Every mama knows that the moment she becomes a mom taking care of yourself seems to be a distant past. Cold meals become your new norm, you have to think hard to try and remember the last time you showered or brushed your teeth. You are constantly thinking of another person’s needs that you so often forget the needs you have yourself. There is this tiny little baby before you that isn’t capable of doing anything for themselves and it quickly consumes your entire life.
Things get easier as that child gets older and you begin to find your new normal and establish a routine that works for you. That child also gradually becomes more and more independent which helps to remove some of the pressure off of you. It’s such a bitter sweet thing though, isn’t it?
One thing I quickly realized when I found out I was expecting number two was how hard it was to take care of myself. I remember trying to get food ready for my toddler while barely being able to stand up straight because I was so nauseous and needing to eat myself. The constant headaches I usually have in the first trimester that beg for me to lay down and close my eyes for sometime, but my toddler is asking me to play. During my first pregnancy, I could do these things when I needed them, I could take a break. This time I had a toddler who needed my attention and I couldn’t just take it easy all the time.
It took me awhile to figure out that I had to give myself a little grace. I was actually put on mild activity rest due to a pregnancy hematoma early on so it required me to slow down a lot more than I had intended.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I couldn’t be on 10 every day with my toddler. I wanted to run around, I wanted to be able to keep up with everything, I wanted to be on the go, but the reality was I was getting ready to spend the next ten months creating another child. A lot goes on in your body when you’re forming a little being and you have to know that it is okay to take care of yourself.
I had to be okay with saying no to Jase at times so I could make sure I was eating. I had to be okay with a day full of movies if that meant I was getting some rest in. I had to be okay with staying inside when I knew it was best for me at that moment. I had to be okay with letting Jase play in his crib a little longer if that gave me a few minutes to sit.
One of the most important things to do when you’re pregnant is to remember to take care of yourself. When you already have a little one it’s really hard not to allow the mom guilt to take over if you feel like being pregnant is causing you to be any less of a mom. I walked through being on light activity rest early on and then again later in pregnancy when I injured myself and I found it extremely hard to rest. I had the hardest time thinking it was okay for so many of my last days with just Jase to be spent on the couch. But then someone told me that maybe it was those extra snuggles, those extra moments of holding my baby boy that he needed most before his little sister arrives. He wasn’t going to remember all the things that we didn’t do, but he was going to love all the thing we were doing.
As moms we have a really hard time putting ourselves first, but remembering to take care of ourselves too is really important. In fact, it only helps to make us better mothers. So when you’re preparing for that second baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself. If you need to slow down a little, that’s okay. If you sit on the couch snuggling and watching movies to rest, that’s okay. Your first baby is going to love you no matter what. You are giving them what no one else can, a little sibling.
How did you remember to take care of yourself during your second pregnancy? Did you find it hard not to feel like you were letting your first baby down?
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