I live in a country town in South West Victoria and it’s an exciting time in our house!
No, and it’s not just because my 4 kids and my wife will be returning to school this week. Although I must say, returning to school is pretty exciting.
The excitement comes for another reason. At some stage over the next week, we are expecting our cows to give birth, and my kids can’t wait to welcome the baby calves! I know that cows and animals may not be everyone’s love or interest but stay with me, I’m not going to waste your time talking about them for the entire article.
Here’s the thing. I’m not a farmer, I don’t know the first thing about animals and I certainly don’t know anything about cows and calving. I’m way out of my depth.
Over the next week, I am certain that despite how excited my family is about bringing these new calves into the world, there will be a point in time when my excitement will turn to fear and anxiety. I won’t know what to do.
What if I have to assist? What if it goes terribly wrong?
I’ve tried to prepare for that moment when my excitement will turn to fear but ‘I don’t know what I don’t know’. The best answer I’ve come up with is just to do my best, to trust my instincts and lean on the people that know.
Then, I just need to hope it will be alright.
Like me, if you live in Victoria, you may also be really excited. Your excitement may be about getting back to school, and that is great. It’s worth getting excited about. I understand that in other parts of the country, you may already be back at school but I’m sure you remember that feeling.
Just like me and my cows, when you return to school that excitement may only last for so long. Soon after, there may be a new challenge or obstacle that comes your way. It may be something you didn’t expect and you couldn’t prepare for. It may be an irate parent who has recently lost their job, a student who has been a victim of domestic violence or a teacher who lives for school and the isolation period has resulted in them spiralling into depression.
Your excitement may quickly turn to fear and uncertainty.
Just remember, you can only do your best. Trust your instincts and show care, support and empathy. Lean on the people who are close to you and can help. You don’t have to face the challenges alone.
That first day back could be harder than we think for some students or teachers. It’s alright if it doesn’t go to plan, and if others aren’t as excited as you.
Hold onto the notion that we will get through it and it will feel normal again soon.
I’m positive that my calves will make it through, and I’ll be much better for the experience. I’ll learn something new, I’ll make some mistakes and then I’ll do it better next time.
I think that’s all you can do.
Good luck for this week!