The Joys and Challenges of Parenting Under Lockdown

The Joys and Challenges of Parenting Under Lockdown

by Bhargavi Kulkarni

Mira Reddy has a busy day. She has to wake up at 7 am, get dressed, eat breakfast and follow her school day schedule, virtually. There’s an English lesson, math, some science and some reading. There’s also a daily Zoom session with her teacher. It’s for half an hour, but it sends the Reddy household into a tizzy. 

Mom, Manasa Reddy, a dentist based in Belle Meade, New Jersey, has to sit with Mira, a first grader, to help her maneuver the video-sharing app. While she’s helping her elder daughter, Reddy, who had to shut her independent practice due to the lockdown orders, has to make sure her 4-year-old daughter Siya is engaged. If she’s napping or is being watched by her father, Prashanth Dendi, a SAP Basis Manager at COTY, Inc., peace prevails. If not “it’s a circus.” 

Reddy is not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges and it’s becoming harder for Indian American parents to hide the often challenging and messy realities of work and family life juggle. Parents across the country, especially those with young children, are struggling with balancing their work-from-home schedules, helping kids navigate remote schooling, as well as making sure there’s food on the table. 

Take for example, Amruta Kulkarni of Foster City, California.  The finance professional who works in Transformation at Walmart eCommerce is finding it challenging to tend to children, Aneesh, 6, and Avanee, 3, while working from home. Although Amruta could have sent Avanee to the preschool, she chose to keep her home to let the families with parents that need to go to work take the limited spots available. “Aneesh is busy with his school work, but we still need to help him with video conferencing, etc.,” she says.

Being in the same profession, Anu says she can relate to how well teachers all over have managed to transition to remote teaching. However, she does realize that it’s not easy for parents, especially those who have full-time jobs. 

Each family seems to have come up with their own plan to tide through these trying times.

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