Mother's Day under COVID-19: How Parenting Changed During the Pandemic

Mother's Day Under Covid-19: How Parenting Changed During the Pandemic

The Straits Times
Republished with Permission
9 Mar 2020

The heavier parenting burden has contributed to rising stress levels for mothers, which may lead to poorer mental and emotional health, a recent survey has found.

The survey on the state of motherhood in Singapore, by Focus on the Family Singapore, found that 60 per cent of mothers reported stress levels of 7 - or higher - out of 10, with 10 being the highest.

Conducted from Mar 18 to Apr 20, which takes in the start of the Circuit Breaker on Apr 7, the survey had 1,076 respondents.

The same survey last year, also conducted by the Focus on the Family Singapore charity, already revealed considerable stressors for women: Four in five mothers experienced "mum guilt", and seven in 10 mums reported feeling angry or frustrated many times a week.

This contrasts with 52 per cent of mothers reporting similar stress levels in the same survey last year.

Mrs Joanna Koh-Hoe, chief executive officer of Focus on the Family Singapore, notes: "Coupled with this year's findings, it would appear that Covid-19 and the extended Circuit Breaker is adding to the physical and mental load that mothers carry in terms of child-caregiving and household chores."

Also known as emotional labour, the mental load she refers to is traditionally borne mostly by women. It describes a constant stream of thinking, planning and organising for one's household. This is usually accompanied by a low-level hum of anxiety about the well-being of one's family.

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