I knew we wanted to have our kids close in age, but finding out I was pregnant when my son was only 10 months old – not even walking – was still a little terrifying. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, I had already been through it once before. But I forgot that last time I did this I only had to take care of myself, nevermind another tiny human.
So here are a few tips to help you get through those 9 months while chasing a toddler…
Lower your standards
You are growing a human inside of you. That is enough responsibility. You don’t need to bake those organic, gluten-free, sugar-free muffins, create a Pinterest-worthy craft with your toddler and maintain a spotless house while also creating a human being. Sometimes, you just can’t do it all, and that’s ok. Some days your toddler may binge-watch Paw Patrol while surviving on goldfish because that’s all you can manage. You are still a good mom despite what social media might tell you.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be your spouse, parents, siblings, neighbours, or the guy in the grocery store parking lot watching you lift 30 grocery bags into your car while holding a toddler on your hip. If your spouse can help out with the dishes a little more often, great! Maybe your parents can watch your toddler for a couple hours while you take a solid nap. Every little bit helps. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about asking for help either. Remember, it takes a village.
Do whatever you can to prepare yourself for life with a newborn and a toddler before the time comes. Trust me, this comes from experience. The first while with a newborn and a toddler is crazy. You will get nothing accomplished except that you kept two children and yourself alive for the day. So, if you can prepare some freezer meals while you’re still pregnant, I highly recommend it. They come in handy even before baby is born and you’re just way too tired to cook. It only takes a couple hours and you can make 20 dinners at once.
Adjust your bedtime routine
I’ll admit, there are some days where I count the hours down to when my son goes to bed. Sometimes I stay up way longer than I should just because I can finally get a couple things done. But, when you’re pregnant and sleep is a necessity, just go to bed. Don’t worry about those dinner dishes (see #2 above) or forget about what you’ll miss on your Facebook newsfeed. Just go to bed and get as much sleep as you can. If you don’t have your toddler into a good bedtime routine yet either, this is the time to do it. You don’t want to be making huge adjustments to them after there is a baby in the picture. It’s a lot for their little brains to handle and they likely won’t take to it well.
Make the best of this time
Enjoy your toddler. These are the last days of him being an only child. If you can only muster to cuddle him on the couch, do it. Play with them as much as you can. Before you know it you will have a new baby and will have to figure out ways to divide your attention. Enjoy the quality time you have with your toddler now.
Despite all the hard work and sleep deprivation, having your kids close in age is definitely worth it. You will watch them become best friends and the love they have for one another is truly amazing.
Have any tips for a pregnant mom with a toddler? Share in the comments below!