Back to school time usually carries various emotions–feeling sentimental, anticipation, excitement, etc. (for kids and parents). However, this new school year is like no other, and we are now facing a new normal. A normal where kids wear masks to school, desks are lined up 6 ft. apart, hand sanitizer galore and teachers and students alike will be working hard to get everyone up to speed on their studies. No matter what our school administrators decided, not everyone was going to agree or be happy with the new normal and procedures in place. Sending your child back to school or choosing online learning was a difficult choice for some to make, and I understand some had to make a decision based on your child’s mental health, or maybe because of your work situation, or possibly because of a family member’s suppressed immune system. This was a hard decision, mama.
You’re feeling all the feelings about your child going back to school. You’re glad that they will be back to a normal routine, learning new things, and being around other kids. You might also be feeling anxious if your child will leave their mask on, anxious for the immune-suppressed, or worried about how you’re going to handle online learning. There have just been so many unknowns since March and for the sake of your own mental health and your child’s, let’s set the tone for the new school year in this way:
- Be kind to teachers, bus drivers, school nurses, counselors, school administrators, etc.: They have a very difficult job and are adjusting too.
- Don’t talk negatively in front of your child about the situation: for example, complaining about them having to wear masks to school (I would send my kids back to school in hazmat suits if that were the rule at this point!)
- Be patient (with your child & yourself): Whether your child is back to school in person or online, there will be an adjustment period and probably some growing pains.
- Ask for help: If you or your child are struggling, there are people at their school who want to help your family succeed and will help you if you ask. Also, ask your partner for help, you can’t do it all! (although you are superwoman)
- Check on other moms: Community and knowing that you’re not alone right now is vital, but also checking in on other mamas will go a long way.
- Make some time for self-care: This might seem selfish right now, but it’s absolutely a priority right now to “put your oxygen mask on first” to be there for everyone else in your life counting on you. (if you need some self-care inspiration, check out my show–The Self Care Isn’t Selfish Podcast!)
Whatever decision you made for your family this school year–it was the right decision for YOUR family. We are in a new normal, but if we have learned anything over this extended time at home with our kids–is that we are resilient and we can do hard things. Stay positive. Keep your chin up. And don’t feel bad if you need an extra glass of wine that first day of school.