Every stage of parenting brings its own new set of challenges. When you are homeschooling a house full of children, adding a new baby can throw you off your game. As many moms-of-many have proven, it is possible to keep homeschooling (and working, and keeping up the house, and doing all the things you have to do) while also caring for a growing baby.
This is how we get by:
Keep Your Arms Free
I can’t even tell you how much I rely on baby wearing to get through my day. We have different wraps, slings and carriers for every stage and situation. Wearing Peanut keeps him calm and happy, and allows me to both care for him, and do everything I need to do with the Big Kids.
Take Advantage of Nap Time
For some lessons, wearing baby just isn’t going to work. For hands-on projects and science experiments, we rely heavily on nap time to get the job done. Luckily for me, Peanut is a fantastic sleeper, and gives us an hour or two every morning and afternoon to work on messier, more Mom-intensive projects.
Use the Buddy System
When Peanut is awake, and feeling playful, we rely on the buddy system. I send one of the kids to the playpen (we have a corner of the living room cordoned off with toys) with the baby and they play together for a little while. Peanut is crawling and pulling himself up now, and his siblings love to chase him around and “help” him. The Buddy System doesn’t often get me longer than 15-30 minutes at this point, but it is enough time to do a reading or math lesson without an interruption.
Meals are for Multi-Tasking
Peanut is old enough now to sit in a highchair at the table while we do school work. As long as he is eating, he’s perfectly content to just sit and keep us company. Lately, he’s been doing his own “school work” and is learning to chew his meals with the help of Gerber Lil’ Bits, and his big brother. Bug loves to spoon feed him while I work with the little ones, and we all love watching him experience new tastes and textures- babies make the funniest faces!
I’m always explaining to the kids that learning is their job. Peanut is learning to chew and eat solid foods, Little Miss is learning how to manage scissors and how to read, and Bug is learning Pre-Algebra. Everyone has something important to be doing at the table- and having them all sitting together means no one is distracted by someone running around the house.
After Peanut is finished eating his meal, I let him relax in his chair (and, finger paint with any food that may have not made it into his mouth) while we keep working.
Utilize Independent Programs
Even if you do all of the above things, you’ll still find you don’t have enough time in the day for everything you did before baby came along. That’s okay! Look for programs that free up time for you. See if you can combine children in science or history, and check out computer based programs or outsourced classes to give you some extra time to care for baby.
Lose the Mommy Guilt
You aren’t going to be able to do everything. And a lot of the time, you’re going to want to just cuddle your little one and say “forget it” to everything else. This is a season, and it’s okay to love on your baby and neglect the dishes. It’s okay to encourage your children to follow their own interests and explore independently for a while. It’s really okay to just ditch the guilt and do your thing.
Good luck this school year!
Gerber knows chewing is an essential milestone in a baby’s development and now there is a baby food designed to offer a gradual texture progression which helps babies learn the skills they need to transition to table food. Peanut has been loving all 10 flavors, but is especially excited when I pull out Apple Blueberry for breakfast! Pick some up today.
Gerber 3rd Foods Lil Bits Recipes help babies learn to chew and ease the transition to table food.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gerber. The opinions and text are all mine.