I'm well into pregnancy these days, and finding myself short on breath, short on rest, and short on energy. None of which bodes well for wrangling an energetic three year old.
It's taken two long trimesters, but I'm starting to learn how to manage my son without draining myself. Here's what I've discovered:
- Plan lots of low-key activities. There are subtle ways to make everyday fun a little less exhausting. Colored pencils instead of paints, blocks instead of a ball, and reading instead of running offer fun without the rowdiness or mess.
- Encourage self reliance. Luckily, my son savors every opportunity for independence. I take advantage of that by encouraging him to dress himself, grab his own quick and easy snack, or clean his own room. He enjoys the taste of autonomy, and I have fewer items on the daily to-do list.
- Allow myself some rest. I'm lucky to be home during my son's midday nap. Though there's plenty more to do, I join him for a quick rest in the middle of the day.
- Rely on the help of community. I'm also very lucky to have a wonderful husband and two sets of grandparents, eager to care for our boy. My husband is understanding, and willing to take on more than his share of housework. It's a bit of a struggle with my pride sometimes, but allowing these loved ones to step in provides me a welcome a breather.
- Loosen my strict standards. I feel pressure to use every bit of my spare energy making the house spotless, meeting self-imposed deadlines, and being generally productive. It's sometimes difficult to let go of those ideals, but valuable to use my limited time and energy doing other, more important things. Right now, it's more of a priority to soak up every moment I can with my little son before he takes on the role of "big brother."
What tips can you offer pregnant mothers with small children at home?
About Liz Moorhead
Liz Moorhead is a high school teacher turned work-from-home mom. An illustrator and writer, she blogs for a top wedding site and shares her own personal experiences on her blog Happy Sighs in between walks to the park with her toddler son - all just outside of Philadelphia.