‘It’s all there. The pencils, the masks, the notebooks. She’s chosen to send them back into the world.’: Mom weighs in on school reopening crisis, ‘She hopes it will be enough’

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“It’s all there. The pencils, the folders, the notebooks.

She bought them each a new backpack and a new pair of shoes, to give them something to be excited about on the first day. Something to give them a little extra confidence.

She’s bought the masks, a five-pack for each kid, so everyone has enough.

She’s sat the kids down and explained to them the school’s new guidelines and why they’re important.

She thinks of the teachers who are now on the front lines, themselves wondering how they’re going to manage proper social distancing and new hygiene habits with a school full of children. It’s going to be like herding cats. So, the least she can do is make sure they’ll have a few less kids to worry about. She wants her kids to be shining examples of social responsibility.

Still, she wonders if it’s enough.

The first day of school has always been a day of celebration for this mom. It’s practically her favorite holiday, next to Christmas morning. She loves her babies. Beyond anything. She loves them so much she wants them to keep thriving and living. Which is becoming increasingly difficult, since they were unceremoniously ripped from their routine back in March.

She needs her life back.

She needs their routine back.

The routine that kept them all sane and productive.

The routine that saves her from slipping into the abyss of her own damaging self-destructive habits, and left with near-crippling anxiety over how she’s letting too much fall through the cracks.

She and her family need that routine back.

She is eager for the break she’ll get while her kids are all in school. And, it makes her feel both relieved and selfish.

She can’t help but think, ‘Am I taking the easy way out? Am I doing a selfish thing because I know I’m not strong enough as an educator to foster these brilliant little minds? Minds that are much more intelligent than my own. They need teachers. They need classmates. They need structure. I can’t give them any of that at home. Am I just making excuses?’

Distance learning is an option. And, there are lots of parents who are choosing it.

She got her taste of distance learning last year. It was one of the most frustrating, emotionally draining, demoralizing experiences she and her children have ever had to endure together — made even worse by watching so many of her friends thrive at it, telling her how simple it can be if you just stay organized.

Organization isn’t exactly this mom’s strong suit. Some days, it’s all she can do to take care of the regular things that keep a house running. To add to that, the insurmountable task of being her children’s sole educator — a position she neither wants nor is remotely qualified for, and she knows she’ll break.

It would be like someone throwing you a chainsaw when you’ve just learned how to juggle a few balls.

So, she’s chosen to send them back into the world, with as much hope and prayer and preparation as she can give them.

It’s a calculated risk, and not one she is taking lightly. Every cough will be monitored. Every runny nose will be analyzed. There will be temperature checks every morning, and daily reminders of hand washing and hand sanitizing.

She hopes it will be enough. And she struggles because she feels like she isn’t.”

Courtesy of Becky Relan

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Becky Relan of World’s Okayest Mom. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘If we send our kids to school, we’re ‘selfish.’ If we keep them home, we’re ‘living in fear.’ We’re offered strong opinions from others not even in our position.’: Mom urges ‘there is no right decision’

‘Online learning wasn’t made for families like mine.’: Mom of 6 weighs in on school reopening crisis, ‘I’m so burnt out’

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