Last year I decided in my “crazy pregnant woman” condition, that after I gave birth to my 3rd child in August, I would be able to pick up where I left off with life. This mom was not going to need rest. I had 2 other kids, I needed to keep going and not stop their routine in any way.
I ask myself often, “What was I thinking?”
I volunteered to do a lot of things and for some reason, no one said to me “Don’t do it, you’re crazy!!!”
In all honesty, someone may have said that to me. But, when I am pregnant, I get this mindset where I think I can do all things. Like I have posted before, I don’t like to rest or relax, so when I’m supposed to be doing that after having a baby, I can’t.
Even the 3 days I spend in the hospital after giving birth kill me and I spend the whole time trying to convince anyone who will listen, that I am totally fine to go home.
So, this time around, before giving birth, I volunteered for a lot of activities and the year nearly sent me to the looney bin.
First of all, I still scheduled myself to begin homeschooling my oldest daughter about 2 weeks after giving birth. This is why I am not a very good at homeschooling, I don’t have that flexible “the world wont end if you don’t teach one day” attitude that you need to homeschool your kids.
I’m such a freak about schedules.
So naturally, the first few months of homeschooling were a nightmare for me and my daughter.
We fought, there were tears, the baby always chose that time to be fussy and I just don’t think we got a lot done in the way of learning.
I also had volunteered to teach a preschool co-op class once a week at my church and I volunteered to help in a Saint of the Month club. Granted, the Saint of the Month club was only once a month and all I had to do was show up, but knowing that I had a responsibility to be there was stressful for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved volunteering and had a lot of support from the other mothers. It was just the stress of knowing I needed to plan something and get out of the house on those days and be somewhere on time. Even though my baby usually didn’t wake up until an hour before I had to leave.
Durng this time, I was a co-leader for our Parishes moms group as well. This group met once a month officially and had a Moms night out (which, I couldn’t attend for the year) and monthly play date.
A few times a month doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But, I had to answer emails daily and plan outings and between that and the home school activities I was involved in and homeschooling my daughter, I can say that it was not my best year.
I also need to mention something that many people don’t like to talk about. I definitely had some sort of post partum depression. I might actually say it was more of an anxiety. This is normal for me for about 6-7 months after I have my babies. I am on edge everyday. I often feel sick to my stomach and extremely overwhelmed. Things like forming a complete sentence is almost impossible. You should have read some of the emails I sent out to my moms group. I would often get emails back from people confused about a wrong date or the wrong name of someone. It was embarrassing.
This past year was very eye opening for me. Not resting and doing too much after having a baby was not the smartest thing I have ever done. It actually taught me a lot about myself. I do have a limit. I am not Superwoman.
It is summertime now and I am so glad.
I have decided that next year is going to be different.
I wanted so badly to homeschool my children. I may still some day and I may be able to homeschool my other children. It is just too hard for me right now.
My oldest daughter and I did not do well together this year. There are many reason that we weren’t successful. First, I had a baby and was really having a hard time balancing a newborn and a homeschool curriculum and secondly, my daughter and I just really butt heads on everything. She turned 5 a month after the baby was born and along with that came some defiance issues. Often, our school sessions consisted of us fighting over whether or not she was going to learn from me that day.
Dealing with that and a newborn makes you want to pull your hair out.
The solution is that she will be attending school in the fall. We will see how it goes. I think she will do well. It is a Montessori school which is definitely her style and she will be 6 when she starts kindergarten. I think this will be best for her.
I will not be teaching a weekly co-op class the next school year either. True to my nature however, I did volunteer to teach a homeschool club for 3-4 year olds as well as a Saint of the Month club for 3 year olds. Both of these classes only meet once a month, hopefully I will be okay.
I think learning our limits and prioritizing is something that many moms are not good at. We want to do it all, show the world that nothing can stop us. In the end, for me, it just caused a lot of frustrating days and anxiety. Trying to plan activities, trying to get out of the house on time with 3 kids and just mentally trying to be present for it all, showed itself to be too much for me.
Learning to slow down and not only take care of my family but also take care of myself was the best thing I could have done. We now have days where we don’t leave the house till after lunch and that’s fine by me.