Not So Traditional

Assuming everything goes as planned, QMonster will start 3rd grade this week.

I can’t but help and worry if we made the right decision to send him back to “traditional” school.

If Summer 2020 had gone as planned (ie Las Vegas vacay, Disney World trip, 10 weeks of working from home with QMonster out of school) I would have been counting down to this day. I would have been that mom skipping out of the school after dropping my kiddo off on the first day. I would have been that mom smiling from ear to ear at the annual “wahoo/boohoo mom’s first day of school” breakfast.

But Summer 2020 didn’t go as planned. Hell, none of 2020 has gone as planned.

With this global pandemic, school in 2020 is looking a lot different. In our district, we were given a few options for how we wanted Fall 2020 to look for our child. Traditional. Hybrid. or Online. (I will say “traditional” isn’t all that traditional though….For the current moment traditional is defined as in person learning 2 days a week & 3 days of virtual learning. Basically the same thing as “hybrid”) For us, traditional is what think is best for Q. Mainly, due to his IEP and getting the services he needs was impossible when we were forced to online learning in the Spring. We also know that Q thrives off structure, routine, and social settings, which we feel are provided best through traditional school.

BUT I am just nervous….is giving him the structure, routine, and services we know he needs to be successful in school worth it if he ends up sick with COVID-19? What if he brings it home to me who has a compromised immune system? What if he takes it to school and his teacher, with a medical needs child, gets it? What if they close the doors and send us to online learning just as quickly as they did in the Spring? What if this new look of school, with the masks, social distancing, no playground, no lunchroom, alternating classroom days, etc. strips all of the fun & good out of school so that it becomes more of a downer environment than one of excitement and learning? These “what ifs” keep going through my mind and I while I truly think we have made the right decision for QMonster, I can’t help but feel like mayyyyyybe we didn’t. I keep feeling like I am either a) being way to relaxed about this COVID situation or b) I am being way to dramatic about this COVID situation. By choosing traditional school, I felt like I was being too casual with Coronavirus but when I thought about picking online learning I thought “Leah, you are being so dramatic”. I don’t think either feeling is right or wrong. And I get the sense that most of us mommas feel this way.

The problem is that if we had made another choice, I think that I would still be questioning our decision and playing the “what if” game. After talking to other mommas, making similar decisions, I think we are all in the same boat…trying to make the decision that works best for our child & family. One of my best friends chose online learning for her kids. Another one of my best friends chose traditional for one of her kids and online for her other child. That’s the thing, we are all making these tough decisions that we shouldn’t be faced with but that is the unfortunate reality. Now, as a mom, all we can do is weigh the pros vs cons and make a choice.

Whatever decision we’ve made, whatever school looks like, whether the kiddos are learning in the classroom or via a Zoom meeting, I think we, as the mommas, set the tone for our kids. I am working extra hard to hide any of my fears, worries, and stresses surrounding Q’s school year from Quin and just talking with him about how exciting THIRD grade is going to be! Of course, we have talked about wearing our masks in school, only going a few days a week, and that school may be a little different when the starts back but I am trying really hard to present these as facts not fear. I am going with the “fake it til ya make it” attitude and trying to let my fake outward positivity drown out my internal negativity.

With a lot of flexibility, some creativity, and a whole lotta tequila, we will get through this 2020-2021 school year, momma! I know whatever decision you have made is the right one for your family and I support you 100%! What is Fall 2020 looking like for your kiddo? Did you get a choice or did your school district only give one option? Comment & let me know!

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