Let me preface this post: This post will not pick in-school vs. virtual learning. You will not finish this post and say, “Yes! I know what I will decide now!” Or maybe you will, but it won’t be because it is written here. My hope is that you will feel a little better about whatever decision you do make.
Ever since schools closed, I feel like I have been floating. I have been floating because the sturdy floor below my feet crumbled underneath me the second they said, “Welcome to a pandemic.”
Moms worry all day on a good day about anything that could happen to them or their families. Now add a virus that keeps changing the rules, it’s so much!
One day things are open because it’s safe enough, then the next day closed because it’s not safe enough, and the next open again.
How on earth are we supposed to decide what we are doing on any given day, let alone what we should do with our kids come August? Each county, city, and school has created different plans. Which plan makes the most sense?
Yet here we are casting our votes for what we think might be best a month before school actually starts.
Cue the back-to-school pandemic panic.
I want my kids to be with other children, but what if they are part of the small percentage that get sick?
What if they are asymptomatic, and it comes home with them?
What if I keep them out and affect their mental health by not letting them socialize with friends and being in their own space at school?
I have to go to work, but I don’t want them in school.
I can’t homeschool again!
What happens if I send them, and my kids’ anxiety goes through the roof, being at school and worrying about all the new rules?
Do I change schools?
I mean, the list of questions goes on… and on… and on…
Every time I start to think about what to do for school I feel short of breath. It’s like my brain is playing tennis and needs a break.
I have had countless discussions with my husband on the matter. He has listened over and over to my thoughts that keep running around in circles. He has reiterated that while the decision falls on us both, he will support whatever I believe is best.
This decision weighs heavily on us as parents, and I feel even more so on us as moms. It’s a year in our child’s life, how could it not!
A while ago two of my friends called me to tell me they already decided what they were going to do. One was going to switch to a virtual home school and the other was definitely going to have her kids physically in school. The thing I found interesting is they had one thing in common. After they mentioned their decisions, they said something like, “What if this is the worst decision?”
A lightbulb went off in my head.
We are moms. Every decision we make is in the best interest of our family. Therefore no decision is the worst decision. We ask questions, we research, we make pro and con lists about things until we figure out what works best for us. Everything is very carefully calculated before we make these big decisions.
So, while I had no clue what I was doing personally at the time, I responded to each of them, “You are making the BEST decision. We are moms, we make decisions based on the best interest of our families all the time. We make ‘best decision,’ after ‘best decision,’ and when the road leads to another fork, we pick the best route for our family.”
I stopped and thought I might not know what I am doing now, but I do know whatever decision I make will be the best one for my family. The back and forth stopped. It was quiet in my head.
Since then, I try to keep that sentence in my mind anytime my brain starts to suit up for a tennis match.
I might not know what the school year will look like but I know this:
- Our mom instinct is our best guide even if sometimes we might need to do some extra digging before it reveals an answer.
- Everyone’s circumstances are different. Just because it looks different from one family to the next doesn’t make any of those decisions less correct.
- Our kids will be ok with whatever choice we make.
- Whatever path we choose, it is the best path for our family.