One of the hardest parts about being pregnant with a toddler is this final stretch. You’re so big and tired that it’s harder to lift them and run after them, and all you want to do is relax on the couch. But you also have a million things to do to prep for baby #2 and to prep your toddler, and then there’s the guilt. You know you’re about to rock your first child’s world, so you want to get in as much special time with them before and be as present as possible while you don’t have a newborn consuming your every waking minute. Plus, you need to prep yourself for another baby and a changing family dynamic. In fact, I think the emotions of it all are harder than the physical parts of this second pregnancy. I know I’m not alone, so I thought I’d share how we’re emotionally preparing for a second baby.
First, I do want to say, it’s been hard physically and I’m not going to lie, there’s been more screen time than I’d care to admit during this last trimester. Emotionally, I’ve been feeling so many emotions that I’m stressed out and moody. I’ve certainly lost my patience more than I’d care to admit. But I’m really trying to make the most of the time I do have with James and as a family of three, especially on weekends when we’re all together. I am finding that one of the best ways to emotionally prepare for a second baby is by focusing on spending as much time enjoying your first and the special bond that you have. It helps with the guilt and anxiety over things you frankly can no longer control.
While we’ve snuck in as many adventures as we can to the zoo, new parks, and other fun spots, during this final stretch, I’ve found that spending lots of time at the pool has been the perfect way for us to beat the heat and bond as a family. James loves being in the pool, it’s the one place where my feet don’t hurt and my muscles can relax, and I can cool off. And it’s contained so it’s easy for us to watch him and get his energy out without having to constantly chase after him and for this pregnant mama to be on her feet.
It’s become our ritual in these last weeks to get up on weekend mornings, make breakfast and walk Dakota as a family and then pack up and jump in the car and head to the pool. We swim for a few hours, let James run around in the grass, eat lunch, and then head home in time to put James down for his nap. It’s the perfect set-up as long as he doesn’t fall asleep in the car. We can relax (and even nap, or more likely, get through the ten million to-dos) while he naps, he gets to be outside, be active, and enjoy one-on-one time with mom and dad. Most importantly, we feel like we did something, so I don’t feel as guilty if post-nap we end up watching How to Train Your Dragon again and ordering takeout… again.
What about you? Any secrets for transitioning a toddler to a new sibling and getting through the last weeks of pregnancy with a toddler at home? Any tips for emotionally preparing for a second baby?