You’re being kicked from the inside and running after another set of little legs on the outside.
You’re probably tired, hormonal and a bit over it all, but life must continue as normal.
Yep there’s no denying being pregnant the second (or third) time around is very different from the first.
And a toddler definitely changes things.
Remember your first pregnancy? Even though it was all a bit foreign, you took the time to rest, cleaned only when you had to and just enjoyed (or at least tried to) all the fun pregnancy had to offer.
But bring on round two (or three or four...) and combine that with the demands of a little person and things can become, shall we say.....interesting.
As mum to an almost two-year-old and being seven months pregnant with our second child, this is currently the fun of my life.
I’m not going to say it’s a struggle (knowing all those who have done this before me are laughing, haha!), but some days are definitely better (and can be easier) than others.
How I get through some days is anyone’s guess but knowing I'm not the first, and definitely won’t be the last, helps a little bit.
So how do you manage growing your next bundle of joy and keep your day-to-day life running normally for your energetic toddler?
You might think “with great difficulty” and yes some days I do, but there are a number of ideas to keep in mind that might help get you through the tough days....
Encourage play time
For me one of the biggest things I’m working on with my daughter is the opportunity to play a bit more on her own.
As much as we love hanging out with our darling offspring, if you feel you need a few minutes to get things done, take a breather or even sit down, set them up with a few toys or something you know will entertain them long enough for you to find a bit more energy to get through the day.
Day care/care provider
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but if you find you’re needing some time to yourself or your toddler needs some interaction it might be worth looking into some temporary/part time day care. This could also come in handy if you don't want to drag your toddler along to all your doctor appointments
Involve your toddler
Ask your toddler for help and let them be involved.
Chat to them about what’s happening and let them know that you will need their help a bit more now that they will be a big brother/sister.
Encourage them to help mummy out by quietly playing or picking that toy off the floor that you just don't want to bend over for.
Maybe use the opportunity to let them help you load the dishwasher or washing machine if it needs doing, it’s the little things that count.
They will feel involved and we all know how much kids love to help!
Lower your standards
You're going to be tired and you have a lot on your plate.
Lower your standards and go easier on yourself. Remind yourself that it's okay if the washing stays in the corner or the dishes sit in the sink/dishwasher a little bit longer (if only this worked for me, haha!).
Nap time/quiet time
Don’t we all look forward to nap time!
I call it my “mummy time”. Once my daughter goes down for her nap I usually grab a bottle of water (okay maybe a few sneaky chocolates as well) and find myself a comfy spot on the lounge.
If, like me, you only have one toddler under your feet, make the most of this opportunity to also grab a little sleep!
However, if you’re not so lucky and your little one isn’t so keen on some daytime slumber anymore, this might be a good opportunity to just find some quiet time.
Maybe sit down with your little one and read some books, set them up with some crayons or even choose a movie that you can both enjoy. You never know you both might fall asleep!
Make/buy something for the baby
It can be big, small or whatever you want it to be.
Let your toddler make or choose something new for the impending arrival.
Maybe it could be a card, a drawing, a new teddy bear/toy, your imagination is key on this one.
This could prove to be a tricky task but is worth a go if you're up for a bit of a challenge.
Time to relax your rules...
In the beginning I wasn’t a huge fan of letting my daughter watch television. But honestly on some days, it can be my saviour especially if The Wiggles, Play School or Elmo is on!
Yes it’s not ideal to let little ones sit in front of the TV for hours on end but if it works as a distraction for a little while, why not use it?
ASK FOR HELP!!
You are only human after all, so swallow your pride and ask family and friends to help you out, especially later in your pregnancy, you don’t want to overdo it!
Most importantly your best helper (aside from your energetic toddler of course) is your husband/partner. See if he can tackle a few things like make (buy) dinner if you don’t have the energy or sort through the washing, so you can take care of the rest.
AND last but certainly not least: Remind yourself this isn’t going to last forever!
Soon enough you’ll have a newborn bundle in your arms.....and the real fun begins!