Adjusting to the New Normal, Anchored by School 

This post is sponsored by Albuquerque Academy. ABQ Mom strives to work with businesses we feel would benefit our readers.

Raise your hand if you are still trying to figure out how to navigate COVID-19, AKA “La Rona,” and adjust to the new “normal”? I know I am. 

If you told me seven weeks ago schools would be closed and life would be at a standstill, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. Yet, here we are…campuses locked, skies free of airplanes, and businesses closed. For me, every day feels like a never-ending loop of “Groundhog Day.” 

As a mom of an 8th grader and a 10th grader, I am keenly aware of important milestones they are missing while social distancing: my son’s 16th birthday; his spring soccer season filled with college showcases; my daughter’s end-of-eighth-grade celebration; her volleyball tournaments, dance recital, and track meets; spring break. Every call, text, and email in mid-March led to disappointment. All cancelled. I desperately needed to hear something positive. 

The shining light in this pandemic has been the transition to online school. Gone are the frantic mornings of yelling to get the kids out of bed, a cereal breakfast eaten in the car, and a Speed Racer-worthy drive to get to school on time. Mornings are now laid back, with a hearty breakfast on non-disposable plates, laughter at the table, and quality family time. A quick kiss on the forehead, and they are off to their rooms for a day of learning. 

I am so thankful that their school, Albuquerque Academy, quickly made the transition to online learning. The school’s educators spent their spring break adjusting their classes, learning how to Zoom, and navigating their new normal of educating from a distance. 

My children’s daily schedule is more relaxed with four classes per day. I love being a fly on the wall and listening in. My daughter made crêpes in French and practiced her rond des jambes in dance. I listened at the door while my son learned new chords for Classical Guitar. Later, he eloquently discussed the meaning of solitude in English class. They have a two-hour gap in their schedule mid-day. We take this time to workout together, enjoy the sunshine, or spring clean. 

They meet with their advisers every other day and enjoy playing Pictionary and going on scavenger hunts with their small advisory groups. At these check-ins, each educator asks my kids with genuine concern how they are doing. Many extracurricular groups are still meeting, and my son’s DECA sponsor excitedly talks about next year’s nationals in California. I pause after hearing those words. That’s what we need — positive talk of future plans. Hope.

While our world may be at a standstill with an uncertain future, my children aren’t skipping a beat with their education. Just like when they were little, a routine is much needed in order to have a sense of normalcy. I am thankful going to school, whether in person or virtually, gives them a purpose and a structure to their day. 

Eventually we will be back to hectic schedules, color-coded calendars, overcommitting to volunteer opportunities, and a complicated flow chart of parent duties. In the meantime, find the positives in this mandated slow down and soak in the slow pace of life. You may find your new normal filled with a bluer sky, the flower blossoms smelling sweeter and treasuring every moment.

About our Guest Blogger

Carol and her husband, Mark, moved to Albuquerque in 2017 from Santa Fe and have two children. With an entrepreneur’s spirit, Carol is the owner of Trails Edge Inc, a social media marketing and public relations firm, as well as Gifts Galore Party Store, an online personalized gifts and party supply company. In her free time, Carol enjoys trail running, traveling, party planning, and cheering on her kids from the sidelines.