Being Pregnant with a Toddler
Pregnancy is a very trying time in life, especially being pregnant with a toddler. Some women cope with it just fine and others (like me) really struggle physically and mentally with the whole process. Your body completely transforms to accommodate your growing baby, your hormones are all over the place, you’re uncomfortable, and exhausted (even if you are getting a good night’s sleep). Now you throw a toddler into the equation and it can seem like an unbearable 9 months.
With my first pregnancy, the process was exciting and even a little fun. I could nap, eat, and exercise whenever I wanted for the most part. I had the freedom to focus solely on myself. However, the second time around with a toddler present in your life, you can’t just rest if your feeling tired and lay in bed all day if your sick. Your toddler’s needs always take priority no matter what. So you simply try to survive the day.
There is no magic solution to making life easy when you’re pregnant with a toddler, however, with these coping skills, you make being pregnant with a toddler easier to deal with.
10 Ways to Manage Being Pregnant with a Toddler
1. Don’t be Hard on Yourself
High standards are set for mom’s these days. We’re expected to do everything and do it perfectly – be a good mother, take care of the home, and on top of that we are often expected to contribute to the household income as well. However, when you’re pregnant AND have a toddler, it’s especially ok to be easy on yourself. It’s perfect fine to let your little one watch TV if you just need to sit down and rest or let the dishes pile up a little if you are too exhausted to get to them right away. Overall, be kind to your mind and body during this trying time.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Our former nanny asked me if I wanted her to come over once a week to watch my toddler during the last trimester of my pregnancy and I hesitated because of the guilt of “not spending enough time” with my toddler. However, I quickly realized it’s perfectly fine to accept help when you need it to make your life easier (especially during that dreaded third trimester). Don’t feel guilty about help, embrace it.
3. Run Errands Solo
I typically enjoy running errands with my toddler – it’s a fun thing we do together and it’s a great way to break up the time. However, as I made my way into the later part of my second trimester, it became more of an exhausting chore. Lifting him in and out of the car seat and cart, carrying him in and out of the stores, and dealing with his tantrums in the store just became too much. Doing your errands while your husband, day care, or babysitter have your little one will make life just a little bit easier.
4. Nap with Them
This might be my favorite tip for managing being pregnant with a toddler. By the time nap time comes around, I’m usually wiped out so it’s the perfect time to lay down with your little one and take nice snooze with them. It’s also a sweet way to bond with them. I usually wake up after 30-45 minutes while he continues to sleep and it’s just enough to fuel with me through the afternoon. Don’t ever feel guilty about doing these little things to care for yourself while being pregnant with a toddler.
5. Know that it’s Not Forever
Your body is transforming and growing…A LOT. You’re clothes don’t fit you. You’re exhausted, uncomfortable, and hormonal. On top of that…you have a toddler and can’t drink wine! It is SUCH a trying time. Telling yourself that it’s not forever can help cope with being pregnant with a toddler.
6. Eat Foods to Boost Your Energy
This is probably the most under-rated tip for managing being pregnant with a toddler. What you put into your body has so much to do with the way you feel. Eating heavy meals and processed foods that are high in empty carbs are going to make you even that much more lethargic than you probably already are. Keeping yourself hydrated like it’s going out of style and eating light meals comprised of mostly whole foods will boost your energy to make it easier to get through the day while being pregnant with a toddler.
It can be un-motivating to workout when you’re pregnant since no matter what you do, you’re only going to get bigger until you have your baby. However, it is very important to stay active and exercise regularly through your pregnancy for your health as well as your unborn baby. Not only that, but it’s a great way to give you a pep in your step and boost your energy and mood.
8. Play Outside When Possible
Depending on where you live and the weather you have, playing outside may or may not be an option for you. However, if you are blessed to have nice weather or even just a few nice days here and there, playing outside or going to the park with your toddler is a great way to spend time with your toddler while you’re pregnant. Typically when your little one is playing outside, they can run around and entertain themselves (under your full supervision of course). Not to mention, it will wear them out to make bed/nap time that much easier. Win Win!
9. Go to the Library
Most libraries have great children’s sections that have plenty of kids’ books and small activities for them to partake in quietly (or as quietly as possible). This a great activity that doesn’t require too much energy from your end and your toddler will love it. We also have a Barnes and Noble by our house that has a great train table that my toddler absolutely adores…so that’s another option if you have a book store like that near you.
10. Set Up Your Home to Promote Independence
We have a few different play areas in our home. I’ve made an effort to make each space accessible to my toddler. All of his toys are on low shelves. He can’t climb on anything that could cause injuries. His plates, bowls, cups, and utensils are in a drawer he can reach, and his cleaning supplies and clothes drawers are also easily accessible to him. These are small things but they make a difference since it’s less that you have to help with. It also promotes independence, which is great for their development and confidence.
Conclusion: Managing Being Pregnant with a Toddler
It’s a long nine months when you’re pregnant with a toddler. No matter what you do, it’s not easy. However, try to stay positive by telling yourself it won’t last forever. Make sure you take good care of yourself (both mentally and physically). And, overall take it easy and be easy on yourself. I hope these simple tips help make being pregnant with a toddler a little easier.