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I’ve been quite absent here in the last few weeks. In case you missed it, we are expecting our third child. While I am not unfamiliar with the exhaustion of the first trimester, I am having to learn the whole new world of being pregnant while being a stay at home mom to two young children. I worked during both of my other pregnancies and can say with most certainty that it was easier than being a stay at home mom. I had breaks that I could regroup and take a quick snooze – and the job was done at the end of the day.
I’ve been learning through trial and error ways to make this time easier, and while I’m still tired, I’ve figured some strategies to help make the day more manageable. One of those strategies is the cause of my absence of posts the last few weeks. I promise I’ll get back to it! So hang out for a while and in a few weeks I should be back to my normal self.
1. Just Say No.
I’m one who over commits to everything. I just like to be busy – I function better that way, but sometimes I don’t know when to just say no, or I feel like I “have” to say yes. I’ve taken inventory of the things I’m committed to and cut out those that are not essential. Some are things that were dead wight, some were things that I loved but just needed the time for resting. I can always go back to them in the future. So go ahead and pull the pregnancy card. That’s what it’s there for.
One of the areas I’ve said no to is blogging – I love it, but I choose to only work on writing when the boys are asleep. IF I am lucky enough to have them both asleep at the same time these days, I’m choosing to use that time to nap myself.
2. Take naps when you can.
No brainer. But way easier said that done, especially with two kiddos napping. I try to make their naps happen at the same time, but my youngest just has to go down sooner and usually by the time I get the older one down the younger one is about 15 minutes away from waking up. I try to carve in naps in the evening after my husband comes home (aka fall asleep on the couch during story time), or on the weekends when again, my husband is home. Another “trick”: our gym has a child care center where we get 2 hours a day of free child care with our membership. There are days I’ll check them in and find a quiet spot in the gym and just rest.
3. Make the hubby do some house cleaning – or just be ok with a little lower standards.
My house has been a disaster zone. We do a mad rush pick up in the front room when we have people coming over, which I hate, but for right now is what it’s going to be. And I’m ok with that (reluctantly). It will get better (it’s starting to already) and I’ll more time and energy to clean – that is until the baby is born.
I know this is a debate of sorts, so if you disagree then just don’t drink it – and talk to your doctor of course, but mine said a cup or two is fine. Adding a cup of coffee mid-day when I can’t get a nap (or even when I can) really helps to keep me from being a total zombie. I found that I’m more patient with the kiddos and just cope with life better.
5. A little extra TV is OK.
Now I will be the first to write a whole post about the benefits of canning the TV and focusing on hands on and outside play. But at the same time, quality TV programs for a few months aren’t going to ruin your child. The way I see it – would I rather have my kids with a frustrated and grumpy mom or have an extra half hour (or two) of Curious George? When the energy comes back I’ll have more hands on activities. Some of our favorite shows: Curious George, Magic School Bus, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Chuggington, Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer.
6. Parks are my friend.
Landon and I are so alike. We both don’t do well being cooped up inside the house for too long. Though it takes a bit of energy to get ready to get out, it’s so worth it for us to get out of the house. Landon can run and play and get his energy out. I can sit down to watch him play if I need to. We will also get out to the library for story time, another time where their brains are being engaged by someone who has a ton more energy that I have. If the weather is bad, check out your mall – many of them have indoor play structures.
What have you done to survive the pregnancy exhaustion – or any exhaustion – with small children in the home?
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