Friday, September 17, 2010

How do you do it?

In past blog posts, I've mentioned that I have four children who I homeschool. That would be on top of working 15-40 hours a week (depending on the week). Usually when people ask me how I do it, I give the obvious answer, "not sleeping." The truth is that it actually takes more coordination and organization than that, but I'm trying to avoid talking about the amount of work that I put into my life.

This week, my work schedule looked like this:

Monday 12-2pm: Prepare for panel tomorrow; email donors about "Yeah, Baby!"
Tuesday 6-9pm @ Birth Plan Panel at Dewitt Community Library
Wednesday 8:30-11:30am CNY Breastfeeding Connection meeting, 6:30pm-12 CNY Doula Connection mtg
Thursday 9-9:30am Work emails, 10:30-11:45am Mtg w/new client
Friday 12:30-1:30pm Picked up donation. 2:30-3pm Online work (emails, website, etc).

My kids' scheduled activities looked like this:

Monday 9:30am 5yo speech therapy @ school, 11am 5yo Doctor's Appt.
Wednesday 9:30am 5yo speech therapy @ school, 2pm Homeschool PE class at YMCA for 9yo, 7yo and 5yo
Thursday 1pm Homeschool Group Activity, 5pm swim lessons for 9yo and 7yo
Friday 9:30am 5yo speech therapy @ school

In between all of those things, I've done all of the homeschooling with them, the math, language arts, history, science, Bible, Spanish... I also have to do the normal everyday mom things, like, dress kids, brush kids' teeth, give vitamins, read to kids, try to get 3 yo to use potty, bug kids to clean up toys, get short kid a cup from the cabinet, get the little kids the PlayDoh...

All of this works out because of 1) a patient, accomodating husband, 2) a long list of babysitters and 3) extremely flexible, well-behaved children. It's far from easy and coordinating having children with a job that has non-traditional hours has taken time. I'm still figuring out what works for us and what activities are really worth doing.

Months ago, a friend from Baltimore asked me on the phone if I had subscribed to Working Mother magazine yet and I said that I wasn't "that" mom. I didn't think of myself as a working mom. I was still looking at myself as a stay at home mom who had a part-time job. Over the past couple months, I've started to realize that that's no longer the case. I am a working mom who homeschools her children. While my husband does most of the childcare because of of weird schedule, we do also have childcare help.

Being a doula and a homeschooling mom is tough, and I'm not giving up either role.

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