‘Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus and worry about their physical health EVERY SINGLE DAY?’: Mom shares frustrations for fall school re-openings

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“Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

That’s how I feel as a parent navigating my child’s educational journey while a global health pandemic wreaks unfathomable havoc on our nation and it’s people.

The people I care about most?


The kids who had no choice but to stealthily adapt when the end of their last school year went, ‘Spring break… Okay, we’re going to extend your break… Okay, you still can’t come back… Okay, and now we are e-learning  FOR. THE. REST. OF. THE. YEAR.

In a zoom, they were on Zoom. For most, it went alright. But, for some, it wasn’t good. They weren’t motivated, engaged, or willing. TO NO FAULT OF THE TEACHERS OR THEIR PARENTS.

And, now, most of us are going out of our minds trying to decide what to do in the fall, if we have a choice, which it sounds like we will. Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus, risk exposing them to coronavirus, and worry about their physical health EVERY SINGLE DAY? Or do I keep them home with me and risk exposing them to  a challenging e-learning environment, extreme boredom, and social and emotional distress caused by a lack of interaction with like-aged humans?

Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus, knowing full-well that while capable of 8-hour mask-wearing, he/she is going to tire of it eventually and let their straps down? Or do I keep them home with me, knowing full-well they will (literally) breathe easy, maskless, in the safety of our home, but only among the parents and siblings they are beginning to tire of?

Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus so they can get to work? Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus so I am not distracted from mine? Or, do I keep them home with me because THAT is what is going to work when it comes to keeping my child and others safe from the virus’ harm?

Do I send my child back to school because they want to go, and I want them to go? Or, DO I KEEP THEM HOME WITH ME BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO LIVE? And their friends and teachers too, of course.

If that sounds dramatic, it just might be. Or perhaps it’s not. And that’s the dang conundrum that’s got us parents so perplexed about the true ‘right’ thing to do — both for our children and family, but also our county, state, and society as a whole.

I don’t know what my decision is yet, and I suspect more will change in the few weeks I have left before I must make one. There is one thing I’m certain of though. No matter what any of us chooses, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

And, since that’s the case, we’ve just got to trust our gut, trust in each other, and trust in God. And, we better pray to the high heavens that, for the sake of parents everywhere, whoever has America’s voodoo doll gets just as tired of poking it as we are of having to live in the fatiguing age of corona.”

Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcastDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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