If I’m being completely honest, I’m frozen in fear and indecision right now as my husband and I are trying to make decisions regarding sending our kids back to school in the fall.
Let me be clear – I judge no one for whatever decision they make for their own kids. This isn’t about what’s right or wrong. Because for me – it seems like there are no good decisions.
Last Spring, online learning for us was a mess.
We were all thrown into an impossible situation in the Spring when schools closed. Teachers, staff, and administrators had a difficult job. But, so did parents. Parents were stressed out, overwhelmed, and for me and my kids, online schooling wasn’t great.
We had tears almost daily, it was confusing, there was not much support, and we were just barely surviving. It didn’t help that it was only a pass/fail thing too. Little effort was required, yet at the same time, it felt impossible for me and my kids.
Fast forward to now, and I feel more confused than ever.
In fact, I feel frozen. Like no matter what I choose, I’m making the wrong choice.
I’ve read all the information our school district has given us, and spoken to school administrators, but we are all in this imperfect catch 22 scenario. They are unable to give me details regarding what in person school will look like exactly because they are waiting for parents to decide whether or not they are going to send their kids back.
Yet, parents don’t have all the information on what online learning will look like, or what in person school will look like because the administration needs numbers of students enrolled to make a plan.
How are parents supposed to make a decision like this with so little information?
From what I have gathered, online learning is going to be “improved” from the Spring, but no real details on what that means. In person learning will include my child wearing a mask all day, cleaning his/her workstation several times a day, and classrooms that are more than likely too full to properly social distance. So, I can’t help but think that they are all going to be on top of each other anyway, and eventually we will end up back at home.
It seems like no matter what I choose there are serious consequences.
So instead, I sit here trying to research all the options available to me (there are literally like one million online learning schools) and I’m paralyzed.
I tend to get highly anxious when I have to make big decisions like this and this feels like one of the biggest I’ve had to make since becoming a parent.
But, what makes me so frustrated is all the conflicting information that is making it near impossible for parents to make an informed decision.
For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement this past week urging schools to consider science not politics when sending kids back to school leading parents to feel uneasy at the thought of sending their children back right now. Just a few weeks ago they were saying send them back for their mental health.
How are parents supposed to know what to believe?
I read a post recently about giving teachers a chance to prove that they can handle this and how parents should trust that they can do it, and another post about how teachers are urged to get their wills in place. How they don’t want to die. How they are also worried and scared.
There is too much information and I’m left frozen in fear.
Fear of messing up my kids’ education.
Fear of my kids getting sick.
Fear of my kids’ mental health being at risk.
Fear of instability.
Fear of the unknown and what ifs and the scenarios we haven’t even thought of yet.
Parents are expected to do the impossible right now.
We can trust our guts, I guess. But, I’d rather trust scientists and administrators, yet no one seems to have confidence in anything or anyone right now. If the AAP is talking out of both sides of their mouth, then how am I supposed to know what the hell to do?
There are no guarantees. There are half baked plans that may or may not work out.
There is a lot of confusion and contradiction and fear out there.
Parents are expected to just figure it out without any guarantees our kids will be OK.
And for me, right now, that’s anything but OK.