Last year, E2 was born. He was born right before Thanksgiving. I started school early because I knew I was going to want a long break. We took off all of November and December so I could rest and heal. We started back up in January and I’m going to be honest with you – it was HARD. E2 was a very needy baby. He was not content to sit in his swing or his bouncy seat. He did not take regular naps and would wake up pretty much any time I laid him down. On top of all that, our daughter, F, started going to a new speech class that January so we had to leave the house a couple times a week for that. Then, on Wednesday afternoons the girls had a choir they sang in. Needless to say, it felt like we were leaving the house all the time – because we were!! It was a very stressful time for me and the the kids as well. I learned a few things during that time and want to share with you some different things that will help you if you are homeschooling with a newborn in the house.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
As a mom, it is easy to get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to care for our families. Stick with the basics and make sure you are getting enough rest, food, and water. I know rest can be challenging when you have a baby. Try to incorporate it into your day. Sit on the couch and do your homeschool lessons there. Require everyone to have a quiet time regardless of age and use that time to cuddle your baby as you nap, read, or catch up on your favorite tv show. If your other kids are old enough, have them take over the chores you normally do so you have more time to rest and take care of the baby.
CUT OUT EXTRA ACTIVITIES
Look at the activities you do outside the home and decide if they are necessary to do after the baby is born. Leaving the house often can cause extra, unnecessary stress. There will be more time for fields trips and co-ops later. Take this time to slow down and enjoy your new baby.
DO YOUR BEST AND FOCUS ON THE BASICS
You won’t always be able to fit everything into your day and that’s okay! If the best you can do is read to the kids and let them watch some educational tv – then do that. Don’t stress about fitting it all in. When you ARE doing school don’t worry about fitting in every subject. Make it a point to fit in reading, writing, and math and know that you will get to the rest when baby is older. You don’t have to try to fit everything in. It is okay to slow down.
Go as basic and easy as you can with meals. Think sandwiches, spaghetti, eggs, crock pot meals, etc. Having a simple meal plan will reduce dinner time stress and will also make it easier for the kids to prepare dinner for you!
RELAX AND ENJOY!
All these tips can be summed up in this one tip alone: relax and enjoy your baby! This is a short season. Next school year your baby will not be a newborn anymore. E2 is now 10 months old. Schooling is a lot easier now that he is older, has regular nap times, and is more content playing. Take care of yourself, cut back, relax, and enjoy your sweet little one with your family.