An Open Letter To America From A Mom Who Can't Do This Bullsh*t Again In The Fall

by Emily Harding
Originally Published: 
Mother homeschooling son at laptop
Scary Mommy and Klaus Vedfelt/Getty

Dear America:

I’ve been up since 6am trying to download a 37 page lesson plan from our school’s third educational app in six weeks so I’ll get straight to the point: go home. Please. I’m begging you on behalf of every other parent attempting to homeschool their kids right now who cannot do this bullshit again in the fall, go home and please stay there.

Yes, I know, Linda. You want the country reopened. Trust me, I do too! I haven’t left the house in six weeks, Linda. I’ve taken to having emotionally vulnerable conversations with my houseplants and hiding in the bathroom so I can scream into a towel undisturbed. Every parent I know is sick of their homes and their families and we want out. But you know what I want even more, Linda? To not still be here homeschooling these kids in October.

I’m not a teacher. I just had to use my phone to look up how to do long division. I can barely pronounce quadrilateral. I’m lucky if we see the other side of this and both my kids still know how to read. And it’s not just me. Parents everywhere are flailing here. We needs school back open in the fall and the only way that’s going to happen is if we all STAY THE FUCK HOME RIGHT NOW.

What was that, Frank? You want to get back to work? Oh believe me, I know! I just took a conference call from my closet, Frank. I was discussing terms of a contract over my underwear drawer while my son yelled from the bathroom that his poop looked weird. And you know who else wants to go back to work, Frank? My kid’s second grade teacher who right now is organizing home lesson plans for 22 students while also trying to manage her own school-age children. None of this was in her job description. And neither is risking her life to go back to school with all our kids before it’s safe. Honestly, our teachers do not get paid enough to deal with these kids on a good day let alone when any one of them could be carrying a potentially lethal virus. You get where I’m coming from, Frank?

Hal Gatewood/Unsplash

And yes, I know you think this is all an overreaction, Janet. That this entire virus is being blown out of proportion in an effort to keep you from getting your roots done. I get it–my roots are awful too! But you want me to be brutally honest with you, Janet? I don’t care. At this point I could give two shits about any perceived conspiracies or plots against my right to bleach and toner. Because none of these theories change the fact that this virus is still dangerous, it’s still out there, and it is still keeping me home with my kids who want to listen to The Descendants 3 soundtrack for the sixteenth time today. I cannot still be listening to this soundtrack in six months, Janet.

But okay, for argument’s sake, let’s play this out. We throw caution to the wind and open all these restaurants and shops and beaches and it’s great for about a week. Then Gary over there–yes, you Gary–starts coughing. He gets a temp and ends up in the hospital. And since we were all together celebrating, we’re all at risk. And guess what that means? Another shutdown. And do you know what that means for me, Gary? My kids home again for months while I teach them from a lesson plan I don’t even really understand in between my actual job and also, oh I don’t know, trying to maintain my sanity, Gary.

Okay. I have to go. My son has a Zoom call with his entire kindergarten class in five minutes and I think he’s locked himself in the cabinet under the sink.

Now, listen, I know this request probably won’t go over well with a lot of you. In fact, I’m sure you’ll want to call me all sorts of names, but if it makes you feel any better, my kids have come up with much worse over the last six weeks. So instead, just take a deep breath. If that doesn’t work, go hide in the bathroom and scream into a towel. It helps, I promise. And remember: we all want the same thing. Open beaches, bustling restaurants, crowded schools where our kids can go and leave us alone for seven hours a day. And we can get there! All you have to do is GO THE FUCK HOME. Okay? Okay.

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