A few weeks ago, a cyberattack brought my local school district to a grinding halt. It’s just one of the most recent attacks in what has become an ever-increasing problem, and our local school district was brought to an unceremonious standstill while they figured it out. They recovered (sort of), but still lost data. Teachers had to re-enter grades, and I’m not sure any of us really want to know the full impact of the attack.
The cyberattack really did feel like an attack…just one more thing to happen this year that’s “crazy-making.” Beyond the cyberattack, there’s been the super bugs floating around, and the kids have all been more sick than “normal,” after having that pandemic school year.
There was talk just a few weeks ago about further school shutdowns here (a few of the local schools did shut down), and thousands of schools have closed nationwide.
They call us the moms of the pandemic.
But that was supposed to be LAST year — 2022 was supposed to be better, safer, and healthier. I don’t want to talk about politics and the state of the world, although there’s lots to talk about there. I want to find out how you’re doing. How are you coping with the everyday school madness for moms?
I don’t want to talk about it like it’s a battle, but I do know that it’s been called an “explosive Rubik’s Cube.” Then, there were those Massachusetts moms who just got together to SCREAM out their pandemic frustrations. Why does it feel like moms keep saying and showing how all of this is affecting us, but nobody is really listening?
PANDEMIC PARENTING: Moms are getting together to commiserate about the difficulties of parenting young children during the pandemic — and to scream their frustrations out. pic.twitter.com/Dwn6eZ3fbG
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) February 13, 2022
Moms were among the first hit by the layoffs. Over the last few years, moms left work in droves. We’ve been faced with the lack of childcare, at-home schooling (yep, that was 2020), and a sense of burnout and frustration. The situation is dire.
Women are still not working, and many moms aren’t even seeking jobs. Emiliana Guereca, Founder and CEO of Women’s March Action, says: “Women have left the workforce by the millions, and it will set back women for at least a decade.”
As many as 67% of women left work to become primary caregivers to their kids and/or parents. There is a lot to face, so how do we cope? It has impacted me just like everyone else, but it sometimes seems disingenuous to say anything about it – we’re all facing struggles with work, school, and life.
The worry that the coronavirus will upend life at any moment has never let up for families. And that chronic unpredictability has had consequences, especially for women. https://t.co/cLMryQD8NC
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 14, 2022
I tend to try to focus on the positive. So, here are my tips. They’re not really too different from my everyday ways of coping, but I think they are even more important to remember now.
This is the main focus of January and February most years anyway, right? But I know lots of moms who stopped going to the gym when the pandemic hit, and they haven’t been back. With the chaos of school, work, and uncertainty, it’s easy to just let it slide. But good health is its own reward:
Sleep and healthy eating habits help to support your immune system.
Being healthy also helps us manage stress and avoid burnout.
It helps our kids to develop good habits, so they can better deal with school and life chaos.
I know we’ve talked about health and wellness strategies in the past. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s even more important to focus on healthy choices now.
I’ve always heard that cliché: “Laughter is the best medicine.” The health benefits of laughter are real, but laughing also just feels great.
Watch a stupid/silly/funny show and just let yourself laugh.
Share jokes as a family (my son loves to share jokes with us all).
Seek out the things in life that are lighthearted and hilarious.
Laughter not only relieves anxiety and stress, it also helps to boost your immune system and support resilience.
With everyone cut off and busy coping with their own chaos, it’s easy to feel like nobody else is experiencing all this. But if you reach out to your friends and family, you’ll soon hear what they are going through.
I know moms who have decided not to go back to work “right now.”
Some moms I know have quit the workforce, becoming “full-time home managers” (moms).
I know moms who have changed their kids’ schools or opted for online school (again).
I hear the voices of moms I know and have been following via social media for years. You can read and hear the stress, the frustration, and the struggle. We all face it, but we also all know (or should know) that we will get through this together. We have to get through it.
So, for most of us, it’s about taking one day at a time, working through the school closures, shutdowns, and everyday chaos. And we live in hope that maybe tomorrow will be a little easier.
What are your thoughts on coping with everyday school madness? Tell us below!
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