Back-To-School Panic

Every year, July is a signal that the return to school is imminent and exciting things begin to happen. Our family tradition states that each child shops for uniforms with mom in a one-on-one environment, always squeezing in a lunch or treat together. We order backpacks. We read our “On the night before…” books. We talk about bus riding, practice cafeteria tray-holding, and try to ease any pre-first-day jitters.

school during Covid-19

This year is so different. Instead of relishing in the familiarity of tradition, COVID-19 has spoiled the one-on-one time together. We are ordering uniforms online, and interacting as little as possible with others in our attempt to give our kids the hope of returning to some sort of normalcy in the fall. They miss their friends and teachers and routine, and the thought of not having all those things brings them to tears. They love their school. LOVE it. Which is an immense blessing, but also makes any potential decisions to homeschool or even participate in distant learning very difficult.

Well, tonight the dam opened and the tears began flowing when allowing my mind to drift and wander down the black hole of COVID-19 return to school.

Did  I just waste major money on uniforms?

What if they don’t go back to school?

What if I have to homeschool them? I need to research homeschooling programs for grades 3, 2, Kinder, and PreK.

OMG I’ll have to teach my kindergartener how to read. Can I do that? I should have the skill set to do this.

I need to start mask-training them for return to school. Alexa, remind me to search for comfortable student masks tomorrow at 9 am.

Should they tie? Probably not, but everyone complains about ear pain/irritation from the over-the-ear ones.

Will there be uniform requirements for masks? Navy blue, grey, or white only? The least they could do is let them wear the flipping masks they want.

PreK probably won’t open right? Because it’s an elective school and not a daycare, right? Can someone tell me this?

I need to research early learning programs for homeschooling mothers.

Alexa, price check Chromebooks … Nevermind on the Chromebooks.

Alexa, find less expensive tablet options with the ability to write on its surface.

How do I explain to my kids they will be wearing masks for 8 hours of each day? In South Louisiana heat? In AUGUST? Do I even need to have that conversation with them? Will they waive the mask requirements?

Do I let them ride the bus home?

Do I let them participate in extracurricular activities?

My kindergartener is still working on /r/, guess I’ll need to address that too.

So Mamas struggling to make hard decisions, you are not alone in this. We are all trying to fill in the gaps with very little information available. We want to do what is best for our babies, and keep them safe while alleviating the residual hurt from the March shutdown.

There are no good answers. There are no bad answers. Honestly, most of the time it just feels like there are no answers.

Do what is best for your family, and trust that you know what is best.

Sarah is a 30-something mom of four children under six and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She returned to Acadiana two years ago following her husband’s completion of medical school and residency in Shreveport. After the move, Sarah switched gears from full-time pediatric speech-language pathologist and working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to her brood. Her current hobbies include “speech-therapizing” her children, re-reading the Outlander series, catching up on her Netflix queue after the kids go to bed, completing XHIT videos at naptime, and taking her medication every morning. She loves and respects the sacredness of motherhood, but sometimes you just have to let go and laugh it out. Motherhood has been the most humbling, and empowering journey she has experienced.