Yes, this still is hard

Dear parent(s),

If you are wondering if, six months later, with school back in swing still virtually for many, this is still hard…

…the answer is yes. Yes, this is still hard.

Despite teachers showing up every day and bringing their A-game for our kids…

mother holding a tired child
ending the meltdown, exhausted to sleep

This is still hard.

Despite students showing up every day ready to learn and engage and show their bodies are actively listening…

This is still hard.

Despite at least part of a summer where students weren’t sitting on computers during virtual class and hopefully had some time outdoors to “let off steam”…

This is still hard.

Despite us being 6 months into this most unusual time, of back and forth lockdowns, mask wearing in public spaces, life as we knew it nowhere on the horizon…

This is still hard.

Despite days where you can announce triumphantly, “today was a good day!” or “No Zoom crashes today!” or “breakfast for dinner today!”…

This is still hard.

I’m here to just affirm, if you are feeling that this is still hard — I concur. It’s still hard for me too! And for our kiddo. And our friends. And our family. And most of the people I know whether they are living in an area on total lockdown still or living in an area where gyms and hair salons are opening.

This is still hard.

Denying that it is still hard, that many days are going to feel hard even if some days start to feel less hard, frankly, makes the whole darn thing more difficult.

I just ended our first four days back to school, in full virtual learning mode, with our nearly seven year old in a full-on, tears streaming, crying until she crumpled in my arms fast asleep meltdown.

Not for any reason in particular, or even for any of those “silly” reasons us moms like to write about in Facebook posts later about our kids who are melting down because we put their socks on for them, or took them off, or looked at them the wrong way over our cup of morning coffee.

No, our meltdown today was because This. Is. Still. Hard.

Our meltdown was because children, no matter how resilient they are, are feeling this. The sitting in front of a computer screen for 3 to 5 hours PER DAY. Even with a dynamic teacher and engaging lessons.

That is hard.

Our meltdown was because as a teacher, sitting from 7:30am – 4pm in front of a computer screen, again, despite dynamic lessons and students who are engaged and wanting to learn, I’m spent at the end of my day.

This is hard.

Our meltdown was because we, as humans, are not hard-wired to sit in front of a screen and engage fully with our bodies and our minds without real, social interaction (even those of us like me who are, really, introverts, crave at least SOME interaction…) and it is exhausting us – our bodies and our minds.

This is hard.

Our meltdown was despite being “a good mask wearer” wearing a mask for even an hour at a time, especially when you are a tiny human and it’s not for your job, is a constant, draining reminder that things are different.

This is hard.

Our meltdown was because we can’t play on playgrounds or just be around our groups of friends (this is true for adults too), and for many children they haven’t seen their school friends, in real life person, for six months now.

This is hard.

Our meltdown was because, even if we can’t find the words, we are in some sort of mourning over what life was like before and, again if we can’t find the words, have some feelings of trepidation on when – and if – we might ever see even a part of that life again.

This is hard.

Our meltdown was because…just simply, regardless of our situation, most of us are facing a day-to-day that is still, frankly hard.

So, parents, if you are feeling the hard today, I want you to know, I’m feeling it with you.

With the warmest virtual hugs,

~ a fellow parent

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