I'm not saying I'm an expert or anything, but I am over here surviving pregnancy with a 2 year old and let me just say.... it ain't pretty. There are lots of things I wish I'd known before. It wouldn't have changed my mind and I don't know that it would have prepared me more or less, but might have been nice to know ahead of time. Maybe?
Anyway, I've found myself saying things like, "Man I need a drink." And when I realize it's still 4-5 months before I can have one I start chugging my La Croix like it'll do the job. When it doesn't I just curl up in a ball by the washer and dryer and cry for a bit. (That last part is a joke...no really.)
If you thought pregnancy was tough on your body the first go 'round, just wait until you have a small human who really does not care if you rest, eat, sleep, or get to use the bathroom 99x a day by yourself. It's fun!
So - my unsolicited advice on how to survive pregnancy while also keeping a toddler alive:
- Do something just for you every day. Maybe it's just turning up Missy Elliott on the radio for the 10 minutes it takes to get you from work to daycare and totally jamming out. Or waking up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the house to drink your coffee in the peace and quiet. But, you must do something for you each day.
- Delegate duties. I love bath time and bed time routines with my son, but I'm starting to realize it takes a toll on my body to do both by myself. My husband helps a lot with one or the other (or both on tough days) so that 1. my son gets use to Daddy doing it since Mommy will be a little busy in a few months and 2. I'm not killing myself trying to do it all.
- Soak up the precious moments. Your baby will not be your baby for much longer so soak in the moments you can. Give him the extra time to do things on his own like putting his socks on and when he asks you to read to him, stop what you are doing and read.
- Don't sweat the Terrible Twos. For a while I thought we might be skipping this stage, but I didn't realize CT was really just gearing up for a good bout of the Terrible Twos. From what I Hear they only get worse as you get closer to 3. I'm hoping that's inaccurate. What I've realized is don't get upset about it - if you have to leave the cart of groceries in the store and carry your child kicking and screaming out of the store like a football under your arm...you're not alone. (Seriously, you aren't alone - I've done this once or twice already.) Those parents who haven't reached this stage yet, they may look at you pitifully, but they will see one day and those that have experienced it, totally sympathize with you. It's a phase. It, too, shall pass.
- Don't try to accomplish much during waking hours. In fact, don't expect to accomplish much period in your first trimester especially. Two year olds want and need attention and it's crazy to try to clean the house or get groceries when they want it. During that first trimester, allow yourself to sleep while your child naps. You will thank yourself later.
Pregnancy is totally unpredictable and if anything is more unpredictable, I'd say it's a 2 year old. I mean, my son will tell me, "No, I don't want milk." and then sob uncontrollably when I put the milk back in the fridge because no really means yes some days.
And it's blissful.
And it's short and we need to soak it in while we can.