This article was written originally in Spanish.
A little over a year after the pandemic shutdowns and after most of us put our lives on hold, we are entering a new post-pandemic phase. Now that we are returning to a period of normalcy, parents can take care of themselves and restore a new sense of hope in their lives and their families. There is a lot to do to reset our lives- a lot of decisions to make, a lot to rebuild, including our emotional well-being. Yes, we may be exhausted, but we are getting out of this soon.It looks like New Mexico will be ready for a full reopen in a couple of weeks. The rules in our state have been stricter than in others. For some, it has been the best, for others it has been arbitrary. But we have all had to experience the uncharted territory of controlling and living through a worldwide pandemic.
As we reach the end of it, we need to rebuild, especially our emotional health and that of our families. It is no longer a secret to anyone the challenges that we have had to face during this pandemic. Students in general, but especially teenagers, have suffered a lot during this time. Some students have completed school without the long-awaited graduation ceremony or have had to leave sports at a critical stage, especially those seeking a sports scholarship to continue their higher education studies.
It has not been easy either for those students who had to make a major transition from Middle School to High School, and there will also be many to remember their first year in college sitting in a chair in the kitchen of their parents’ home. Also, a good number of students never stepped foot on their school campuses, almost to the end of the school year.
It has also been challenging for schools, some have had to change their grading systems and lower their standards to help their students move forward. While a grade of at least C was the standard grade to move on to the next year, schools had to lower the passing grade to a D. And across the board, schools struggled to even get all students to sign onto remote learning.
It has been a difficult year for everyone, and we parents have had to deal with that and much more without a second to rest or time for ourselves. But it has not all been bad, the pandemic has given us the opportunity to have some time for reflection and recognition. We have learned from ourselves and have had the opportunity to get to know our own children a little more. Some of us have discovered interests or hobbies that kept us safe from the madness of this confinement. We have also had deeper conversations with our kids and resilience has been the everyday dish at home.
In this new stage there are questions that we must ask ourselves and we must answer them in a very honest way: How am I? What did I lose during the pandemic, how do I recover what I’ve lost or how do I overcome it? What did I learn about my family and about me this past year? Did any new interest arise in me or in any member of my family and how do I grow it? What are the little things that have kept my family together and how do I not lose them when we return to “normal”?
Answering these questions honestly could give us a guideline of where and how to proceed. Of course, it is not easy, but normality waits for us just around the corner.