Just 6 short months ago, I had everything figured out. I had one beautiful little girl, her and I had the whole homeschooling thing down. We had a routine and a cleaning schedule, and our house stayed spotless. I knew I was having a baby boy very soon, but I was confident that he would not change our schedule aside from the waking up every few hours to eat. Then, our homeschooling family exploded in the blink of an eye and expanded to 4 children!!! Our little boy arrived bringing many more changes than I ever anticipated (and 2 kids is way more than twice the work). He was not as calm as his older sister had been, and refused to sleep anywhere but in my arms for the first several months. He has turned into such a joy, but he is a baby and needs a lot of love and attention:)
On top of that, I received the wonderful opportunity to private tutor (full-time) the daughters of a good friend – add in 2 more children. They have been such a blessing, and days they are not here seem weird!
My once clean home became a place of chaos and my wonderfully laid-out plans for homeschooling flew far away. At first, I was in a state of shock and was unhappy about my messy home and my inability to keep everything perfectly planned. I would apologize to everybody that walked in my door until someone told me to stop worrying…it was only for a season and I had nothing to apologize for. As I thought about that, I gained confidence and changed my mindset. My house did not have to be perfect, I did not have to be perfect, and our days did not have to be perfect. I began rethinking the way I did things because I was still trying to fit 4 children into a one child lifestyle. Here are some of the things we did as a family to readjust to our now big family:
- I have a cleaning schedule, but I don’t worry if it does not get done. The laundry is always done (we need clothes and burp rags), dinner is made (even if I have to wash the pot right before I cook), and the floor is vacuumed (we do not want baby choking on anything). The bigger tasks can wait until baby is a little older and more independent.
- My husband helps out more around the house to give me a break. I was extremely hesitant to ask him to do anything because he works several hours a week. However, he pointed out that I work a lot, too, even if it is not away from home.
- We take turns putting our oldest to bed (our youngest won’t even make it into his room without me). Before baby, Jasmine had never been put to bed by my husband. She was not happy at first, but has come to enjoy the time she has with her dad at night and even asks for him to be the one to tuck her in:)
- We spend less time away from home. Aladdin still takes 3 naps a day, and he does much better at home. Taking a year off of doing gym twice a week will not hurt Jasmine (she still goes once a week). Turning down a few homeschool classes or trips will not affect our year. Having a happy baby and happy children will make the year better, and we can return to a busier schedule when Aladdin is a little older.
When life changes, as it is bound to do, make the best of it!!! Change your plans and change your head. Things do not always have to go as planned, and as a control-freak I know how hard that can be to accept. Understand that you cannot make everything go your way and stay positive. Everything will work out for the best and you can survive the changes that will surely come your way! Stay tuned tomorrow to see how our schooling has changed!