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Being a wife, mother and doctor

Wearing the apron and the scrubs: Meet the hero moms of the pandemic

Mother’s day 2020 is unlike any other Mother’s Day in history. It’s different for mothers and children who are quarantined away from each other, who used to celebrate the day together with love and gratitude. But it is especially different for mothers, who are on the frontline of the war against the coronavirus, and for their families back at home rooting for their safety and wellbeing.

A mother is a hero for her children—always has, always will be. But a mother who is at the forefront, trying to save the planet from the coronavirus is a hero to us all. It’s difficult to imagine their lives, oscillating between their personal and professional duties—on one hand keeping their home together and on the other, keeping the world safe. It is because of them, however, this year’s Mother’s Day is not only different but one of the most special ones yet.

Mothers fighting the outbreak remind us of the mothers who fight for their children throughout their lives. This means every mother in the world who only knows how to cherish, protect, and love their children. They remind us of the strength and endurance of a mother who rises to every occasion, no matter how grim the situation is. Like a true hero.

Dedicating this Mother’s Day to our heroes, Soulveda spoke to a few mothers who are fighting the pandemic day and night to keep their families and the world safe.

  • Dr Sneha Samant, MD, Pulmonary and Critical care

    It has been a huge challenge during this time. “Juggling” is the right word because it’s my job to make sure nothing is “dropped” both at home and at work. I work closely with COVID patients in the ICU and when I go home I have another full-time job waiting for me.

    Mentally compartmentalising my responsibilities is the only way I am able to manage. When I am at work, I am all in 100 percent and at home, I forget that there is a pandemic out there. Thank goodness for my husband, who is also a physician on the frontline, who helps offset workload at home.

    Bringing illness home to my son is by far my biggest fear. We already had a close call when my husband was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. That was one of the toughest times for me as a mother and physician because the hospital was blowing up, my husband was sick and, schools abruptly closed. Fortunately, no one at home got sick!

    For any child a mom is a hero, it doesn’t matter what’s going on out there or what she does. My child is only 2 years old. He does not understand what is going on in the world. He keeps asking for his little friends from school, so we FaceTime to help him connect.
  • Dr Shipra Sehrawat, Physiotherapist & PCS Doctor

    COVID-19 has turned out to be a complete nightmare for everyone, especially for us doctors. While everyone is on a mandatory lockdown, essential workers like us have to step out and serve. For us to do a good job is now more important than ever.

    The hospital has turned into a 2nd home of sorts. Our sense of duty and responsibility has increased manifolds, but so has the burden of household chores and managing the children.

    My children always knew their parents are doctors who help others, now they realise their role in letting us do our duties. I think we are setting a good example for them through these times. For me, the most difficult aspect of being a doctor during these times is not being able to hug my daughters like I used to. I can no longer cuddle with them before their bedtime and simply spend time with them at ease as I used to when life was ‘normal’.

    I don’t think mothers are superheroes alone. It is our super-kids and super-families that support us through everything who makes us what we are. I think more than me, my daughters, and my family who are supporting me through this deserve appreciation. I am doing my job, but they are doing more by being there for me as I return home, tired, and stressed.
  • Dr Ritu Jha, Neurologist

    The most difficult and scary part of being a doctor during this pandemic is that I should not bring the infection from the hospital to my home. Mine being a nuclear family, I am horrified by the idea of getting infected and being medically quarantined. Hence, I am extra cautious in the hospital and head straight to the washroom upon returning home: to sanitise every item I carry to work.

    Pandemic or no pandemic, juggling personal and professional life has always been demanding and tough. This pandemic has just added facets to it; of managing household chores without any domestic help, children staying at home instead of going to school, and ensuring positive engagements for the children to sustain this lockdown.

    My spouse, who is also a doctor and understands my troubles quite well, and I adjust our duties so that one of us is always there with our daughter. Also, we perform the household chores early morning and while her online school is on.

    I believe that all mothers—working or non-working—are superwomen. For my daughter, I was just a professional person before coronavirus, but the current circumstances have raised the value of my profession in her eyes. In the beginning, finding my behaviour strange, she once asked me, “Mom, why don’t you hug me on coming back home?” But now she understands. The pandemic has made my little girl a little mature.
  • Col (Dr) Susmita Das, Army Medical Corps

    As a woman, we have got different roles to play. Most important is to strike a balance between them. The medical profession is highly demanding, and even managing the family. Especially when children were young and in school-going age—at times situations were like the end of a road. My family, of course, supported me and my children were good at situational management.

    Yes, I am a hero to my children. They have seen me running from pillar to post, managing home, office, conference, presentation, medical cover, night duties, and whatnot. My son is also in uniform. He is very proud whenever he meets my students. Most important is the bond that we share.

    Because of COVID-19, harmony and balance got disturbed in the world. At present, most important is to impart knowledge and make people understand the precarious nature of the present situation. There is no treatment, no vaccine. The only answer is prevention. As a mother, and as a doctor, I am involved in explaining the present status and future of the disease which is a burning question of the day. I hope we get over this crisis at the earliest and vaccines are available with us to save mankind.
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