Being pregnant is already a tough task to handle, but being pregnant when you have 2 little ones is even more challenging. My current children are 2 and 11 months old and I am adding number 3 in just 10 short weeks! I am very fortunate that I haven’t had a tough pregnancy in the manner of sickness. My struggles are with handling my babies with a big belly and lots of fatigue.
When I was pregnant with my first child I thought it was the best and easiest experience of my life. I loved every minute of it. The growing belly, the baby kicks, eating all of the sweets, I didn’t even mind all of the trips to the bathroom! It was so exciting and new and I told everyone that I could have a million kids if my pregnancies were guaranteed to be that easy. I was never once sick nor did I have much physical pain (I experienced some discomfort but not too much). Every time I was tired and wanted a nap -I took it! I love naps. Taking naps while being pregnant were great!
My second pregnancy was a different story. I still didn’t have any sickness, but the pains I had were unbearable. The fatigue I experienced was worse than my first pregnancy. It was harder to get around because I also had a little baby to carry around with me. I didn’t get much sleep at night because my first child was still waking up a lot through the night. I wasn’t able to take a nap any time I wanted to, yet I still did every time he did. My belly grew bigger faster and the ligament pain I experienced was terrible. I could barely lift my right leg without wincing in pain. Sleeping at night was TORTURE. The pain in my hips was excruciating. I could only sleep at night with 2-3 pillows between my legs just to keep my legs spread apart enough. But I had a baby so I had to push through it all the best I could so I could take care of him despite the pain I was in.
My third pregnancy is the most unique out of them all. It is a combination of the first two, but with even more responsibilities to handle. I’ve been blessed to not experience sickness with this one either, but the fatigue is a struggle. All I want to do is sleep as much as I can, but it’s not possible. I have two little ones to care for so naps are nearly impossible and a full nights sleep is hard to come by. Unfortunately, the lack of a full nights sleep isn’t because my kids don’t sleep through the night, it’s because of how hard it is to get comfortable and stay comfortable.
Getting around is not hard because I have ligament pain or because I can’t lift my leg, it’s because I have to herd my two little ones with me and that’s exhausting in itself. Eli, my second born, can’t walk yet so carrying him everywhere I go is a must. Although, he likes to think he can walk because he watches his older brother do it all the time, so I am constantly fighting a squirmy baby. Dorian, my oldest, now knows what “no” means and he loves his new found “freedom” of refusing to do things which causes me to have to carry him around just because he would run away from me or just sit there and pout.
I am currently 30wks along and getting on the floor or up from the floor is difficult but I have to do it multiple times a day because I am always on the floor playing with my boys. Sitting on the couch or in a chair is just not an option that they will tolerate. Needless to say, pregnant life with 2 under 2 is hard work.
Despite all of the struggles you face being pregnant and caring for 2 little ones, it is possible to get through. Whether you are adding your second child or your third, fourth, etc. here are some helpful tips that will make things easier!
1. Less Expectations
Stop worrying about keeping your house spotless while trying to entertain your children. You are more tired from your pregnancy (and constantly fighting with your toddler over why they can’t drink out of the dogs water bowl) so all that extra cleaning will be torture. Keep it simple and set small cleaning tasks for yourself to keep your house tidy. If you need some tips on how to keep your little ones entertained long enough to get the laundry done, check out my post on this fun sensory activity.
2. Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking friends or family for some help. Chances are they would love to watch your little one for an hour or two so you can get some rest. Whether you want to use that time to take a nap, a warm bath, or just want to lay on the couch and catch up on your shows, getting some relaxation in is a must.
Whether you have one toddler, or 2, taking a nap when they do is a great idea. Fortunately, for me my children take their nap at the same time so I am able to lay down for a little bit when they do. It makes all the difference. You are growing a baby and chasing another one around so sleep is essential!
4. Take Advantage of Your High Energy Days
We’ve all been there. Sometimes you little to no energy at all and just want to sleep all day and other times you have so much energy you start “nesting.” During your first pregnancy it’s nice to start getting your nursery ready or even clean every nook and cranny in your house, but when you have a toddler running around it’s harder to get those things done. When you have energy to get anything done use it to take your child out to the zoo, park, museum or whatever you guys enjoy doing together. It’ll help ease your mind when you are having a zero energy day. Because lets face it, your toddler will not remember these times and if you don’t go and do something fun every day anyways.
5. Encourage Independence
Preparing your toddler for another baby is hard yet essential. They will need to learn to play by themselves while you are feeding, changing, putting your little one to sleep. Set time aside every day to let them play by themselves. Or if you have multiples, play together without you, for a period of time. This will also help you take a breather and put your feet up. Making sure your toddler is as prepared as possible will make the transition of adding a new baby into the house easier on you.
Growing Your Family
Any time you are growing your family it is an exciting time. Cherish the time you are pregnant because you only get to feel those little kicks in your belly for so long. Also, enjoy the remaining time you have left with the little family you currently have. Adding more children is exciting, but make sure you show your husband and your older children that they are still important and will not be forgotten when the new baby comes.