Surviving Pregnancy with Toddlers
Pregnancy is such an exciting time when it’s your first baby. Naps are awesome. You can rest, relax, take babymoons and eat mostly what you want. Your baby arrives and you can still nap when baby naps, have a semi-normal daily life with your spouse, and usually fit back into those beloved jeans with a zipper someday. Then, it happens again.
You’re pregnant but this time it’s different, because you’re already a mom.
Being pregnant and being a mommy can be challenging at times. Here are some ways I’ve discovered we can manage and succeed with a smile on our face and happy kids in tow.
1. Moms never rest. I know, me, myself, I rarely am sitting still. Someone always needs me, needs a snack, or just needs to be taken care of. But if you’re growing a new baby, rest, momma. Your kids will survive if you put the TV on so you can lay down on the couch, too. Your husband will understand if you need to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. Your family needs you and loves you, and while resting isn’t the same as it was the first go-around, you and baby still need down time. Take it.
2. Prepare for the questions. My third pregnancy last summer left me with lots of questions from my two toddlers. My 4-year-old was especially curious about everything. She wondered why my belly was still big after the baby arrived. They came to all of my OB appointments, so of course, she was confused where this heartbeat was coming from and how this baby was coming out. When I went into labor around Halloween, she was perplexed as to why I was making the moaning and groaning sounds as we drove 45 minutes to the hospital with painful contractions. Your kids will be curious, and that’s okay. Now she is very curious about breastfeeding. Just be honest and be gentle with your responses.
3. Accept Help. If you don’t live near family or friends, find someone you can trust to help you out during and after pregnancy. For me, this meant putting my pride down and asking a sister-in-law to drive 3 hours and babysit my children. I was convinced I would be in labor with two kids in the room the entire time. Accept help. If you have family, ask for someone to come play and interact with your older children. Allow others to take your children after the baby is born and give them some attention or get you some groceries. It’s okay to get help. You have a lot to juggle, but we’re moms, so we can do this.
While pregnancy is much different after your first baby, I do know you can survive. You may have lots of morning sickness in front of your kids. You may have to watch movies just to get a break. You may have to jump into life with multiple kids without much help, but you can do it. We’re supermoms, we’ve got this.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she has loved becoming a mommy each time.