Not easy to take care of work and family during restrictions

Many academician mums like me are caught in a tight spot as we were asked to return to work while schools and childcare centres remain closed. -Pic for illustrations purposes only Many academician mums like me are caught in a tight spot as we were asked to return to work while schools and childcare centres remain closed. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

LETTER: The other night, i was drafting a letter to apply for working from home as Malaysia is entering the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). Many academician mums like me are caught in a tight spot as we were asked to return to work while schools and childcare centres remain closed.

I found myself spending hours waiting for the official emails from the administration and drafting letters applying for permission to work from home. Then, I spent time recording activities that I plan to do for the upcoming week, reporting these to the university on several platforms, for administrators to monitor our progress.

Will working from home affect our promotion later, and eventually our pension, as we don’t log in or out on the university’s system like we did in the office? This creates more stress. Our support system? Almost none, except for other mums who are in the same boat. Some of us are starting to express our concerns and frustrations in our WhatsApp group discussions, but nothing else can be done at this time.

Meanwhile, finding alternate options for childcare is not promising as friends and close family members are facing the same situation. In Asia, the elderly taking care of grandchildren is the norm.

Yet, with ageing parents to care for themselves, they often have no energy left to care of our kids, who are supposed to be our responsibility. An alternative way was for us to take our children to our office, but this is not allowed for children below 10. Is it even safe to do so, considering potential exposure to the virus?’

Also, the children would not have the same quality of stimulating and enriching care as they would in a day care or a school as they would just be sitting at a parent’s workplace.

Mothers in virtually every career who are being called to return to work in office are facing this challenge. What support can be offered by our society to care for their children?

What will ensure that women in this situation can contribute to the success and maintenance of society during this pandemic? We need to start the discussion now.

by DR SHIN YING CHU.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/06/604257/not-easy-take-care-work-and-family-during-restrictions

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