I’ve been lucky enough to have two “normal” pregnancies with no complications so far, and for that I am thankful. But, I will not lie, this second pregnancy has been much harder than my first. Maybe it’s because I just blocked out some of the less-glamorous aspects of being pregnant from my memory after the first time, or maybe it’s because I now have an energetic little toddler running around 24/7. Either way, the simple, small tasks of everyday life have become increasingly more and more difficult when you have a toddler and a baby bump.
Here are a few that come to mind:
1. Rocking your toddler to sleep or cuddling before bedtime
Gone are the days when my toddler can cuddle up on my chest before bedtime. She still tries but it’s not the most comfortable of places with a huge basketball between us. The cuddle sessions have evolved over the last few weeks from cuddling on my chest, to cuddling on the side, to now cuddling with Dad.
2. Putting your toddler down to sleep in her crib
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Belly bumps make it almost impossible to gently place a toddler in her crib for nap time or bedtime – especially if the mattress is on the bottom level. My only solution is to reach in as far as my baby bump will allow and then ever-so-gently drop my toddler onto her mattress while saying a quick prayer that the minor fall doesn’t jolt her wide awake. This works about 75% of the time, and that percentage keeps dwindling as the bump gets bigger and the height of the drop increases.
3. Making meals for your toddler
Nausea and food aversions have made it pretty difficult to whip up any sort of weird-smelling vegetable, chicken, or any other food that doesn’t sit well with me on that particular day. What’s worse? Watching your toddler attempt to eat said food while she smears it all over her face and the high chair. I’m still trying to perfect hiding my look of disgust during mealtime. “Mmm, yummy green beans!” (barf!)
4. Reading with your toddler on your lap
My daughter LOVES reading books so this has been a big adjustment for us. No longer can she sit directly on my lap while turning through the pages of her favorite books. We’ve switched our routine to her sitting directly beside me, tucked under my arm enjoying Good Night Moon for the 50th time that day.
5. Putting shoes on a toddler
Bending down to almost ground level to place shoes on a moving target is quite the challenge. I’ve found that counters come in nicely, if you can get your little one to sit still for more than 5 seconds and not jump off!
6. Overall exhaustion
During my first pregnancy I worked full time, and often kept long hours at the office Monday through Friday – I thought that was tiring, even though I had the weekends to rest and do nothing. Now, this second time around, staying home with my 18-month-old daughter is sort of like completing an obstacle course over and over again, 24/7. I chase her around, bend down then up to pick stuff up off the floor, lift her up and then down, carry her around for long periods of time, etc. Let’s just say, I hit the couch hard after she goes down at 7 PM every night.
I know life is about to get a whole lot harder with “two under two” in the house, but at least I’ll be able to bend down and touch my toes when that time comes.
Pregnant moms with toddlers, what else would you add?
Related: Embracing The Pregnancy Inquisition