Anywhere from the middle of last week to the beginning of this, children in the UK now have to return to school. This means my children have gone back to school and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.
The first day, last Thursday for us, I lost three of my children on the same day. They have spent every day of the last six months with me and, although at time it has been tough not having a moments peace, it hit me harder than expected when they were not home with me any more. I found it much more anxiety inducing than I had anticipated for two reasons. Firstly, I now have to trust someone else to take care of my children again with the same level of commitment and attentiveness that I have for the last six months, this was never an issue before, I always took their safety at school for granted. Secondly, as I have spoken about before I get a huge amount of anxiety when leaving the house, having said this, the school drop off has never been an issue as it became so embedded as part of the daily routine that it occurred fairly naturally without causing any symptoms of anxiety. It seems that the long break from making this usually routine trip has changed this and it is now causing me symptoms, fairly mildly thankfully and I hope that, once it become routine once again this will subside.
I do wonder how ‘the new normal’ at school will impact the children and young people of today. Constant hand sanitizer, segregation from other age groups of children, face masks and distancing, all make for a very different school experience than the ‘pre-COVID’ one. I hope any impacts of this situation on the mental health of young people are minimal and that the old ‘normal’ does return some day. I suspect that the negative mental health issues caused by children staying home for long periods of time would be worse than those caused by a return to school, even in the current circumstances, so I am absolutely in favour of the return to school, it is just going to take some adjusting to, that’s all.
Thanks for reading.