As we gear up for a new year of co-op, I always reflect on years past. When looking back on 2016, I just have to smile and roll my eyes at how crazy I was!
A little back story. I have a 6-year-old son and a now 9 month old daughter. We struggled with fertility issues and 2 loses between them, but that’s a story for another post.
So, we found out I was expecting on my 29th birthday! I was over the moon given our fertility history and immediately calculated my due date… July 29… end of summer. Okay, I can handle that. We’ve been waiting for this baby for 4 years; I can handle being pregnant in the summer heat. Then I looked at my planning calendar. I would be giving birth within a couple of weeks of starting our first official year of homeschooling. Hmmm that might be interesting. We’ll just start school a couple of months early in case we need to take a break when baby arrives… Then there was co-op. I would be giving birth within 1-2 weeks of the first day of co-op if baby girl came on time.
Needless to say she was late (41.5 wks to be exact). I attempted a VBAC, ended in c-section (again story for another day). After an extended hospital stay for complications I was released from the hospital just a few days before our first day of co-op. YIKES!
Here’s my advice for homeschooling moms with new babies….
1. Expect AND plan for the unexpected… Build in some down time. I am so thankful I thought to get us started a little early. I most definitely needed it. Living in the fog of postpartum depression and sleep deprivation would have made homeschooling such a feat. I am so thankful I was able to take a couple of months where we just did our co-op and therapies, so I could adjust.
2. Take some time for just you and baby… After baby girl was born I developed an infection at my incision site that landed me in the hospital for a few extra days. Looking back this was such a blessing in disguise. It forced me to slow down and take some time with just me and baby girl that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Once we got home, I hit the ground running. Looking back I would have planned a few weeks for just me and baby.
3. Seek help if you need it… If you have family willing to come help and you are comfortable with it, reach out. I was lucky enough to have cousins and grandparents available to help, in addition to my husband… Also related to this one, if you are experiencing postpartum depression, don’t hesitate to reach out. I really struggled with this after baby girl, and I’m so thankful for my husband reaching out when I didn’t want to.
4. Give yourself some grace … Don’t feel like you have to do it all. You might not be capable of doing all the things you did prior to baby, and that is 100% okay. You will find a new normal eventually, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.
5. Now some practical stuff rolled in to one….
-Take advantage of nap time when you can! Most of the time when baby girl would fall asleep during the first few months, we would immediately do our table work.
– Buy a pre-planned curriculum. I love planning my own lessons out, but this year I just didn’t have the time. I ended up buying a new curriculum 3/4 through the year and a weight was lifted!
-If you allow screen time, Netflix and Youtube both have some great educational series for when you just need a break. Our favorite is Magic School Bus! 🙂
-Invest is a good baby carrier! Lillebaby is my favorite!
Until next time,