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Going Back to School – The Dishes Can Wait.

The new school year is upon us! My emotions have been ranging between “Woo-hoo, please take my child!” and “I wish I could Bubble Wrap and keep her safe with me forever.”

On the one hand, this mama is excited to get back into a more structured routine, to not stress over balancing work with “playing” teacher’s assistant during virtual learning, and to watch my eager 6-year-old daughter make new friends and learn new things.

On the other hand, I am nervous. I can’t shake the feeling of anxiousness about sending her back for in-person learning during the pandemic. The anticipation of if/when “the other shoe is going to drop” often keeps me up at night.

Here’s how my daughter and I have been dealing with transitioning back to school:

  • Prioritizing our physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being, listening to and nourishing our bodies, minds and souls. Self-care is not selfish.
  • Focusing on the positiveswhile preparing a contingency plan for the “what-ifs.” Didn’t make it to the gym? Have a dance party in your living room! Claire Cook said it well: “If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.”
  • Letting go of perfection and giving ourselves grace. Sometimes a weekend nap or having breakfast for dinner is just what you need; the dishes can wait.
  • Checking in with family, friends, and each other. Social support network is a powerful tool for beating stress and getting through challenging times. Surround yourself with uplifting people.
  • Asking for help. This one is particularly difficult for both my daughter and me. All that darn pride of wanting to be strong, independent, can-do-anything women. The reality is, we all need help at times and it does not make us any less amazing.

Dear parents/caregivers and kiddos: I see you! May you find joy in moments big and small. And on the days that feel like you can’t take one more thing, find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone and that the dishes can wait.

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