Homeschooling Twins With a Newborn at Home
Well, it's been an interesting few months.
Eriela Nicole was born on election day--yep that was interesting too, but she was born November 4th via emergency c-section. Thankfully we were both alright, and she was absolutely perfect; my little rainbow was here.
Finally, it had felt, that it was time to take her home--we hadn't been expecting to stay in the hospital for so long since we hadn't been expecting a c-section. But something that we didn't also expect was how difficult homeschooling twins with a newborn was going to be... and it's been HARD AF!
I know COVID has been hard for everyone, but I'm always so worried about the twins. They're resilient, like most kids, but having a baby at home now meant even less time for them and their needs.
My twins are nine, they're in third grade and well very self-sufficient--however, before it always just them. They could ask me all the questions, they could show me all their work, I could give them all of my attention, and now, all of a sudden, everything changed. I was stuck with this new baby on my boobs or my lap, or in my arms.
I was exhausted all of a sudden, I had no energy to spare let alone use my brain to think about school or math. But there we were, navigating through zoom meetings, working through math problems with a crying baby; spit up on my shirt, and tears in my eyes.
I could tell they felt bad. I could tell they didn't want to ask me as many things as they had before--and I felt pure guilt. I felt like I was failing them, and truthfully I hadn't been expecting this one bit. I assumed it would be harder, I assumed they would get a little less attention, but the change took us all by surprise.
It took us a few weeks to settle into a new groove.
We had a lot of deep conversations about feelings, change, and about how to navigate our new life. I reminded them that it wasn't going to last forever, and that right now this new baby just needed mommy to eat, sleep, and breathe--but I also reminded them that they are my world, that I wanted to hear how they were feeling, and how they were coping.
I reminded them that even if I seem exhausted and even if they saw me crying, I still wanted to listen to them, I still wanted to be there for them.
We are now almost 3 months into this new normal.
Granted, thanks to COVID, nothing is normal and I truly believe if they were in school and had their normal life back, they would not be feeling the wrath of the newborn as much as they do now.
We have figured out how to do life. I asked for help in the mornings so that I could shower, answer questions for them, and not be tied down by the baby. We have figured out our afternoons and while I still can't answer most math problems (because I'm horrible at math), I can help them with everything else. We set up a space for their classroom. I hired a tutor to come twice a week just to be with them, play games, and even sew (in Spanish since they're in a dual-language program), and I make sure that this baby goes to sleep each night before dinner so that I can sit down with them and talk.
Things might change again and if we learned anything from 2020 is that anything goes! But for now, we have a nice routine.
I am lucky enough to have girls that are so understanding and that always remind me that they love me no matter what. But it's hard. Life in a pandemic is hard. And adding a new baby, homeschool, and the constant guilt of missing them has definitely broken me more times than I ever expected it to.