I haven't thought much about the Fall, but when I do I am very torn. This year, we have enjoyed a number of classes and activities, from science museum and observatory classes, to an Odyssey of the Mind group. These things have been challenging at various levels because I have a (now) 2.5 yo in addition to my K and 2nd grade boys. My 2.5yo is VERY active, VERY curious, and I'm either constantly running or he's strapped in or on something (i.e., me!). Now, as he's getting older, he's developing more self-control (thank goodness!), but he's still something of a (wonderful, sweet, adorable) challenge in these situations.
So, in the Fall... We'll add baby #4 to the mix. The little guy will be 3 about 6 weeks before baby is due in mid-November. Obviously, I have no idea how much growth and maturity another 6 months may bring.
The idea of having to chase and/or entertain the 2-3yo while wearing/caring for a newborn during classes is a bit overwhelming. Perhaps it's just that I'm already exhausted
but I have major problems with energy when I'm not pg, too, due to chronic health issues.
Would you plan to continue a lot of out-of-the-house activities given this situation? Or would you plan for fewer (or none) and focus on at-home activities? And since I'm probably leaning towards the latter, is it totally unfair to the kids, who LOVE these classes and the friends they've made at them?
I think that it's going to come down to your own personal feelings. I mean, newborns do sleep most of the time so going out & about with one wouldn't be impossible. If it's that important to you to keep up with some classes & outings.
For me personally, I tell my kids in advance (I even write it on the calendar), that the 4 weeks before my due date & the 4 weeks after baby comes, I am not.leaving.the.house.
We do plenty of fun things right up to that point, but then that's my personal cut off. I don't want to waddle after my toddler when I'm 38 weeks pregnant, and all I want to do is be home with our new tiny family member for the 1st several weeks after. That's just what feels right & cozy to me.
But then again, I am not a huge fan of leaving the house extremely regularly anyway.
My last 3 babies have come in Oct-Dec & those months actually worked out well for me when it came to leaving the house as it's winter weather & all our favorite homeschool park days are over anyway. It's a fine time of the year to just be home.
So to sum up? I would choose none
Congratulations on your new wee one!
I wouldn't unless a family member can accompany them. My husband teaches, so his work schedule is fairly flexible (well, when we lived where we took classes!) so that helped when I was due in December. He took them back and forth a lot during the last month or two. Plus a lot of classes have time off in Nov/Dec anyway, so it's not so much of a worry.
This year, we only have violin and I'll continue taking my daughter (and my son who may start) and possibly they may start piano and aikido. For aikido, it's almost an hour away, so the last month-it will be dh's job to take them.
My toddler sounds just like yours and there is no way I would take them all even now, let alone near term, to anything without help.
Nope, no way, no how, not unless I could hire a HS teen to occupy said 3 yr old! Leaving the house with a 2-3 and a baby is my least favorite activity
. However I do have a lot of PP anxiety so that probably factors largely into how I feel about it. We probably wouldn't do much untill the three year old turned four and had more reliable self control. This is the first time that we have had a newly 3 without a baby and I am amazed at how much less stressful three is when you have TWO hands and a full nights sleep.
I have two older ones, and our 3rd is now a few months old. My middle child is 4 and high energy but with an easy-going personality. Save for the first month after the baby was born, we've largely kept up with our usual activities, and it's been exhausting. I think I should have cut out more and/or not jumped back into the swing of things as quickly as I did.
Hiring a mother's helper could be a good idea too. They could either aid your younger ones while you're tending to the baby, or hold/mind the baby while you're helping the little ones with the activities.
We have ended up doing more of the things like museum and science center trips on weekends when daddy can go. Sometimes it's nice to just sit on the bench and nurse the baby, while their father takes them around.
I sooo appreciate all the input! It seems we're all on the same page. I realized that with all of the activities, we missed out on a lot of time at HOME. I'm now really looking forward to more time at home, with our expanded family, in our new home. I think it will work out very well to do limited activities - perhaps more of the one-off things that we haven't been able to do this year because we've had so much else going on.
Subbing ... in a very similar situation. DS1 is 7, DS2 is 5, DD is almost 3 and baby number 4 due in Nov.
At least for the newborn period, I would either cut back on the activities or hire a mother's helper to accompany you on outings.
Maybe while you are relaxing at home for a few months (or longer), you could ask some friends with interesting skills/knowledge/talents to come over and spend the afternoon with your children once in a while.
We have friends who are a couple and one does ham radio and knows a lot about electronics and the other is a jeweler and knows a lot about traditional crafts and life-skills of her culture. Our dc loooove when they spend time showing them what they know and do. Even once/week or less might be enough new and intensive experience for your dc.
New babies for us usually means (hometime) books, movies and games with mum when dp is at his job, and when he's home, "ask daddy." Occasional guests fill the gaps too.
Great ideas, Preggie! Thanks!
We just had another in August. I think it would be a good idea (if you want to let them still do some things) to allow each kid to pick one activity. Or, if you tend to do more outings/trips, stick to only a few a month.
I like someone else's suggestion of doing stuff on the weekend, when Daddy can go, too. Otherwise, I second the idea to get a mother's helper for museum trips and such, if your older boys aren't old enough to do it.
For myself I would cut out a lot of the outside stuff for a while, then slowly ease back into it as you feel braver and your 3yo mellows out a little more.
I don't think it's unfair to your kids---it's about the whole family's needs, weighted especially toward the mama and newborn at the beginning.
Also, will the K/2 graders be able to do any classes that you can drop them off for and not have to be present with the younger two? For instance, locally we have art camp and drama classes that are drop-off style for kids that age. That's the only way I'd consider outside classes for a while after the new baby.
Good luck! And congrats!