Being pregnant and taking care of a toddler at the same time is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know, I know…it’s not going to get any easier when the baby comes out! I feel completely unprepared and honestly, a bit inadequate. It’s like the toddler and the baby are already competing for my attention and right now, nobody’s winning.

The biggest battle by far is sleep. The baby is zapping all of my energy at key times, like when the toddler wants to swim in the pool or play at the park. Naptime for him has invariably become naptime for me, but his rest time seems to be getting shorter and shorter while my pregnancy nap needs grow. I’ve also had to push his bedtime up an hour because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open as long as him anymore. It certainly doesn’t help that pregnant women are told to minimize their caffeine intake. I swear, I’ve never needed caffeine more in my life!

Then there are all the food issues. I have crazy cravings for salty chips and sweet Oreos, all things that aren’t very toddler-friendly. My son isn’t one to be distracted by Cheerios and fruit pieces while I scarf down stuff that’s off-limits to him. On a couple occasions, I’ve actually found myself sneaking ice cream in the closet while he watched Sesame Street!

Lastly, the physical limitations. My bump is huge now. I can’t see my toes! Hauling around a 30-pound person is kind of out of the question. I obviously still have to carry him sometimes: getting in and out of a grocery cart or lifting him into the crib or car seat. He, however, wants to be picked up constantly to play with a light switch or see something in the tree branches in the yard. It’s heartbreaking trying to explain to him that I just can’t be lifting him up to my level constantly. I try to sit down and cuddle him, but then he wants to play “punch the baby,” thinking my engorged belly is some sort of drum. That’s definitely the hardest part, trying to play and connect with my rambunctious little man without putting myself or the baby at risk.

I think a lot of these things are typical of any pregnancy. I do remember feeling rather frustrated with my lack of physical ability at this point when I was pregnant the first time around. I inexplicably wanted to mount shelves and clean out the garage, upgrade furniture. Must be the nesting instinct. Fortunately the final countdown has begun: 6 weeks to go!

Were you ever frustrated by pregnancy limitations?

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4 Responses to A mom divided

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’m curious though… so what has been helpful in getting you through these frustrations aside from nesting :)

    • Chelsea Day says:

      Lots of support from friends and family who help out with my son! I try to just cut myself some slack and take a break when I need to. I think that as moms, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do EVERYTHING for everyone. Pregnancy is one time that you need to focus on your family’s health and well-being and let go of certain expectations in terms of the house being clean all the time, work life, etc.

  2. I FEEL YA! Haven’t gotten to the third trimester with all its aches, pains and weariness but my first trimester was pretty awful. It was tough to keep a 2 year old boy engaged enough at home so mom could lay on the couch. Im just trying to give myself grace when I can’t do all the things I used to instead of guilting myself into thinking I am a horrible mom. Thank God we have a backyard and live in CA so he can run around enclosed while I sit on a lounge chair!

  3. jillsimonian says:

    I just dealt with this (8 months ago… my baby is 7 months now). It was HARD. It was FRUSTRATING. But you HAVE to look at it like this: IT’S CONDITIONING YOU FOR WHEN BABY COMES. That’s the only thing that kept me going. Seriously. It’s freakin’ hard. But baby steps. Here’s my silly advice: You must get your toddler “ready” for when baby comes. I’m not talking about buying him gifts when the baby comes home… I’m talking about ‘brainwashing boot-camp’ (I wrote about it on my own blog: http://thefabmom.com/2012/08/27/one-way-to-brainwash-baby-1-before-baby-2-comes-yes-i-did-this/). I’m only writing this because it is HARD and I always figure every random idea might help a bit. My toddler is a girl (which might be a lot different than boys, personality-wise?) but prep your tot now so it’s not culture shock to him when baby is here and you’re REALLY tired. Teach him to “wait” for things a few minutes (snacks, toys, games, etc), get him excited for “the baby” (I bought a doll that we dressed, changed diapers on and bundled up to teach mine what a baby was… but again, she’s a girl), explain to him how “fun” it is to walk, look, point, etc and how he’s such a big boy and how the baby is going to watch him walk by himself and think he’s sooooo cool (regarding the ‘picking him up’ part). I know these things sound silly, but they worked for me…. little things can add up to help you A LOT if you start teaching/prepping your toddler now. My husband works ALL the time, I’m mostly by myself, I don’t have a nanny (just a babysitter that comes about 4 hours a week)… and things are actually civilized and fun around here (most of the time, anyways). Good luck! Just enjoy it… :)

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