Return to school. The thought stirs up mixed feelings and a knot in my stomach. The return to school has always come with mixed feelings for me: sadness at the end of summer adventures and excitement that the kids will be in school and I can again go to the grocery store by myself. This year, the mixed feelings accompany a multitude of questions and unsettling thoughts.
What will school look like? What will it be like for them to wear masks? Will they even go in person or will virtual be required at the last minute? If they are home again and I am juggling schooling them, the household and work, will my sanity survive?
Usually in August, parents across the country snap “first day of school pictures” as their kids go off to somewhat uniform and predictable school experiences. This year, every parent is navigating something a little different. It is amazing to me the variety of “return to school plans” I’ve heard (and how quickly they can change.) All virtual, all in person; half days, full days; hybrid with one or two days in person or alternating weeks; masks all day, no masks at all. As I have talked to moms across the country, it seems no two schools are handling it exactly the same.
Even the difference from one district to another can leave us feeling alone, guilty, or even jealous as we compare what is happening with our kids to others we know.
Mama, you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by what lies ahead. You are not alone in your uncertainty as you look forward to the unknown. You are not alone in feeling like you don’t have what it takes to navigate another semester like this past spring. You are not alone in feeling guilty for sending your kids to school. You are not alone in wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into by deciding to keep them home. The storm of emotions as the school year starts is off the charts and unprecedented on a global scale!
Thankfully, Jesus specializes in calming storms. While the external circumstances may remain crazy and unpredictable, His peace can reign in your emotions.
Today, find a few minutes of quiet (even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom.) Take some deep breaths. Think of something that makes you smile. Thank Jesus for the gift He has given you that brings a smile and listen to see if He responds. It might be a feeling (like calmness in your body so you breathe all the way to your belly rather than your breaths getting stuck in your chest.) It might be a picture (like a father hugging a child) or it might be a thought (like “I’ve got you, you are not alone, we will do this together.”) Jesus’ peace can calm the storm of our emotions.