The second pregnancy is a whole new ballgame! I’m a bit busier (a toddler is a FULL-TIME JOB, you know), I’m a tad older, and of course, way more tired. However, I do take time to remember how very lucky I am to have my 2.5 year-old son, and how lucky I am to be pregnant with his brother. This post is not a rant about how hard it is to be a pregnant mom, rather, a post providing tips to keep pregnant Mommas happy, rested, and sane during this transition. Here are 7 things that have worked for me during the past 8 months:
1. Choose secure locations for play – This includes gated parks/playgrounds, indoor playgrounds, enclosed yards, inside homes, libraries, etc. This has been a MUST for us. My active son loves to run — especially in parking lots — and I am finding that I literally cannot keep up with him at this point in my pregnancy. In fact, my aching lower back, and sciatica/joint pain makes it nearly impossible to chase and lift him. It’s safer and much more enjoyable to not be chasing him or scolding him during an outing.
2. Pick your battles – No, your toddler will not turn into a spoiled brat just because you give in for a few months. Decide what is worth the fight, meltdown, or time-out, and what you can let slide for the day. When your kiddo stresses, YOU stress. That’s not good for your unborn baby, and the bad mood and resentment that follows is not good for toddler. Think about what your toddler must be going through during your pregnancy — may he senses a change? Be sensitive to his needs. Also, I keep reminding myself that these last couple of months should be precious bonding time between my toddler son and I. In 6 weeks, things will never be the same again.
3. Rest while your toddler sleeps – Notice, I said REST and not SLEEP, because I know how hard it is to sleep when there’s so much to plan and think about. Get a small task done, but try to spend the majority of toddler’s nap/quiet time or bedtime laying down with a good book, tablet, or watching TV. And if you can actually get some shut-eye, GO FOR IT!
4. EAT – As often as you can, whatever makes you happy! Treat yourself and your toddler to frozen yogurt, french fries, or a yummy smoothie. This will keep both of you happy, and it’s a fun way to bond with your first born.
5. Ask for help – Seriously! I am a broken record, and always include this tip in my “mom survival” lists because it’s a lifesaver! Ask your partner, spouse, friend, or parent to take your tot off your hands for an hour, or ask them to do the bath and bedtime routine once in a while. Breaks, and an extra set of hands, can really refresh the busy pregnant mom — believe me!
6. Treat-yo-self – Go beyond indulging in your pregnancy cravings: book a massage, mani-pedi, yoga class, or simply draw yourself a warm bath with lit candles throughout your pregnancy. Relaxation will reset you — plus, you probably won’t get much of a chance to do stuff like this when baby #2 arrives.
7. Encourage activities that are stationary – This way, you and your toddler can play and bond without completely exhausting Mommy. Some fun activities we enjoy include: Play-Doh, bubbles, puzzles, playing with toys, making towers (and knocking them down), and looking at magazines/books/photo albums. I must also note: my toddler LOVES hanging out in the new baby’s room while I organize. He plays with his old baby toys, the new baby’s books, and enjoys rocking back and forth in his old glider chair.
So, there you have it. Take care of yourself, Momma; it makes for a more pleasant second pregnancy. Been in my shoes? What would you add to this list?