How to Wrangle Toddlers Whilst Pregnantby Amy Werdekker
"How cute would it be to have children close together in age? They will grow up being the best of friends!" I hear myself telling my husband as a way to justify the crippling broodiness of wanting another baby. My first pregnancy was a breeze and once my maternity leave started, it became even easier as I lost count of how many box sets I managed to complete while sitting with my feet up, drinking tea and taking daily naps. Fast forward 2 years, and I was pregnant again with our second little bundle of joy.
What people don't seem to anticipate (especially me!) is how different each pregnancy can be. This time around, I had become very well acquainted with our toilet thanks to our good old friend 'morning sickness' (which isn't just restricted to the mornings FYI), not to mention the first-trimester fatigue that was completely debilitating and the hormone changes which sucked away every last bit of patience I even had to begin with. This time around, there was also no time for daily naps, hot cups of tea and box sets because THIS time around, I also had a little mini dictator to contend with in the form of my 2-year-old!
It turns out, 2-year-olds don't care if you're feeling so nauseated you could honestly throw up right into their shape sorter. 2-year-olds don't care if you have SPD and struggle to even get comfortable in bed, let alone get down on the floor to play 'Sleeping Lions'. And 2-year-olds REALLY don't care if you're that exhausted you can't even function because you WILL still be expected to take them to toddler groups, soft play, the park etc.
So, how DO you wrangle toddlers whilst pregnant?
- If you are lucky enough that your toddler still naps during the day... Join them! Housework can wait. So what if there are a few dirty dishes in the sink or toys around the house!?
- Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, family etc. Toddlers love sleepovers with the Grandparents so play that card if you need to just to get a bit of rest because trust me... You're going to need it!
- Toddlers also love imaginative play so utilise that! Get them to play pretend doctors while you play the part of the 'poorly patient' and lie down on the sofa with your eyes closed.
- Nobody will judge you for using a bit of snack/TV/iPad bribery if you need to take a break for 10 minutes (or an hour!). You don't have to be that crafty, baking, hands-on, 'perfect' mother 24/7.
- And finally, although it may not be easy being pregnant with a toddler, that moment when your firstborn meets their little brother/sister for the first time and says "Is that my baby brother!? He's so cute and little!", makes it all completely worth it! Plus, either it can't be that bad or I am just a glutton for punishment but we are now expecting baby number 3!
You’ve got this Mama!