After moving across the country with our 2.5 year old twins in the middle of a pandemic, I felt like we could do anything.
But then we were faced with another agonizing decision: what do we do about school this fall?
My husband and I both have very flexible jobs and can easily work remotely. I’m so grateful for that especially now, during the pandemic. But because we are always at home, I wanted the twins to go to preschool so they would have a change of scenery, be around friends, and give us some space in the house.
After much deliberation and reviewing multi-page documents about new health policies, I eagerly prepared the twins for their first day of preschool.
The good news is that they absolutely LOVE school. The class is really small (seven kids) and the teacher is lovely. They beg to go to school every morning and they are actually sad when it’s a weekend.
But…there’s always a but. It’s now November and while school started in August, we’ve yet to attend a full week of school.
First, our twins came down with the ever common “back to school” runny nose. The new school health policy means they had to sit out for seven days. Just as we were getting in our groove! And of course the runny nose lasted all of 36 hours.
Then, just as we were about to have our first full week back, we got notice on a Thursday afternoon that a staff member tested positive and they would be closing the school for 14 days.
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Immediately, I felt a range of emotions. Anger at the person who tested positive for not being more careful especially since they care for kids. Frustration at the strict policies of the school. Guilt for sending our kids back to school in the middle of a pandemic. And dread as I faced 14 days of rearranging our work schedules in order to keep the kids home with us for two weeks.
But this is what parenting during a pandemic looks like. It looks like doing your best and having your best challenged. It looks like making decisions and then changing your mind. It looks like rescheduling and rearranging and hoping and praying and shifting.
Finally, we’re back at school and I’m hoping we can get a full five days in a row before there’s another illness. I’m taking all the precautions that we can and trying to do what’s best for our family.
So please just know this: whatever decision you’ve made about care for your kids, it’s the best one for your family. Some people will get sick. There will be closures. Your nanny might get sick. Your family member who cares for your kids might get sick. But we’re all doing our best.
Wear a mask!
About the author
Alessandra Thomas, TLC’s San Francisco and Virginia Associate, is the mother of 2 year old boy/girl twins. Alessandra and her husband received the shocking news that they were expecting twins the same week they found out about their cross-country move from Virginia to San Francisco. Eager to find support and a community especially without family on the West Coast, Alessandra became involved in the local Parents of Multiples chapter and attended a class with Twin Love. She’s a contributing writer for a local moms blog where she focuses on sharing the trials and joys of having twins. Alessandra is also a freelance executive assistant and loves the flexibility of working remotely. You can reach Alessandra at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our San Francisco and Charlottesville services.