By Guest Blogger, Ritu Kohli-Sethi
“Do I homeschool, remote learn or send to class?”
“Is it ok to have my parents visit me?”
“I want to go to the office to see my colleagues. How will that affect everyone around me?”
“How do I manage the routine when kids come home from school?”
I don’t know about you, but I found this past week to be more stressful than other weeks. With kids heading back to school, I have been working hard to address their concerns, arm them with information on looking after themselves in school and most importantly just being positive about the decision we all made together.
As a family we have created new routines to handle the return from school, visits with anyone and just managing our day to day. But the real struggle for me is trying to be positive about a new routine, knowing it could all change at any given moment. I feel like a caged animal just pacing back and forth trying to figure out how to get out. The cage, in this case, is more of a mental and emotional one.
The lockdown back in March and switching to virtual school came with a set of challenges that I never expected. Although we got through it, there were a lot of trials and errors, coaching and reorganization and that was exhausting.
Like many parents, I too put a lot of pressure on myself trying to make sure that I didn’t drop the ball on my children’s education, our family’s health, my business etc. But at the end of the day, we got through it and did the best we could, believing that by September it would be ok.
Well we are now in September, nothing has changed, the fears remain the same. After going through the excruciatingly tough decision, as a family, to send our kids back to school, we have been literally preparing like an army of ants.
We are inundated with information and it’s a struggle to decipher between opinions, facts and hearsay. On top of it all, we are bombarded with people’s opinions and social media meltdowns on everything that is wrong.
Well by the 1st of the month, I made the decision to ignore all the noise and focus on what’s relevant to us, public health guidelines and self care.
Whether it be with our children going to school, our professional lives, we caregivers entering health or long term care facilities or as educators, everyone is unsure of the next few days, let alone next few months.
We must remember that:
- Our intentions are from a good place. Like us, each person we connect with is also evaluating and making decisions that are from a good place, just their place and not ours.
- Each person, we are connected to, have their own burdens to bear. Whether you are a teacher, colleague, a boss, grandparent, nurse, rather than bombarding everyone with our expectations, show empathy and compassion.
- Our fears, concerns and decisions may not be the same as the people around us, nonetheless, the impact of this is significant for all of us.
- Communicate, discuss and know that it’s ok for us to disagree with another’s views. We have folks that have some strong views on masks, the pandemic, education etc. We are adult enough to maturely have discussions without feeling judged or passing judgment. Communication is key.
- Remind yourself daily to check your expectations at the door. Guess what, none of us at this moment know what will happen tomorrow, as we are operating within a pandemic mode. Each day is a new day, things can change and that’s OK!
You may not agree with everything I have to say, and that’s OK. Try your best to make sure you aren’t projecting your fears on to others. I work through my concerns and fears, through meditation, stepping back and take a few calming breaths, maybe putting on a headset and just focusing on the task in front of me.
What will you do for yourself so you can be better with everyone else?
About Ritu Kohli-Sethi
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They have two locations to serve you in the Mississauga area….just minutes from Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto. They offer flexible terms and state of the art amenities!
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