20 back-to-school worries I have as a parent this year

Every year, I sit down to write this list. A list of the thoughts, fears and anxieties I face as a parent when the new school year begins. These annual accumulations have always been similar. However, this year, it’s a whole new ball game, one without spectators of course.

Uncertainty has been the most overused word of 2020, but we cannot deny it fits perfectly when it comes to the reopening of schools. We faced many challenges since COVID-19 took over our lives. The difference now is that our kids will have to adhere to these new life rules, without our supervision. 

The important thing to remember, no matter how cliche it is, we are all in this together. Here is my list of worries about my daughter going back to school this year:

1. Will she remember what school was like pre-COVID .... or is it better if she doesn’t?

2. Will she remember any school work from last year?

3. Did I do enough home-schooling with her during lockdown?

4. Could I have done more harm than good by being so open with her about the current situation?

5. How strict will they be about physical contact and social distancing?

6. What happens when a six-year-old forgets for a moment and breaks the rules?

7. Will the new rules overwhelm her, or will she adapt to this new normal?

8. Did I explain the rules properly?

9. They say kids are adaptable, so am I overreacting?

10. How will she feel when she can’t hug the little friends she hasn’t seen in six months?

11. How will she feel when she cannot get a hug from her adored teacher?

12. Will she be affected by my anxieties if my attempts to mask them aren't working?


13. What happens if the school closes? Will it be like March all over again?

14. Will they pick up where they left off in March or will it be a whole new curriculum?

15. Should I ask her if she is worried about going back to school, or will this only introduce stress?

16. Could I have done more harm than good in my attempts to be her teacher during lockdown?

17. Will the uncertainty create different levels of strictness between parents and if so, will this affect our kid's relationships?

18. Am I being strict enough with hand washing etc?

19. The teacher has 28 kids to oversee, so who will remind my daughter about hand washing, hand sanitizer and social distancing when I am not there?

20. Will she understand that the new rules will be for her safety and the safety of her little pals, or will she rebel?

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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