Homeschooling and Pregnant? 5 Tips to Help You Survive

As a new homeschooler, the only challenges I’ve faced thus far have been personality battles and scheduling snags.

I was feeling like I could handle it all …..

Until I got pregnant with Baby #5.

The author, 36 weeks pregnant with twins

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m busy chasing many small children, or because I’m a little older, but this pregnancy has knocked me for a loop. Between the bone crushing fatigue and endless nausea, I feel like I’m so behind that I’ll never catch up.

I’m certainly not the only mother to find herself in this challenge. I’ll share my tips to what has helped us weather the storm.

1. Enter Survival Mode

Check your schedules and calendars, and eliminate the extra. Signed up to bring snacks to soccer practice? Graciously bow out. Learn the fine art of saying “No” to things that aren’t essential. I’ve missed a lot of playgroups this first trimester, but I’m giving myself permission to rest and grow a baby.

2. Enlist Some Help

I’m blessed with a husband who understands how rotten I feel during the beginning of my pregnancies. He’s pitched in with cooking, cleaning, childcare, and keeping me supplied with drinks. He knows that it’s not always 50/50 in a marriage. Right now, I’m only pulling about 20%.

Ask your mother, sister, or close friends for help. If your budget allows, a housekeeper or mother’s helper may save your sanity, and allow you to get some rest.

3.  Keep the fluids coming

It’s easy to get dehydrated while pregnant, even in the early days. Symptoms such as nausea and headaches are compounded by mild dehydration, so keep your fluid intake up.

Can’t tolerate water? Try ice chips, popsicles, or sorbet instead. I can’t stand the taste of my ice machine anymore, so I’m resorting to store bought ice, and gallons of Simply Lemonade.

4. Change Up Your Schedule

If  mornings get the best of you, why not teach in the afternoons or evening? Identify some times in your day when you feel the best, and try to get some schoolwork accomplished during those hours.

If you usually take the weekends off, you may have to juggle days around for a few weeks. You may be able to catch up on work during the weekend, if you’ve missed a day or two during the week.

5. Take a Break

Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the fact that it’s FLEXIBLE. No one will give you demerits if you take a few days, or even a few weeks off. Wait until you feel better, then pick up where you left off.

What about seasoned homeschooling moms? What are your best tips for handling the early days of pregnancy while trying to teach your children? Be sure and leave your tips in the comments.

Dianna is trying her best to survive her first trimester with Baby # 5 over at The Kennedy Adventures! When she’s feeling better, you’ll find her writing about her faith with her Saints and Scripture Sundays linkup. You can also catch her on Facebook, Twitter, and creating massive maternity boards over on Pinterest.


Comments

  1. says

    I can 100% relate! I have 5 children, and each pregnancy was absolutely miserable! I was not homeschooling until pregnancies 4 and 5, and the added pressure of homeschooling made the never ending nausea and fatigue that much worse! All of your tips are great, and I did every single one of them. I would not have made it the last two times without hired help.
    I wish you the best! This is only a season (as you know), and it will pass and become a distant memory! My youngest will be 6 this month!
    Your future blog posts will be all about trying to homeschool with newborn twins! Ha!

  2. Lissa says

    I started homeschooling this school year; my twins are one, but my son was five and “not in his element” at public school. So my perspective may be a bit different, but here are my survival tips:

    1. Prioritize. I think this goes along the same vein as your #1. When pregnant with the twins, I had to literally make a mental list of what I needed vs. wanted to get done when I stood up. (Bathroom, water, lock front door, make sandwich, get a book, etc.) The essentials came first and if I could rest along the way, then came the superfluous.

    2. At the FIRST sign of nausea, eat something. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, nausea during pregnancy (especially with multiples) can stem from not enough nourishment, so you need to eat at least a little bit. Become a grazer if need be, to avoid the nausea. If nausea’s already reared up, try eating a combination of dairy and salt, especially greasy salt. This was a big tip I read when pregnant with multiples. My preference when out was to get a milkshake and fries, but a cup of milk with potato chips or a scoop of ice cream with salted peanuts works well too.

    3. Try to stay ahead of the game with organization, including lesson plans and mealtime. When you feel well, get to work. That could mean making detailed lesson plans so you (or a volunteer) can step in on auto pilot to implement them. Or it could mean you’ve made a dozen freezer meals with reheating instructions for you or a volunteer to follow on a later date.

    4. On a similar note, when you feel well, write out your daily household routine so that a volunteer can come in and take over when you’re not feeling well, when you’re on mandatory bed rest, or when you have a newborn (or two) around. It should include things like medicines schedules for you and your other children take; school schedule; laundry preferences; etc. The idea is to imagine what someone needs to know to keep your household running if you can’t do it; then it’s easier to accept help from friends, neighbors, family when it’s offered.

    5. Most importantly, learn to accept help when it’s offered- and give specifics as to what you’d like help with. As home schoolers, I think we have a general “I can do it all” attitude. That doesn’t always work during pregnancy or with a newborn around. But unless you can swallow your pride, and unless you can “think on the fly” when you’re not feeling well, you won’t be able to take advantage of the help you need when it’s offered. Even if you don’t pre-plan for help, when someone does offer, ask them to make a freezer meal or get to the laundry that’s piled up. Worried about people seeing your dirty underwear? Keep it in a separate pile so that they’ll never have to see it but can still get your kids’ clothes and towels washed. You get the idea. :)

  3. says

    Oh, Roan! You make me giggle! This picture is from when I was pregnant with my boys …. and they are 3 1/2 years old now!

    I’m about 18 weeks along … and thankfully, most of the yucky symptoms have dissipated. Now, I just have to tell myself …. “calm, do not stress because you are 6 weeks behind schedule!” We’re catching up, slowly!!

    This was supposed to be my easy pregnancy, after having had twins. Phew! It’s kicking my butt! This will be baby #5 for us, too!
    Thanks for all your kind words!

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