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Now that all of my littles are back in school, I have to remind myself that everything we’ve gone through over the past year was in an effort to get us back here. Back to “normal.” But it doesn’t really feel normal. Everything is slowly opening, kids are back in school, we’re eating out again, but honestly, we’re still trying to navigate this new normal. With all the challenges that our kids have had to face in the last year, it’s important to me to preserve our family’s mental health and safety—mom and dad included. And as we all settle into this new school year, we’re more focused on our kids’ mental and emotional health.
Setting a Good Example
Once again, I’ve partnered with Responsibility.org to help me navigate this back-to-school season and view it as a time of learning, growth, and wellness for the whole family. Together we focus on responsible consumption, responsible parenting, and open conversations between kids and parents about alcohol.
And as we continue to adapt, pivot, and adjust to this new normal at the beginning of this new school year, it’s important to me that my kids see Bobby and I setting a good example for them. We want to be the models for healthy coping mechanisms and responsible behavior.
Understanding Their Struggle
I’ll be the first to admit that this last year hasn’t been easy—not for anyone in my family. And as we slowly return to this new normal, including going back to school, it’s important that I watch carefully to make sure my kids aren’t struggling or having difficulties adjusting. Especially since my kids are in four different schools now—high school, middle school, elementary, and a special kindergarten for Brody. Not to mention getting back to their extracurriculars like lacrosse and dance.
My kids are so excited to be back in school, but I know there are still stresses and struggles for them. Will they make new friends, will they still be friends with their old friends, will they struggle with schoolwork or socializing again? Plus, everything is new for my littlest, who started kindergarten this year. I want to make sure that despite their worries, they are all happy and thriving.
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Accepting Your Own Struggle
There are so many things I love about being a mom, but I know it comes with a lot of worry, stress, and sacrifice, especially over this past year. Of course, my kids will always come first, but it’s important for Bobby and I to take a step back from time to time and focus on our own mental and emotional health too. Not only does this help me set a great example for my kids on how to cope with stress and take care of themselves, but it allows me to be the best mom I can be for my littles.
Be a Support System
While I’m not a mind reader, I’d like to think I know my children pretty well. I know when they’re happy, stressed, or something is bothering them. And it’s so important now, more than ever, that I focus on them and their needs. To let them know that I’m here to listen with open arms and I’m ready to talk when they want to. And maybe more importantly, even when they don’t.
As a Responsibility.org partner, I understand how important it is to have those open relationships and open dialogues with your kids. But I also know how hard it can be. No mom wants their child to struggle or deal with depression or any of the hardships that come with this pandemic and new normal. But by talking with your kids, leading by example, and maintaining that open relationship, we can be the support system they need to get through the new school year healthy and happy.
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