Four parents, seven children

Hello dear friends,

Many things have happened in the last few months but as you might have noticed, very little time to blog around.

The kids are finally off school. Which means no more school work, just as we were finally getting into a healthy routine. Our first month of confinement was a disaster. We had no schedule, we were waking up late, the kids were playing computer games the whole day, I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to go for walks (in theory yes, but nobody was outside, and there was the whole “stay home” thing, it was weird), we would eat at no hours. It was a mess.

Then online schooling started. At first, I was under the illusion that I would be able to work on editing (the most time consuming part of the audiobook production) while the kids were quietly doing their homework. How wrong was I ! I was being interrupted every 5 minutes: the kids either needed help, would start fighting, or I would need to check on them because nothing would get done if left to their own devices… I was getting increasingly exasperated and stressed because I couldn’t concentrate on my own job. After the first week, I realized that it was not a good plan, I had to accept not to be able to work on my editing during daytime. I needed to establish some kind of schedule to keep everyone sane:

  • No more computer in the morning for the kids.
  • In the morning, they breakfast on their own (cereals or toast), then read, draw or play lego. I usually wake after them, so I just pray they don’t fight too loud before I slowly emerge from my slumber.
  • We go for a walk at least once a day, late morning or in the afternoon. (Our family walks are in the evening now from 7 to 9pm because the sun is still up and the temperatures are more pleasant).
  • Homework from 2pm to 4pm.
  • At 4pm, I give them a snack and tell them to go play at the park behind the house for one hour. They have a watch, they stay together, and I can see them (or hear them) from the kitchen window, or my office window. It’s pretty safe.
  • When they come back, they can finally go play on the computer downstairs. It’s usually quiet. I can get some work done then too, but I usually wait until everyone is sleeping. I go to bed very late myself (2 or 3am).

I don’t know why it took me so long to organize a schedule. It’s how I worked best when I was a student when I had to balance my time between classes, practice, rehearsals and work. It was what kept me sane as a new mom when the twins were infants (and in the following years with 3 very active little boys of about the same age). When some kind of structure is established, I find it relaxing because it gives me direction and I know that I will get things done. Each thing has its own time slot !

Two months later than initially planned, I’ve finally finished my latest audio book project (Au nom des pères)! The author didn’t seem bothered by the delay. He was understanding and praised the quality of my work regularly. I will write about it again later when the book is out in the audio world. It was a fantastic story. 😎

But now, no more homeschooling during the day, no more audio book project at night : what am I going to do with all my free time ??? (a rhetorical question: I have plenty of other things to do — writing in this blog for example 😉 )


8 comentários sobre “Four parents, seven children

  1. You guys look so cute! You get a A+ in family building, good job! I still remember the picture of the newborn twins…

    We’re struggling to set a schedule as well here. In a way, the house is fairly quiet because Mark is alone, but it’s also not cool for him because, well, he’s alone and bored. The only “school” we had was a 30-minute video lesson live every Monday and some homework for the week. I completely gave up on the official French homework right away: the teacher clearly had no idea what to asssign and how to do it (I don’t blame her), so Mark had to watch stupid Youtube video in French (usually baby songs…) or “write his journal” (every day is the same shit and he doesn’t have enough French vocabulary to write!). Math was a bit easier to keep up with, just sheets to print out and complete. But we didn’t “connect” with the school much, I mean… 30 minutes a week doesn’t really replace a full week of school.

    On the plus side, Mark is more independant and he learned more French from hanging out with me. On the downside, I’m exhausted and very bored… running out of ideas to keep us entertained and sane.

    • Over here, the teachers were using Google Classroom at various levels of efficiency (I, too, do not blame the teachers, and thanked them profusely for the work they were doing). The twins teacher was pretty organized from the start. Computer savvy, she was even making videos to explain how to use the programs or apps. The other teacher struggled a bit more but compensated with online meetings. They all had one or two meets per week (but they sometimes ended up being scheduled at the same time, so we had to miss a few because only my laptop has a camera in the house !). Since everything was online, but we only have 2 (very old) computers for 3 kids, I had to juggle by printing stuff that could be printed while letting the other ones use the computers for the rest. But I really appreciated the teachers telling us from the start that we shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours per day on homework. It’s a far cry from the horror stories that I’ve heard from my French friends ! (exaggerated or not, I’m not sure but it sounded inhuman !)

    • Merciiiiiiii ! ❤ J'ai bien peur qu'ils ne vont pas ouvrir les piscines d'été, mais on dirait que oui pour les splash pads… Avec des restrictions… Donc je sais pas trop qu'est-ce que ça veut dire en pratique. Bref, c'est moyen moyen :/

  2. Je suis incapable de tenir des horaires que je m’imposerais. J’ai toujours une bonne excuse pour ne pas faire ce qui était prévu. Je suis admirative. J’ai zéro patience, dans la même situation que la tienne, je me serais transformée en véritable loque.

    • C’est des horaires assez souples quand même, hein. Par exemple si il pleut un soir (ou qu’il fait une chaleur humide d’enfer), on n’ira peut-être pas faire la promenade du soir mais on se ratrapera le lendemain.

  3. Waouh, comme tes garçons ont grandi depuis les dernières photos que tu as postées ici ! Et j’ai toujours en tête les petits bonhommes de l’époque où vous viviez au Brésil – évidemment, ça a bien poussé depuis 😉

    Je fais aussi partie de ceux qu’un planning aide beaucoup à avancer… On en avait mis un en place pendant le confinement, et ça nous avait beaucoup aidé. Les vacances commencent à la fin de la semaine, et il faut qu’on organise quelque chose pour cadrer les enfants, ou ça va être l’horreur.

    Tu ne te lances pas dans un nouveau projet de livre audio ? Je me réjouis de lire ici l’histoire fantastique de celui que tu viens de terminer 😉

    • Je n’ai pas encore de livre audio en vue, mais peut-être que je vais finalement me lancer dans le projet de podcast qui traîne depuis plus d’un an… On verra.

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