June 29, 2013

What homeschooling looks like when you aren't in your own space

I could probably do a whole series on what homeschooling looks like with the various stages of a baby.  I don't really have time though, because of the baby.  I've got just a minute or two before she really loses it as it is.

This week has been particularly complicated because we are staying with my parents, who also happen to be taking care of my Gramma.  She recently had a stroke and is trying to get back onto her feet.  There is a lot of drama around all of that and unfortunately most of the burden for her care falls to my aunt who lives with her.  This aunt never had kids and isn't used to dealing with someone who is dependent (not to mention stubborn as an ox.)  Anywho...

Another of my aunts is also here for the week.  She's visiting her mom (Gramma) and also giving my girls swimming lessons.  So it's a jam packed house and a jumbled mess of early mornings (at least for us), swimming afternoons, community dinners (all vegan so far!), and too late nights.  My kids aren't used to having to go to bed early enough to accommodate an 8am wakeup.  Four days in now and I've got some cranky kids, a cranky me, and some cranky parents/aunts/gramma who are learning how to deal with new situations from the stroke.

Did I mention a cranky baby?  She already doesn't want me to put her down (ever) in this strange house.  We've been spending several nights a week here for the entire month, but she is clearly not as comfortable here as she is at home.  The last two nights she screamed for a while really late after everyone had gone to bed.  This alarms my parents, but I'm used to it.  She did this a lot at our house.  It's just the first time they've had to experience it.  I tried to tell them it wasn't pleasant.  Unfortunately, we have to stick it out to get the swim lessons completed.  Maybe tonight will be better.

So what homeschooling looks like right now is all of us trying to deal with situations that we are not comfortable in and don't want to be doing.  We will be here another few days and then have holiday plans of our own.  By the end of it all we may need a full week to decompress.  I went to my very first group therapy on Friday and one of of the moms asked me what is was like to be home with the kids all of the time.  For the most part it's just our normal lives and we don't know anything different.  However,  we each have our own space and routines.  The more we are away, the easier it is to see just how important they are, not just for me.  The kids need this space too.  FunnyGirl is especially struggling and I see a lot of myself in her.   Even SweetPea wants her toys, her familiar rooms, and her daddy.

I think sometimes I forget that kids are just as complex as adults.   You can't just throw them into things and expect them to act perfectly.  And they can't always explain what it is that is bugging them.  I know plenty of adults that can't do that either.  

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