I remember the first day back to school as a kid, often full of nervous excitement, to find out which friends would be in my class and which teachers I would get. I always loved shopping for new school supplies, and it was great to see my friends again after a long summer.
Anxiety and back to school go hand-in-hand even for parents
However, this year, back to school provoked me to have a full freak out last month. The COVID-19 numbers were going up, and it was unclear what my daughter’s school was going to do if anything, to mitigate this. Plus, my daughter is starting middle school, which itself is totally overwhelming.
The “what if’s” completely overwhelmed me. What if after all our sacrifices last year with virtual learning, and then she gets sick when she goes back in person? How do we handle it if her school is not mandating masks? What if her friends have moved on? My brain was on full anxiety spin cycle.
Well, I am happy to say, my daughter, not just survived her first couple of days of school, but she is THRILLED to be back at school in person. It’s a bit easier since her school is mandating masks, and my daughter is old enough to keep it on. And I am sure that the social ups and downs of middle school are coming our way.
This is a good reminder that it is important for me as a parent to manage my anxiety rather than letting it spill over onto my daughter. Anxiety is what happens when we are not sure about what to expect and fear the worst. But this is a good reminder that parenting, even during a pandemic, is all about trying to make the best decisions we can for our children with the information we have and trusting that they are resilient, and it will be ok.