What a strange year 2020 is turning out to be! After starting the year with epic bushfires followed by drought-busting rain, our kids started the new school year with a bang. And then suddenly, mere weeks into the new year, they were home again – but this time, with bonus home-schooling and all the fun that comes with that.
Now after weeks and weeks of lockdown and iso-induced restlessness, schools are inching their way back to normal programming, which means our kids are finally getting back into the classroom – even if it is for just one or two days a week for now.
Which is great news, right? Or is it? After keeping our baby birds safe in the home nest, it feels strange to be launching them back into the world – so there are plenty of mum-thoughts going around at the moment. All valid but a bit confusing. Here’s a sample of what you might be thinking:
Firstly, let us all acknowledge for a moment that these weeks have been HARD! We love our kids but having them in our space 24/7 is A LOT and it’s been intense. So getting a break from the constant hum of “Mummmmmmmm … I’m [insert complaint here]” is no bad thing.
We have all done a bang-up job of being teacher/ counseller/ playmate/ chef etc etc – but we can start to take some of these hats off now, so hurrah for us!
Many of us have loved this special time at home with our family – we have lived in a little bubble that has existed entirely outside of normal life. We have played games, cooked together, sung and done our fair share of Tik Tok dancing. Will we ever again get the opportunity to spend so much lovely time together, without the interferences of the external world?
Possibly not. Sigh.
3. They’ll be OK, right?
Is it actually safe for our kids to go back to school? Much has been said and written on this topic by experts far better placed to have an opinion than us, but the one thing we do know is that you can’t beat a mother’s instinct for protecting her little ones. We’re told that school is a safe place for children and we want to believe that this is true. And yet … for many of us, there is that little voice that we mostly try and ignore that asks the hard question, “But is it REALLY safe?”
4. They’re going to be so fine
Say it enough times and it might just be true. Kids need their friends. They need to step out from under our wings. They need to run and yell and throw a ball and listen to someone talk other than their mum. Our kids are going to be SO fine back at school. In fact, they’re going to be better than fine. They’re going to be fab!
5. The holiday really is over
Bugger. Back to school means back to lunch boxes and school uniforms. Back to school drop-offs and pick-ups. Back to emptying school bags of mystery items. Back to alarm clocks and hassling kids to get up, get dressed and get out the door.
It was nice while it lasted, but school days have a certain rhythm to them that can’t be ignored. The school bell waits for no mum.
6. I should probably get dressed
Ultimately kids returning to school is really all about US, right?! And the stuff we have to do to get them to the school gate on time each day. Which, sadly, means we have to let those lived-in tracky-daks drop to the ground in favour of fresh non-stained clothing. It probably also means we need to have a shower and – gasp – wash our hair.
In a nutshell, it means implementing some basic personal hygiene. It’s incredible how quickly we let all this go when we knew no one was watching …
Proving that back to school is a good thing – for everyone.