I can’t believe that after 6 months, Luke will finally be going back to school.
I have prayed for this moment for weeks now. I’ve moaned, cried, shouted, screamed and just outright ignored the chaos that has been unfurling around me for 168 days.
Despite all this…despite the breakdowns and the massive hit to my mental health, I’m actually feeling very anxious and apprehensive about Luke going back to school.
COVID isn’t the only thing making me anxious about going back to school.
It’s not just the whole Covid 19 situation, although that certainly doesn’t help. It’s a little bit of everything that makes me worried for him and for myself.
To start with, Luke is starting year 3. You may have remembered that just before lockdown begun, we moved house and, therefore, Luke moved schools. He was at an infants school for 3 whole weeks before lockdown was enforced, so not really long enough to really make any friends, which has been both a blessing and a curse. Like many kids, he misses his friends, but he misses them from his old old (first) school.
A brand new school on a brand new site.
He starts at a brand new junior school next week and, according to his headteacher from infants, only about 2% of the students there go onto the junior school he’s ended up with a place in. His placement wasn’t our first choice, but there aren’t a lot of junior schools within walking distance from us, so it could have been worse.
I feel guilty and anxious about him starting here because, not only is it a brand new school and a brand new site, he will also be going into a school that has an infants attached, meaning almost everyone will already know each other. I hope he can make friends and doesn’t feel left out or alienated!
School is completely different this year.
I have been bombarded with letters from his new school outlining the guidelines and steps being taken to ensure school is safe for the children once more.
Everything is so different! I know kids are resilient and adaptable, but not only is he starting at a new school with no friends, but he’s also walking into an environment that is completely different from what he may be expecting.
I know that open conversations about school are hugely beneficial and we’ve discussed lots of things, but he seems very disinterested in talking about the start of term. I think I might try and get a few adults he interacts with to gently drop things into conversation from time to time, just to make sure he is prepared.
Mum’s get anxious too.
I already suffer from anxiety, which I’ve talked about a few times before. Going somewhere new/doing something for the first time is one of the scariest scenarios for me to be in and always makes me feel like a child, rather than a woman who’s almost 30. I look around at the other mums and know I don’t fit in, I have no idea where to go thanks to the specific drop off and pick up zones in a school I have never been to and I don’t even know how I’m going to juggle my terror of a toddler when it comes to the school run!
Overwhelming mum guilt.
For so long I struggled with him being home, but now I don’t want him to go back.
It’s all bittersweet really. I know that it will give me a chance to get back into my routine and I will be able to concentrate on earning a living once more. I know that he will massively benefit from the social interaction and the focused time with teachers and peers. But all of this can’t stop me from feeling the overwhelming mum guilt I have when I think about all the times I willed lockdown to be over.
I guess, what it comes down to, is that going back to school is an especially big deal this year.
The kids have all just had so much time at home, it’s going to be a huge shock to everyone’s systems. We’ve all completely forgotten our morning routines and who knows how Luke’s stress and energy levels will be after a couple of long days back. Whether it’s physically or mentally (or most likely, both), this first term back will be a monumental challenge for everyone.
Have your kids already gone back? Or are they back next week like Luke? Let me know in the comments and send me all your best tips for coping with the new school year.