A Working Mom’s Thoughts on May Holidays and Education During a Global Pandemic

It’s May. Can you believe it? May for me usually means a spring trip to NYC for Mother’s Day and visiting best friends, spring sports, spring band concerts, and maybe sneaking in a girls wine festival weekend. But this May is different. We are still adjusting, it seems, as a family.

Our daily life is falling into an “OK” routine

I realize as I write this that I haven’t left the house in 4 days. It’s tough. School work for three – live classes, assignments, projects – a full time job that is busier than ever, online music lessons, online sports sessions, and there’s still laundry and dishes (so many dishes!!!!), it’s a lot! But, like many of you, I try to find the positive in all of this. (I also find many days are not what I had hoped they would be.)

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I know how my family celebrates will be different this year. We won’t make our annual trip to NYC. And that’s OK, we will find something to do at home this year. But I think many of us moms probably can’t see our own moms during all of this, and we miss them. And many of us have seen our children way too much. The extremeness of the situation is illustrated right there: Not enough of one and maybe just a tad too much of the other. (Just a tad.)

Our daily life is falling into an “OK” routine. But I have different meetings different days. The kids have different live classes different days. Sometimes there are four of us with a live, video meeting ALL at the same time. That’s interesting for sure. As a mom of three kids, ages 11, 9 and 9, I know sometimes you just have to wing it, do what you can and hope for the best.

My husband is a nurse and a regional manager and essential. He leaves the house every day, just like he normally did. The first week of May is Nurse Appreciation Week. That appreciation has a lot more meaning for many of us during the pandemic, and it would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my husband and my many nurse friends who are working hard for all of us.

We appreciate teachers EVEN MORE right now

The first week of May is also Education Week and Teacher Appreciation Week and boy, do I know how much we all appreciate the teachers EVEN MORE in our lives. Teaching is HARD. It’s not about TELLING, which is what so many of us adults do. We tell, we think they should get it, and we may get a tad frustrated when they don’t.

One of the highlights of this time at home has been watching my 9-year-old daughter attend online Sylvan sessions through the weeks of this pandemic. I get teary-eyed every single week when she talks to me about what she’s learned and see how much better she is at math.

I see her getting it and making up ground while the rest of the world (and her class) isn’t zooming past her right now. I work for Sylvan but let me tell you, I believe Sylvan works. This is my daughter and her only 4th grade year, and Sylvan will forever be a major part of those memories, including how she moved to live, online sessions during the pandemic. And thrived.

My daughter has amazing classroom teachers and I see them work their magic with the whole class during their live classes. She also has amazing Sylvan teachers who have adapted and keep her focused and making up ground. She just missed some things along the way in that 3rd grade year and now she’s catching up. She’s filling in the foundation. It’s clicking for her. It really is amazing to see first-hand every day.

Thoughts for teachers, nurses and moms

With all the uncertainty out there (as I write this from my home in Maryland, our state hasn’t closed schools for the whole year yet), it’s really hard to know what to do educationally for our kids. Is the school giving them enough? Too much? Are they retaining it? Really learning? It is all going to depend on your child, your school, the area you live in. But just like anything else, as a parent, you will figure out what is right for your family and what extra help you need. If you are reading this, I hope you know, we, at Sylvan, can help. We can help you navigate all of this – with advice, free resources or with an enrollment in one of our programs.

Wishing all the teachers, nurses and moms a happy May in our new reality, I hope you find ways to celebrate that bring you joy.