We All Screwed Up

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” They all went back TO SCHOOL! As the last of the kids in our area began their school year, in every different method, in every different way, we can collectively say, they are all BACK. Now take a deep breath and enjoy the time you have to do whatever you haven’t given a full effort towards since March — with the full acceptance of knowing that your school choice was probably wrong.

You’re Wrong and So Am I

None of us made the right decision. Not one single person. The only decision that was made was the best of the worst plans. How could we make the right decision? This wasn’t covered in the childbirth classes, much less any pamphlet at the pediatrician’s office (trust me, I looked). My parents? Useless. Apparently, they don’t have the right decisions or wisdom for pandemic schooling. Unfortunately, for me, none of them were around for the Spanish flu or Bubonic plague. So here we all are, walking around asking what other parents chose for schooling this year only for most of us answer timidly in fear of judgment and commentary. Not putting at the forefront that no one made the better decision. You did what you thought was the better option, and you are sitting there with a hope and a prayer and a possibly higher broadband because God knows if the Zoom goes out, we’re all f*cked.

Stop Making Apologies For What You Do

Every parent I have asked about school choice has answered me with one or two things: Timidly answering and/or then justifying their choice with a list of reasons. I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “Hey you don’t need to say that, I get it.” It’s okay to make the choice as a parent for your child, it’s okay that you wouldn’t have chosen what I did. I don’t care why you chose what you chose, as well as I hope you don’t care what I chose, either. But you might care, because Karen is in full force right now. Karen has been marinating on these comments and decisions because she, like many of us, is angry, scared, and sad. I’d like to be the opposite of the commentary, and say:

Good job. You did it. You made a decision to do something, and one that was the best of the worst decisions for your child and family.

I Can’t Afford Harvard

I feel sick, personally. I feel like no matter what, I may have screwed this up. There’s no way of knowing, and lucky for me, one of their grandparents is a therapist, so the discount on therapy should be significant for future needs. Will my child fall behind? Will my child end up with a lower SAT score? Will she get into Harvard? (I hope not unless it’s a full scholarship because I can’t afford Harvard, so this could be a blessing.)

There is no way to know what impact this has made for our children’s future, but I can with confidence say the same thing we’ve all heard repeatedly: “We are all in this together.” Then we can all laugh at that statement because most days, the mom guilt and parent shaming come in, and it feels like an island that you just hope to find another human on who is like, “Hey, I may have screwed this up, too.” And you can be like, “Yeah, probably.”

In the meantime, let’s collectively take a big, cleansing breath, whisper a silent prayer, and truly hope ALL of our children will be okay, even if we made the wrong decision.

Allie Testoni
Allie has been with the Jacksonville Mom team since 2017. After a few life changes, she moved with her two daughters and dog down to Florida to start over again. Always up for a margarita and tacos, and some sarcastic humor, Allie likes to find the funny in her everyday life, share her thoughts on everyday topics, and give you some great recommendations on what and where to eat.

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