Mom Nails the Panic of Trying To Figure Out Whether To Send Her Kid Back to School This Year

Kim Holderness
The Holderness Family/YouTube

August is nearly here and we're officially on the cusp of when children in many states are due to head back to school, and yet, plenty of school districts are still on the fence about what to do. Do they return remote learning only or adopt a hybrid schedule? Or do they hope for the best and reopen schools for in-person classes five days a week? Lots of administrators are still at odds over this one -- and it turns out, so are millions of parents. Kim Holderness of the YouTube-famous Holderness family, is right there with them. She recently captured the nail-biting confusion that parents across the US are feeling in a new viral video, and boy does it hit home.

  • With back-to-school inching closer and closer, you might think most parents would've made up their minds by now. 

    But considering 2020 has been a dumpster fire so far -- and the current global health crisis has literally thrown all future plans into the proverbial wood chipper -- it seems impossible to know for sure what the "right" decision is. That's particularly true because the current virus rates remain different in each state, and the science seems to be changing each week.

    There are those who argue that several countries, including Germany and Denmark, have already returned to in-person learning with no real issues. But others might point out that those countries saw significantly less community spread than we're seeing in the US, which only has 4% of the world's population, but 25% of virus cases. (Yikes.)

    Others think that because pediatric cases are less common than adult ones, the risk of further outbreaks in schools remains relatively low. But to that, you could argue that although rare, pediatric cases do exist -- and have sometimes resulted in death. Plus, many researchers are still concerned that kids are acting as asymptomatic "silent spreaders." In one recent study, tweens and teens were actually more likely to spread the virus to other family members than adults or children younger than 10.

    Thinking through all of this is enough to make parents spiral, and rightly so.

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  • Kim Holderness feels you. That's why she's been asking literally everyone she comes across what they're going to do.

    And we do mean everyone

    Other school moms ... neighbors over the fence ... people in the grocery store ... the FedEx guy who doesn't even have kids. 


  • One day she's totally sure of what she's gonna do and the next, well ... (#$@&%*!).

    "We're definitely sending them," she told one person in her YouTube video.

    "We're definitely doing virtual," she told another.

    And in yet another scene, she's changed her mind again, saying they're really thinking about the hybrid option.

    In short, Kim doesn't know what the heck she's gonna do, and she changes her mind pretty much every damn day -- just like many parents.

  • Parents are pulling their hair out waiting for their school districts to announce reopening plans.

    Each scenario opens up a Pandora's box of questions. 

    If they go back, what will that look like? Will they be able to wear masks all day? And will they actually stay 6 feet apart? Then again, if they stay home, will they fall further behind? And how will working parents juggle both homeschooling and their own jobs?

    It seems like no matter what schools decide to do, nothing is going to feel "right." And how could it? The virus has thrown most of us into a state of frozen chaos for months. We all thought things would calm down by August and September, which would determine the whole "Should we send our kids back to school?" thing for us. And yet, here we are, about to enter August just as many states are in the midst of an alarming surge in cases.


  • Apparently, Kim's been on that very same spiral this summer, and it's really taken her mind to some places she wasn't expecting.

    "We're gonna turn the dining room into a homeschool haven," she said at one point to a friend.

    At another, she wondered aloud whether this is the year to finally throw caution to the wind, get in an RV, and travel the world as a family.

    "Let the world be our classroom!" she said, before quickly nixing that idea when she realized it would mean manually emptying their toilet.

  • What results is a slight descent into madness that may or may not look like the one you're experiencing too.

    And it's that very relatability factor that makes the video so hilarious (even if is a bit sad, as most things are this year).

    It's also pretty popular -- so far, the video has racked up thousands of views and garnered hundreds comments from other parents and teachers who also feel put through the wringer.

    "You nailed every teachers' thoughts about the upcoming school year," wrote one YouTube user. "You are just as blind as we are right now."

    "You're not alone," added another. "I'm even asking my kids' friends to ask their parents who are teachers/administrators what their take is from a school perspective."

    "I don't even have kids and this is so relatable," another user wrote.

    There's no doubt about it -- the decision over what to do about going back to school is TOUGH. And depending on your work and child care situation, your perspective on the matter could look a whole lot different than your mom friends'. Or your neighbor's. Or your FedEx guy.

    At the end of the day, the only "right" decision may be the one you choose for your own family. In the meantime, we all need to allow ourselves a little grace as we all feel the pain of trying to figure this out.