Being a parent is a tough job. Whilst its joyful and unexpectedly an adventure, its definitely hard to say its an easy ride.
Id like to say that schools going back this week made me feel joyful and relieved but honestly the week has been tough. Its felt harder than I thought it would be. Trying to get routine going, trying to get them sleeping at a normal time. Its felt like everything is stacked against us.
There has been a complete rollercoaster of emotions from the kids too. We have had excitement, we have had tears, we have had anxiety and frustration. Oh lordy its been some ride.
How has the first school week been in your house?
Have you managed to slide back into routine? or has it been a challenge?
I used to love having the kids at home, so sending them to school was such a big deal. Then came the free time….How novel is the free time. I mean there was guilt of course, I mean I think we all go through the guilt of enjoying the quiet time. But just being able to get some version of free time was incredible.
Then came worry, worry of them fitting in and worry about them making friends. That is some trip with isn’t it?
Around p6/7 its always the squabbles with friends then making up the next day. But just as P7 starts to settle down. Its high school. I mean its like starting the whole thing again for us and for them.
We go through the journey of school alongside them. So this week returning, we have been right alongside there with them.
Going back to school after the pandemic has changed how we view the school week. We used to worry about them not making enough friends, now I am secretly hoping that they have less friends.
I feel like I am a bad parent thinking that way but the pandemic has changed how we feel about groups, especially larger ones. It feels safer to have just one or two friends right?
The fact I felt that way had me chatting to my kids to see how they felt about the return to school. My eldest said that “friendships feel weird now” My middle daughter has ended up with more friends than before and she says “We all just stick together, just our group we go to the same place every day”
It feels like a childhood is lost to them; they worry all the time.
Has your teens or tweens spoken to you about their worries?
Perhaps have a chat about how they feel being back?
So what can we do for our young people and ourselves?
So how can we support us and them through this strange new time that feels so different?
Well first, let’s name the worry.
Saying it out loud gives the opportunity for it to feel less overwhelming
Secondly, Let’s be extra kind to ourselves.
The days feel longer because our bodies are in a stressed state, more than in a calm state.
Regulation is key but recognising that kindness and compassion for ourselves and our young people will considerably support that regulation.
Lastly, Its okay to say its overwhelming. Let’s lower expectations of what we need to have done in a day. Everything feels at odds now and so trying to get back into a rhythm may take a little longer than it would normally.
Self care of ourselves an our young people does seem like such a small thing to do but actually, it’s a really big thing.
We can get so caught up in worrying about the “What ifs” or “I should have” that we forget to enjoy the moment.
So yes there is uncertainty with schools, there is lots of uncertainty with Covid, but there is also a glimmer of hope of things feeling like normal again. Lets just take it one day at a time.