The Anxiety of Back To School

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schoolIt is official. I have a kindergartner and a first grader, which is really exciting. Summer is finally over and we can get back on schedule. And my kids can quit eating chips for dinner. Summer is fun. The vacations, the sun, the swimming, and the break for all parents. But as much as we love summer, we all know that back to school is looming and usually comes quicker than we would like.

The past couple of years has been extremely stressful for parents, which has taken some of the excitement out of typical “Back to School” preparations. Think about it. We’ve had to deal with COVID-19, which is clearly still ongoing. Now monkeypox has come to the forefront this summer. (It has made the typical pimple an all-out scarier situation than normal.) And there are teacher shortages impacting many schools and districts which has lessened access to classrooms. and then, at the end of last year, we had the tragedy in Uvalde, which made for a tragic end of the school year for so many.

Now we are entering the 22/23 school year. In anticipation of us being post covid, missing monkeypox, and praying that we have enough teachers hang to finish the school year. Please don’t think that I am an eternal pessimist when it comes to sending my children to school. They love school and we have been blessed with teachers who are truly thoughtful and insightful, I am in awe of the progress that they make every single year. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that the school year brings about a bit of anxiety that wasn’t there years ago. I have learned to manage it because if we are all being honest it doesn’t truly go away. Therefore I have come up with some tips for managing a school year.

Have a plan A, B, C, and D.

You never know what will happen and who will come home sick or which of your kids is having a terrible day. Therefore, get your family “community” involved in prepping for the school year. Send people in your family the school calendar and allow them to choose days they want to help out.

Utilize your PTO.

Not for school events, but for a day that you can recharge. At the beginning of every school year, I take a day off, go to a spa and have a full day to myself. By the time the kids get home, they are shocked at how relaxed I am.

Get back into a schedule.

Your children will appreciate it and so will you! Bedtimes are key for your sanity and theirs.

Take it one day at a time.

We are so hard on ourselves because the day went terrible or someone wasn’t themselves by the end of the day. Believe it or not by the time you tell your children goodnight they think you did amazing. Keep the loving feeling….you are doing great.

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

The constant news alerts and coverage can get you down, try not to let it. Decrease your constant intake of bad news and replace it with books or magazines that fill your tank. It is not healthy to take in EVERYTHING….so don’t.

These tips are not specific to me, we all struggle with balancing during the school year. It is a challenging ten months, so make it a priority to care for yourself and your family. Hopefully, if we manage our stress we will all look up and Summer will be back again.

Happy School Year!

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