To the pregnant mum with a toddler

To the pregnant Mum with a toddler

Right now you’re wondering what on earth you were thinking.

Yes, you love your toddler more than words can describe, but every time you think about adding a newborn baby to the mix you need a lie down.

Whether you decided to have another baby soon after your first or this was a happy surprise (you’re never more fertile than in the months after giving birth), its natural to be a bit freaked out.

When you fell pregnant you may have just got into a rhythm with your first baby. Finally the sleepless nights are behind you and your eldest is even eating proper meals instead of demanding milk every three hours.

But then their first birthday comes and goes. By now they’re either walking or can crawl like lightning around every bit of the house they can reach.

As your pregnancy continues your now-toddler gets more energetic, more of a handful and more challenging.

They start to challenge everything you say. They learn the word “no”. They try to pull everything over, fling everything on the floor and will send a glass flying if you leave it within reach for even a split second.

And as you’re dealing with this tiny dictator who fills every single one of your waking minutes, and a few of your sleepy ones too, you’re coping with the joys of pregnancy.

Nausea, headaches, sore back, swollen ankles, pelvic pain, round ligament pain and don’t forget that growing bump that’s getting in the way.

Toddlers are hard work physically and mentally. They still demand a lot of picking up and cuddles. They need help with everything, such as washing, changing nappies and being tucked into bed. They have pretty much all of the demands of a baby but they can kick you in the boob. Hard.

And as the pregnancy leaches away your energy just as much as your toddler does, you’re left with zero reserve.

And so you ask yourself; “if I feel like this now, what on earth will it be like when the baby comes along?”

It seems daunting right now, of course it does.

With your first pregnancy you were blissfully ignorant. You had no idea what the sleepless nights would do to you and that babies can cry for hours without any good reason.

Now though you know the truth. Babies are hard graft. They are 24/7 and they can leave you feeling broken some days.

So, how on earth can you possibly do both? The toddler and the newborn baby? It seems like an impossible task.

Although you make jokes about it and laugh about how you’ll be outnumbered when your other half goes back to work, inside you are freaking the f**k out.

Those pregnancy hormones aren’t helping either.

What if the baby has colic? What if the baby wakes the toddler up all of the time? What if the toddler feels sad and left out? How on earth can I breastfeed a baby for hours on end and care for a toddler who just wants to play? Who’s going to clean the house? Who will deal with the piles of laundry?

And more importantly, will I ever sleep again?

The biggest question of all is, how on earth am I going to cope?

The answer, Mum, is simply that you just will.

You’ll find your own way.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you though, those first months as you’re finding your feet will be tough.

You will feel like you need an extra arm or two.

You will feel guilty when your toddler asks you to do something and you can’t because your newborn is cluster feeding.

You will want to cry when you’ve been up with your baby all night and your toddler wakes up at 6am full of beans and ready to play.

You will forget to feed yourself and end up gnawing on a block of cheese.

Your house will be a mess.

You need to know these things, Mum. But you also need to know that you’re going to be ok.

You have to ride out these tough months. Get through them however you can.

That might mean your toddler watches more television than you would normally like.

It could mean calling in a few favours from friends and relatives to take your toddler out for a few hours.

If you’ve got the budget, it could mean hiring a cleaning service.

Just embrace the chaos.

There will be bad days, for sure. Sometimes there might be bad weeks.

But, whenever you can, remind yourself that “this too shall pass”.

Get through the day hour by hour.

Don’t make huge and elaborate plans that will leave you disappointed when they don’t work out.

Do sleep whenever you can, even if its while your toddler watches TV when your baby is napping.

Do get out of the house, even if just for five minutes.

Do find something simple you enjoy. It might be a TV show, a hobby, whatever. Find it and do it when you can. This won’t be possible in the first weeks, sure. But do something for yourself when you can. Take care of you.

Do get your hubby to take over for a few hours at the weekend so you can lie down.

Do have one-on-one time with your toddler where possible.

Don’t beat yourself up if you lose it one day. Sleep deprivation and stress are horrendous. Keep reminding yourself that you’re doing your best and that is good enough.

Do remember that babies change rapidly. They eventually cry less, sleep more and give way more back by way of smiles and giggles.

So to you overwhelmed mummy wondering how you’re going to climb this mountain. Take it one step at a time, and take care of you so that you can keep on being the superhero mama that you are.

V
X

Read more21 tips for surviving the first six months with two children under two

Read more: Bed time routine tips for two under two 

To the pregnant Mum with a toddler

Burnished Chaos
Me, Being Mummy
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22 Comments

  1. October 16, 2017 / 9:23 am

    All true! I didn’t enjoy my second pregnancy for this (and for some other) reasons. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong by admitting it. #familyfunlinky

  2. October 16, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I can’t imagine! Michael was 4 when I was pregnant and that was tough enough!! #familyfunlinky

  3. aliduke79hotmailcom
    October 16, 2017 / 1:27 pm

    I had 7 years between my kids. My eldest to could after himself to a point which made things a little easier. I have no idea how I would have coped with 2 close together!
    #FamilyFun

    • October 16, 2017 / 7:54 pm

      It’s tough but you do just cope. There’s definitely no ideal age gap x

  4. kimberleyf1988
    October 16, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    After having hyperemisis gravidarum with my first daughter I’ve decided that I just couldn’t cope with that along with having another child to look after. We’re waiting until she is in school until we even think about having another. A great read highlighting the ups and downs of having two young children, but also that we parents are stronger than we think we are. #HoneybeeLinky

  5. October 16, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    It really is a case of embracing the chaos! My eldest was 2 yrs and 10 months when his brother came along and man it was a tough graft for those first few months. I thought the twos were hard until the threes hit – wow no one warned me about terrible threes! Anyway it all comes good in the end and yes love your advice to ask and accept as much help as possible. Thanks for s lovely post #Familyfunlinky
    All the best
    Michelle

    • October 18, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      Thank you lovely. It’s certainly tough, but worth it x

  6. October 17, 2017 / 3:21 am

    I wish I could have read this last year. Whenever we are in a mommy dilemma, it always feels like we are the only mom who ever felt that way and the only mom who failed. But you’re right, you just get through those tough initial months, and you come out with a whole lot more love in your heart. I’m actually very proud of myself for surviving the infancy of my second child whilst having a toddler. And I find myself encouraging my friends to go for it- they think I’m crazy. Lol.

    • October 17, 2017 / 8:07 am

      Thanks so much lovely. You should be seriously proud of yourself, it’s such hard work! Xx

  7. October 18, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Some great advice there. I haven’t been through it yet but I know it’ll happen one day…I keep thinking if I wait a bit longer it might be easier, but it’ll probably be just as hard if Dex is 23 months or 23 years old!

    #KCACOLS

  8. October 20, 2017 / 11:12 am

    aw this is a lovely reminder to mums going through it. you do cope, you do get through and it will be ok. sometimes its shitty but it gets better and they do change so fast! thanks for joining #KCACOLS – some back next time!

  9. October 20, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    There’s a 5 year gap between my two so I was quite lucky in a way and my son was fairly independent and loved to help out, but he always wanted a sibling closer in age so that they could play together. I think whatever the age gap there are pros and cons and struggles and wins, you just have to take it as it comes x
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

    • October 20, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      There’s certainly no perfect age gap. Thanks for hosting lovely x

  10. October 20, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    I’m saving this to reread in the future when I am the wife of a woman pregnant with a toddler. #kcacols

  11. mebeingmummy
    October 22, 2017 / 11:10 am

    Haha|! I look back now and wondered how I ever managed to care for our toddler whilst pregnant with our youngest. I think I just relied a lot on television and snacks to distract him from the fact we weren’t doing much.lol. Needs must! You get through each day as best you can. Thank you for sharing this post on #HoneyBeeLinky my lovely xxx

    • October 23, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Yes I often wonder how I’ve got through particularly difficult phases but you just cope don’t you! Thanks lovely x

  12. October 23, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    I have three under six so can relate to this! #familyfunlinky

    • October 23, 2017 / 8:49 pm

      I can’t imagine adding a third to the mix right now x

  13. October 27, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Having a second child is hard. I had a 7 year age gap and wondered how people manage with only a 2 year gap! Parenting is hard work and we should all be kinder to ourselves. We rock! #KCACOLS

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