Whether you’re coping with the nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy or the back pain and swelling of the third trimester, pregnancy can be a physically taxing time. You may find that you don’t have the energy to keep up with your toddler or preschooler as she races around the house, pulling books from shelves and dropping yogurt as she goes. Our tips will help you to find some relief during an exhausting time!
1. Priorities are key. Does your back ache? Maybe save vacuuming for another day. Can barely keep your eyes open? Leave the dirty dishes and the dusty surfaces and take a nap. Save your energy for doing essential tasks around the house, and spending time with your family.
2. Nap when they nap. You probably heard this advice when you were expecting your first child. But now that your child is older, and you’re expecting another, feel free to exercise your right to nap, especially if your child still takes an afternoon nap, giving you a built-in break.
3. Take advantage of energy bursts. Are you having a great day? Look ahead on your calendar to the tasks you need to complete over the next few days, and try to knock a few off of your to-do list. And when your child comes home from preschool, take the energy you have today and channel it into fun, hands-on playtime.
4. It’s all temporary. You’re trying to cut down on coffee, your feet are swelling, you didn’t sleep well last night, and you just stepped on your third Lego of the day. Just remember that your days of being pregnant are numbered, and while the newborn phase will be tiring, you’ll regain your energy again. That’s a promise!
5. Remember independent playtime. Encourage your child to play independently, using her imagination, building and creating from the toys and materials around her, and setting her own pace. Ask your daycare how they encourage independent play, as it can be a great resource for you when you’re just too tired to get on the floor and do your best Olaf impression.
6. Turn sofa time into playtime. There will be times during your pregnancy when getting down on hands and knees will be difficult, and there will also be times when you just need to curl up on the couch. Invite your kids to join you for a favorite book, a game, or a movie you all enjoy.
7. Potty train. Is your child showing signs of potty training readiness? Get started now! An investment of time now will allow your child more independence and you’ll appreciate that fact when only one of your children needs his diapers changed throughout the day.
8. Adult snacks are just as important as kid snacks. Your energy level and our blood sugar may both wane throughout the day when pregnant, especially when you’re on the go with a young child. Pack some Cheerios for your kid, but remember to bring a granola bar or a banana for yourself, and maybe a baggie of almonds for a protein hit.
9. Get help. Is your family nearby? Don’t be afraid to ask your mom, dad, or sister to watch your child while you get some rest. Don’t have family around the corner? Talk with your partner about adding additional childcare before or after daycare, hiring a housekeeper, or picking up takeout one or two nights per week.
10. Talk to your kids. Your children have undoubtedly noticed that you’re a little less engaged and a bit less enthusiastic than usual. Let them know that they’ve done nothing wrong, and that being pregnant means that you are more tired than usual. Tell them that it will pass and that you’ll have more than enough energy for your kids and the new baby on the way!
Have you have parented while pregnant? If you have tips to share, let us know! We’d love to hear from you in the comments!