Turkey, Life, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkish mothers struggle to maintain work-life balance during pandemic

Anadolu Agency speaks to working mothers to recognize their efforts on Mother's Day

Merve Berker   | 08.05.2021
Turkish mothers struggle to maintain work-life balance during pandemic

ANKARA

For working mothers, managing work and home under the new normal has taken a toll on their mental and physical well-being.

On the occasion of Mother's Day, Anadolu Agency spoke to working mothers in Turkey about the difficulties they faced as authorities had to close schools and enforce lockdown measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Ayse Kamis, 50, told Anadolu Agency that her family spent most days at home.

“Taking care of both work and home really wears out a person,” she said.

“I feel exhausted because of all these responsibilities that I have -- both at my workplace and home -- but I feel now I have learned to deal with them by taking one day at a time," said Kamis.

Zeliha Bulbul, 42, runs a beauty salon in the capital Ankara.

"We faced serious difficulties as salons were shut down as part of lockdown measures. My income no longer meets my family's expenses and I am concerned about the future," she said.

Bulbul opined that lockdowns are not a permanent solution. Instead, she said, the process of developing a local vaccine against COVID-19 should be accelerated.

Another mother, Nuran Dastan said that keeping a smile on her face was the most difficult part of working under the pandemic.

“I played with my son, cleaned the house, took care of my husband, and went to work while also trying to be cheerful all the time,” said the 24-year-old mother.

“I am a waitress and I always have to have a happy face,” said Dastan.

"After work, I try to spend some time with my 3-year-old son as he needs me at this age. I play with him until I fall asleep in some corner as I am usually so tired," she said.

Some days, she said, she left early to work leaving behind a crying toddler, and other days she returned home late at night to find him sleeping.

"The worst thing was that sometimes I yelled at my son for not listening to me as the pandemic has left me depressed," she added.

After briefly relaxing restrictions, Turkey returned to a total lockdown until May 17.

Turkey has so far reported 4.99 million cases, while the nationwide death toll has reached 42,465.

More than 4.66 million people have won the battle against COVID-19.

Over 24.7 million coronavirus vaccine jabs have been administered since a nationwide immunization campaign began on Jan. 14.

More than 14.5 million people have received their first doses, while over 10 million people have been fully vaccinated.

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