You all know the normal pregnancy symptoms. You’re sick… you’re tired… everything aches, and then as those maladies subside you start to get physically big. Growing another human is no simple task, and doing so while you’re parenting a toddler is that much harder. Working up the energy to get out of bed each morning is sometimes a super human feat.
My first pregnancy was so much easier. In a past life I worked for myself so when I got pregnant I only had my own schedule to adhere to. I could come and go as I pleased, eat when it was convenient, and nap when needed. This time around, not so much. This time I’m pregnant and I’m a SAHM (stay at home mom) to a very energetic toddler. She’s been far more accepting of my current inabilities than I ever imagined, but that doesn’t mean it’s been painless.
Here are some tips on how to survive (and sometimes thrive) during a second pregnancy:
- Give yourself a break. It’s easy to let the guilt of “slacking off” become all consuming. If your toddler plays well by themselves, then let them. If the dishes aren’t done right away, so be it. If you can’t deal with food smells, then order in.
- Rest. Put your feet up or your head down on the couch while they pile toys all over. Read books with them in bed. Snuggle on the couch together while watching a movie. Take a power nap while they sit next to you if that’s a possibility.
- Only do one or two outings at a time. Once I was feeling human again I started trying to do too much too fast. I’m sure it was an attempt to make up for all the lazy days at home over the last month or so, but 3 stops in one day just about knocked me over. These days, even though I have decent energy, I try to keep my errands down to two a day. The effort of taking your toddler in and out of a car alone can sometimes be more than enough activity depending on how far along you are.
- Let your partner help. If they can cook, clean, pay bills, do anything that you would normally take care of, let them! Having someone take care of you a bit, or just take care of a little more of the household chores will help immensely. I generally still do the bulk of the cleaning and laundry, but I’m too far along to carry heavy baskets up and downstairs or bend to put dishes in (and out) of the dishwasher. My guy does that. Sometimes I have to remind him that I need help, but he’s almost always happy to step in.
- Enlist the help of other family members. My mother came to visit a couple of times through this pregnancy already. Once during the 1st trimester, once during the 2nd, and she’ll be back again for the end of the third. When she comes she almost always stays for a few weeks (at a friend’s home close by). She offers to come and play with my daughter while I rest or get other things done. It’s much appreciated and much needed! When someone tells you to go take a nap and they’ll handle things for you, take them up on it!
All in all I try to remember that this will be over soon and I’ll have two children to take care of. That will be another learning curve all together. For now I’m trying to enjoy my first born to my fullest ability while still taking care of myself.