Don’t head back to school without this key “B”

I can’t believe it. My daughter will be headed to school tomorrow, in person, for the first time in 17 months. She’ll be in third grade this year.

I don’t know how long it will last, but this year, we actually looked forward to preparing — buying new clothes, school supplies, cute masks, tasty snacks — the works.

We just unloaded some groceries, and our pantry probably won’t be this well-stocked for … maybe like ever again, ha!

As excited as we all are, it’s hedged with uneasiness. We have it good in so many ways, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead for the year. For many reasons, we can’t feel “settled” or reasonably sure of what the fall will hold.

Just one example is that E got her teacher assignment, and was very happy. Come Back to School night, we learn that the class needs to hire another teacher (30 desks right now right next to each other in a small classroom, yay), so instead of being excited she can bond with this new adult figure in her life, she’s going in guarded, knowing she’s going to have to make changes soon after she’s just gotten used to things again.

My gut reaction is that this breaks my heart. And then, of course, I feel guilty that others have it so much worse. So we vow to make the best of things. Again.

SO. MANY. FEEEEEEELINGS.

I imagine your back-to-school journey will also be filled with questions, concerns, and rollercoasters of highs and lows.

I hope that your family gets to have good experiences, friendships, security, understanding, health, and happiness.

So what’s that key “B” you’re gonna need to weather it all?

BUFFER.

Please, for the love of Pete, build some BUFFER into your back-to-school schedule.

As much as I’d love to be your Pollyanna cheerleader (a role I was born to play), I know that many of us moms are already just DONE. Sending kids back to school is our last hope at some semblance of sanity.

Since it won’t be all smooth sailing, this is the best advice I can give you — build in as much BUFFER, as much room as you can, to absorb the inevitable bumps, upsets, quarantines, and even opportunities for escape or (dare I say?) JOY. If nothing else, leave some room for you and your kids to process the day-to-day emotions that will inevitably come with all the ups and downs ahead.

So I hope you’ll ask yourself:

  • How is your DAILY schedule? Is it realistic for only short bursts, or for the rest of the semester?
  • How is your WEEKLY schedule looking? What pockets seem hectic? Do you have at least a chunk of a few hours every few days to catch up on things when events go haywire?
  • What does your CALENDAR look like, now through the holidays? Are you overcommitted on the weekends and holidays, or do you have time to come up for air between your busy weeks?

Considering everything going on at this time in our history, this may be your best chance to step back from your usual school year obligations — please consider it carefully. You can always ramp back up gradually.

Give yourself the gift of time, of quiet, of extra sleep, of help, wherever you can.

If you want to make this exercise a priority that actually gets donebook a free call with me so you can see exactly how building in some buffer time is going to pay off for you.

It’s one thing for me to speak in generalities, but my advice gets pretty compelling once you get to share your unique situation and we play with the possibilities that can improve the quality of your day-to-day life.

Wishing you the best as you head back to school!

2 Responses

    1. Hi Marie! One week down and so far, so good. Hope it lasts!

      I wish you and your daughter a safe, happy, and healthy school year ahead, too!

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