Originally posted in ParentCircle.com on March 30, 2021.  View as PDF.

This week last year, a countrywide lockdown was imposed by the central government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All establishments, including schools, were shut down, public transport was suspended, and everyone was instructed to stay indoors. Offices were closed and employees were asked to work from home. We were in the middle of a global crisis. It has been a challenging year since then, to say the least.

Today, while the situation has improved, our lives are still very different from how they were pre-pandemic. The work-from-home situation, which initially seemed like a stopgap measure, continues to be the norm for many. People around the world have had to juggle their priorities to adjust to the “new normal.” It wasn’t an easy transition for working parents, especially mothers, who suddenly had to wedge their office into their home. It was also a time of learning to adapt, finding new strengths, and gaining new perspectives.

So, what were the challenges, what are the takeaways, how do working mothers cope, and what lies ahead for them? Read on to find out.

“I’ve been working from home since the lockdown. It’s been hard to work this way, overseeing projects online and not having actual meetings. However, it allowed me to take the bull by the horns and make the most of the situation that we were thrown into. Also, I must admit that not having to commute during rush-hour traffic was a blessing!

My family consists of me, my daughter, my three dogs, and three cats, and all of us were under complete lockdown at our residence. I treasure the time spent at home—it enabled me to cook my desired recipes, spend time chatting to my friends and pamper my pets. It has additionally given me time to play games with my girl and teach her about different aspects of life.

This lockdown has also nourished the author in me. I got generous time to write and read up on my favorite subjects. It also permitted me to invest more energy in doing yoga. I created a sacred space in my home and have been using that to meditate. In fact, my whole family has gotten into it now. And, last but not least, it gave me the chance to sleep to my heart’s content!

Socially, the lockdown did not impact me very much as I am a home bird—I usually cook at home and rarely go out. Emotionally, I’ve not felt the strain because I enjoy solitude. I created a small garden at home and currently dedicate ample time to growing my own organic vegetables. I also have a chicken and we never run out of eggs at home. The sole issue we faced during the lockdown was getting fresh milk, I wish I had a cow! The biggest takeaway from the pandemic is the realization that we need to make sustainable changes to our lifestyle and thought process.”

Dr Malini Saba, Founder and Chairman, Saba Group and Anannke Foundation