The other night when I was scrolling through Facebook I happened to come across a post that read, “I’m so glad I’m not a parent right now.”

I became a mother at the age of nineteen. While most of my friends were going away to college, getting legally drunk (I was pregnant at twenty-one), and having all of these new adventures.. I was at home building my family. I won’t lie and say that I never wondered what my life would be like if I didn’t become a young mother, but I have never envied other people or regretted my life. But something inside of me paused when I read that post. . .

There has been one question on every parent’s mind these past few months. Should I send my child back to school or have them learn virtually this year? The answer seemed obvious for us. With the growing numbers of covid in our city (and state) it was clear that keeping our children home was the “right” decision. I thought of our elementary school teachers and staff and how I also wanted to keep them safe.

I sat with my thoughts and lost a lot of sleep over wondering whether or not I was making the best decision for my children. I have been blessed to not have to worry about my children’s mental state since we’ve been stuck at home, but realizing that they might have to continue being home for a much longer time than originally anticipated had me worried. What will happen when they finally realize that they won’t see their friends for the rest of the year? Will they lose those friends if they can’t interact with them on a daily basis anymore? When they eventually do go back to school will they feel isolated? Are they going to have trouble making friends again?

Another worry was wondering if my children would actually sustain what they learn. I saw a slight decline in their grades in the Spring when we moved to virtual learning and with us going into new grades, I’ve been concerned about it.

As you can tell I have had many worries. I feel like I haven’t been able to properly sleep since July since we were first told that we would be allowed to make the final decision on how our child learns this year. I have family and friends on both sides. Some are sending their children back to school and some are keeping theirs at home. I spoke to a lot of them and asked their opinions on it which finally helped me make the “right” decision for our family.

Deciding to learn virtually wasn’t as easy of a decision as one would think. But it’s what we are doing to keep our family safe and hopefully help stop the spread of covid in schools.

I don’t believe there is a “right” choice when it comes to choosing what is best for our children this year. Most parents don’t get the luxury that I do where they are able to be at home with their kids. Every family is different and all of us are just trying to navigate through our new world as parents. And I think there’s going to be a lot of “let’s just wing it” happening this year which is okay in my eyes.

This past week as we’ve prepared for the start of school has been completely overwhelming. We’ve been hit with email after email with information that doesn’t make any sense to me at times. But even with all of the information being thrown at me, I can’t help but feel lucky tonight.

Tomorrow is finally the first day of school. Our school district is working hard to provide every family with the tools for a good year so even if there are kinks that will need to be worked out, I have faith that everything will be okay in the end. Of course I still feel worried even about some new things that have come to light.. But I know in my heart that my children and I will get through this.

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