The day that my kids were supposed to start school has come and gone. August is looking so far from normal that I can barely recognize it. I’m pretty sure my first grader doesn’t notice. Although, to me, this has been the absolute longest summer EVER!
The thirst for fall is unquenchable but I think it’s more than that. It is a thirst for normalcy. Something we have all been missing since the beginning of the pandemic. I am so over it I don’t even call it by its name. I just say the “C” word.
Although I am grateful beyond measure to work from home most of the time, and be flexible with these changing times, the work from home challenge is at an ALL TIME HIGH.
Typically, it would be work while kids are in school, and when they get home its family time, dinner, homework, extra curricular activities, bedtime, repeat. Now its going to be some version of work while kids are home, hire a sitter during hours needed to work outside of the house, simultaneously helping with school work, no extra curricular activities, somehow squeeze in some family time, meals, bedtime, repeat for two more days, then take them to school for two days (hybrid model), while doing all of the above with a preschooler whose school has closed indefinitely.
Needless to say my anxiety is through the roof. And we have yet to even find out who his teacher is.
Now I realize that in some parts of the city some kids are already starting to go back to school, and parents are knee deep in testing these waters, so all the kudos to them! And to single parents, full-time working parents, stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, homeschoolers, teachers… I honestly don’t know how any of this works, and how any of us are finding a “normal.” But navigate the storm we shall! Obviously, our children’s education is one of the most important things to all of us, but so are our jobs, hobbies and livelihood.
So how are parents making this whole school at home thing fun? My child’s first day of school will be here in the dining room, and I have yet to learn what that will look like from the teacher. I’m praying I will be able to sit at the table and work while he is working (fingers crossed). I’m also hoping that by adding things like every Monday is pajama day, and silly lunch Wednesday, will help his morale at spending his school hours here. (You can bet I will be searching the social media for ideas and tips about what other parents are doing.)
Some days its hard to keep my chin up, and sometimes I can’t even watch the news because there just doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for “the C word.” I try to wrap my head around every which way to make this work, and still do my job well.
However, the anxiety about the coming months is alive and well. Luckily, I know I am not alone, which is probably the biggest comfort source I can muster some days.
We parents will help each other navigate. Learn from each others’ mistakes. Give ourselves and each other grace when needed. Lift each other up. Allow the struggles to be heard. Give each other someone to lean on and talk to. Channel our inner teachers. Perfect those time management skills. Create a sense of normalcy for our children (even when we cannot sense it). We will take this whole “adulting” thing to a whole new level.
In the words of the band Queen, “We are the Champions”!