Photo credit: Christine Elizabeth
The 2020 back-to-school season may seem a little different than years before because, well, it is. This change is not only stressful to many moms, it brings new questions to the forefront. Should my little one stay home from daycare? Should I put my kids in school full-time? What if I can’t keep up with virtual learning and my job? Will my toddler actually keep her mask on?
These are worries spinning around the minds of so many moms out there. Though these fears and frustrations are new, much of the advice as to how to handle these emotions is not. Facing these hurdles using some of the following advice (given by real moms facing the exact same challenges) will not only help you now, but also help when other stressors arise.
“Exhibit patience and grace for all entities.”
Being patient can be the hardest part of parenting – especially when faced with new technology and new assignments that you have to teach. Stepping back and realizing your child and your child’s teachers are feeling similar emotions may bring you a sense of situational understanding.
This advice is not only helpful with the current state of education, but also when it comes to interacting with others in public – or even the loved ones in your home. After spending so much time with each other, that patience may not come easy. However, it is necessary to push forward with as much patience as you can, knowing everyone will benefit from it in the end.
“Everyone is struggling, somehow, so be kind.”
This statement goes hand-in-hand with the suggestion above. You never know what the person next you is going through. Every single mother faces a handful of challenges you would never understand. Maybe you could relate, in ways, but each person has a set of struggles unique to their specific life.
Maybe your friend decided to put her children into school full-time, but you thought it was best to keep your child in virtual classes. Maybe you believe it’s best to socialize, no matter the circumstance, while someone else does not want their children being out in public. Behind every decision is a little voice of concern. You never know where that concern is rooted from. Let everyone make their choices and focus on what you believe is best for your family.
“Continue with the slower paced life.”
One thing quarantine and COVID brought forth was a slower paced life. Less public outings and less play dates. Less birthday parties to attend and less times for Mom to meet up for necessary drinks with her friends. In a way, this was frustrating because change isn’t always something easy to face. However, for many, this new way of living life made people realize what else can be done to pass the time in a healthy way.
This slower paced life can be beneficial when quarantine and COVID is finally not a threat any longer. It will help build your patience. It will help you explore more ways to stay busy at home. It will give you more time to snuggle your loved ones and watch them grow.
“Re-evaluate what’s important.”
The slower paced life may have brought this point to the forefront of your brain during time in quarantine. With life being less hectic, you may have had time to realize what was worth the stress and what wasn’t. The slower pace may have opened your eyes to new goals to set for yourself and new activities to do with your little one.
When it comes to this new way of looking at education, it may be important to take a step back and prioritize your emotions. This may allow you to decide what is worth the emotional strain. Facing challenges with this kind of mindset can lessen stress during a time when stress can be handed over quickly. Realizing what is truly important in your world, and what you can push aside, may be just what you need to focus on as this school year begins.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.
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