Pregnant and Parenting: The Struggle is Real
Sarah Aslett is the author of Admissions of a Working Mother blog. She’s a mum, wife, worker, cat lover. Here she talks about looking after a toddler while 27 weeks pregnant…….
I’m now 27 weeks into my second pregnancy and quite frankly I don’t think I realised how ‘easy’ I had it the first time around. Granted I was working full time in a much more stressful job back then, but once my day at work was done, I was done.
I could collapse in an exhausted heap, complain relentlessly to my husband about my headaches and giant hooves and generally feel sorry for myself. These days I’ve got little chance of having my woes listened to because I can barely get a word in edge ways. These days there’s a pint sized dictator continuously reeling off a whole host of complaints and life or death demands.
Turns out that three year olds don’t care much for Mummy’s giant cankles when half of the Paw Patrol gang are jammed down the U-bend and there’s a pup emergency to attend to.
Back when I was pregnant the first time around, at the weekends I could lay on the sofa watching endless episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I could switch off, sit down and rest my mind and body. Nowadays we can’t watch any of my programmes because they are “boring” and “rubbish” and of course not exactly appropriate for a pre-schooler.
I am actually permitted to watch television but my choices are limited to Octonauts or Hey Duggee. And I must endure these delights with either a foot thrust in my face or a banana skin squashed into my palm. I would hardly call it relaxing but I suppose, at least I can sit down.
It was also easier to look after myself during my first pregnancy. You know when you have those days when you just feel so fed up? Fed up of being tired, fed up of being huge and uncomfortable? Those were the days when I would take myself out for a cup of fancy coffee and a slab piece of cake. I might go to the cinema to watch something totes emosh and be in their lovely air conditioning away from the summer heat. I might take myself shopping for cute little baby outfits or meet up with a friend.
I can’t really do any of that now. Well, I can but not on my terms. If I want cake, I have to share it. Which actually means having one fork full, handing the rest over to his lordship and seeing the majority of it end up on the floor. We can go to the cinema but it’s got to be at the crack of dawn and something with lots of annoying, high pitched singing. I’ve also got to take out a second mortgage to pay for all the popcorn that is desperately needed but rarely consumed.
I certainly can’t, under any circumstances, go shopping. Shopping is a big no no. The mini dictator cannot deal with the demands of shopping, it is always too boring, or too cold or makes his “forehead hurt”. Unless it’s shopping for him. If it’s shopping for him, then it’s absolutely fine and we can traipse up and down the Thomas aisle for hours. In fact, if it’s shopping for him we actually have trouble stopping shopping, funny that.
The truth is it’s hard being pregnant full stop, whether it’s your first or second or fifth. Whether you are caring for other children or not, whether you are working or not. It’s tough on your body and your mind. Both times I have completely underestimated the toll being pregnant can have on me. All you can do is take any time you can to rest and try to put yourself first sometimes. It’s also really important to accept any help offered from other people and remember, it will all be worth it in the end.