For those of you who noticed my lack of posting last Thursday here is my post on the topic of Courting and Dating. (Everything is fine and I have no good excuse for missing last week. Life just got in the way.)
Welcome to another question and answer session with the of 4 Moms of 35+ Kids.
This week a couple ladies (Diana and Gencie) asked questions about about keeping up with the house, toddlers, school work, etc. while your breastfeeding.
I should have a great answer to this since I’ve breastfed for more than 11 1/2 years out of the 15 years since I became a mom, but I distinctly remember thinking, “I forgot how much time and effor it takes to breastfeed a newborn.” shortly after Isabella (our 10th) was born.
Some tips that may work for you:
- Pay attention and quickly learn your baby’s schedule/preferences so that you will know whether the best time to hit the grocery store is early morning or late afternoon (or neither). Not all babies will have a natural schedule, but 9 out of our 10 have. A word of warning: Be prepared for that schedule to change without any notice!
- Schedule the rest of your day but without specific times. This helps you know what should be getting done and helps you move smoothly to the next thing.
- Wear your baby or hold your baby a lot. We’ve found that this lends itself to a happier, more content baby.
- Multi-task, but not every time you nurse. Listening to a reading lesson or reading aloud to your children is an ideal activity for while your nursing the baby.
- Include the toddlers. Give your littlest ones some books and let them sit next to you while you feed the baby.
- Don’t neglect the other children while you’re feeding the baby. That means that you will need to stop in the middle of a feeding to tend to your older children. (I’m talking about settling disputes or dealing with disobedience, not getting them a drink of water.) If the other children know that you will not get up while you’re feeding the baby then they will take full advantage and your breastfeeding days will be tougher than necessary.
- Consider co-sleeping. This allows the baby to get a lot of good nursing time in during the night, helps with milk supply and has led to better sleeping for both mom and baby.
- Be patient. Yes, sometimes all you will get done is feeding the baby and supervising the little ones, but it is only a short period of time and the benefits of pouring yourself into these little ones pays eternal dividends.
Tasmin wondered about struggling with milk supply and supplementing.
I’m sorry that I don’t have input on supplementation, although I’ve heard that goat’s milk is an option.
Merri asked, ” Would you mind telling me how well AAR/AAS (All About Reading/All About Spelling) works with multiple children?”
We’ve never used the AAR program.
Shana wondered if we were missing Sonlight or if we were happy with our decision to move on.
Here are some background posts.
This is a great question because as I looked back over my posts I realized that I left ya’ll hanging.
When we first moved away from Sonlight (early in the 2010-11 school year), everyone moved away from Sonlight. After a couple months I went back to using Sonlight with our younger children.
For our 2011-2012 school year we used Sonlight 1- 2 (we finished 1 and got into 2) with our “younger” children (preschool – 9) and Mark and I created our own resource list for our “older” children (10-14).
So the answer to your question is that we did miss Sonlight and have gone back to it for our little ones. (We plan to use Sonlight up to level 5, just as we did with our older children. We will NOT use Sonlight 6 or 7 because of their heavy use of “Story of the World” and the serious, biblical problems within that text.)
However, for our older children, we’ve been very happy with our decision to move away from Sonlight. We’ve enjoyed the change and still have several months/years of things we wish to cover and the list keeps growing.
At this point in time, I don’t see us going back to Sonlight with the older children (although I’ve learned not to make promises). For years I looked forward to doing Sonlight’s highschool church history, however, our children have already read nearly all of the resources listed for that year so that would be redundant.
Twila asked how we fit in kefirs, sprouting and fermenting on top of nourishing the family in other ways.
Well, the great thing is that all of those things take just a couple of minutes a day.
We plan the fermenting with our menu plan and do the prepartion for that during the time we have alloted for meal prep. My goal is to make at least one ferment every week. Additionally, we regularly enjoy sauekraut, kimchi and cranberry, orange, apple relish (YUM!!!) and have at least one of these on hand at any given time.
Kombucha tea is an easy once a week to every other week project, that’s as simple as making tea and switching out the SCOBY.
As for the kefir, we take a couple minutes while preparing breakfast each morning to strain the grains and add fresh milk (or sugar water).
I’m horrible at sprouting and avoid it.
A couple of tips:
- Putting the date on the top of your ferment, kefir, tea, etc. is a GREAT idea. I usually put the date started, but you could also put the date that it should be finished.
- Start with one thing at a time and find a rythm that works for you.
- Enlist help. There is something fun for kids about being in charge of “feeding” and tending to a living organism. Our 11 year old loves being in charge of the water kefir and we have a half gallon each morning.
- No worries. I do not think that I could have kept up with any of this when our children were all small. And while this is all good and healthy, it’s more important that our children’s souls are nourished. There is nothing wicked in feeding your kids store bought bread and peanut butter.
You may also be interested in:
- Breastfeeding tips
- Our schedule (including what we did when we had 4 kids, 3 and under)
- Menu planning with real, whole foods
- Sonlight review
- Multi-level homeschooling with Sonlight
- Sonlight: A more specific schedule
- Our curriculum choices for the 2011-2012 schol year
Be sure to visit the other 4 Moms to read what they have to say about this topic:
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.