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?