Not too long ago we found out we were expecting baby blessing number five. I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming because my husband had been talking about wanting more children. I also lifted my “heck no” ban and told God to have His way with our family, surrendering my will.
We also recently entered into our 6th year of homeschooling, having slowly merged into a year-round style mixed with a relaxed, eclectic approach. A new baby was not part of the plan. Perhaps you are an expecting mother who homeschools as well. Maybe you have no idea how this is going to work.
Allow me to ease some of your stress, concern, and worries by sharing 5 things to expect when you’re expecting and homeschooling, and how to handle them. Yes, some of it will be humorous… but that’s the point. 😉
This mode happens to most of us, especially if you’re expecting baby number two, or three. After four (or more) the attitude is usually, “Oh, what’s one more?” followed by the thought of how much crazier can our circus get, LOL.
Either way, it’s common to slip into panic mode for a bit until reality sinks in and you realize that you can do this. You’ve been blessed with this gift, and the Giver is just as merciful to see you through. You’re homeschooling the others, so this one will naturally fit right in.
Instead of panicking, or at least staying in panic mode more than you need to, begin counting your blessings. Choose praise over panic, and take control of your thoughts in the process by choosing joy in the journey.
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Throw Your Current Plans Out the Window!
Okay, maybe not all your plans – but, what I strongly suggest is to give yourself some cushion (especially if you can be a little OCD). However, cushion, in my opinion, doesn’t mean to let everything go.
In my personal experience, cushion may look like less busy work and more field trips. Or, more read-alouds and documentaries.
Instead of thinking that your plans have to drastically change, consider naturally adding the journey of expecting a new baby into your homeschooling journey. Not to mention, the kiddos will get to see you physically growing, and at some point they will be able to feel baby move. Invite them to workout with you, and get them in on eating and preparing healthier meals.
One Million Questions
Yep. If you have little ones, expect a million questions. I am asked no less than ten times a day, “Mama? Do you have a baby growing in your belly?” And my response is always the same until I can show them how much baby has changed, which thankfully is on a weekly basis.
This kind of goes back to my last suggestion of including the pregnancy journey in with homeschooling. I want my children to be a part of this pregnancy journey just as much as they want to be.
So, instead of getting exhausted about the million-question-askers, jot down their questions and work them into your homeschool schedule. If you’re a morning basket mama, include age-appropriate books that talk about having a new sibling or even the growth process of baby. If you choose traditional medical care, see if your children can go to your appointments with you.
There are many, many ways to use your kiddo’s questions as fuel for lessons that you know they’ll be interested in because they keep asking! Use their curiosity for your benefit, and theirs.
Where am I in All of This?
You know what I’m talking about? Those recurring thoughts of keeping up with homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, making sure everything is in order – on top of dealing with what comes naturally when you’re growing another tiny human inside you.
It can become really easy to forget about you, what you need, your alone time, and so on. If your life is anything like mine, you’ll get the occasional question of, “How are you feeling?” and then attention quickly shifts to the other kiddos and what they think, how they feel, etc.
Instead of feeling like you’re even more invisible (besides the growing belly, LOL), find time to journal and just focus on you and baby. Journal Scriptures, affirmations, and even prayers. This goes back to the praise over panic suggestion. When your focus is on the blessings of this journey, you’ll start to see yourself as the superwoman you really are!
Mom Guilt Overload
I edited this post to add this because a dear follower of ours reminded me of the realities of mom guilt. Whatever you choose to do because of expecting a new bundle of joy, never allow yourself to wallow in the mom guilt of not measuring up, not doing enough, or wishing you could do more.
The pregnancy journey is a unique one, no matter how many children you have. Each pregnancy is different. Each birth, and each child. This is true for your homeschooling journey as well. What it looks like this year may be totally different this time next year.
Whatever you do, DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE MOM GUILT! Instead, do what you can do when you can do it and leave the rest alone. Don’t feel bad for hiring a babysitter to get time alone. Don’t feel bad about planning extra play dates just to get adult interaction. And don’t feel bad if homeschooling takes a total back seat.
In the End
When it comes down to it mama, you are awesome, and you are blessed. Choose to be intentional in everything you do… from being a wife, a homeschooling mom, and whatever other hats you wear. Choose to love and embrace this journey you’re on. It’s yours.
CHIME IN: What are some funny tips you’d like to share about expecting and homeschooling? Let me know in the comments below!