day weekend led to a 14-day quarantine as she was exposed to the virus during her outing. As a mother, I have my protocol—if my daughter is sick, she is to be kept right under my watchful eye. I will do whatever is required and be whatever she needs. If she needs me, I doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, I will make it to my daughter’s side.
COVID-19 questioned this mother’s protocol and blew 1,000 holes in it. See, I always assumed that if my daughter got infected, she would be with me and so, I would be the one taking care of her—simple. However, since she was not around me when she got exposed, I had to contend with a difficult question—do I follow COVID-19 protocol and help from the outside without meeting her or do I follow a mother’s protocol and head to her side even if that exposed me?
I cannot tell you which option to choose and I cannot say that this choice can be made logically or easily. What I can say is that it remains one of the most difficult choices I have ever had to make. It was also a decision that aggravated the inherent guilt of motherhood—the fear of not being good enough. Pitting civic sense and pandemic protocol against the weight of parental responsibility was never meant to be easy. If you have to choose, I hope you consider the mind of the matter, and soothe your heart’s confusion.