April 1, 2020

Functioning with one while pregnant, or thank goodness for daycare

It’s the end of May, 2013. Friends from San Francisco had just visited with their 2 1/2 year old girl- the same age as my daughter.  They were pregnant with their second, and I was telling them how we’re not ready for another baby.  Cut to a day later. I discover I’m pregnant. So much for best laid plans. Fast forward a week or so. I feel awful.  The first trimester of pregnancy hits hard and hit fast.  How will I get through this again while running after a toddler, and a very active one at that? 

It occurred to me while I was pregnant with my second child that it would be great to read up on how people manage with two. Are there any secrets to success? How do people manage if they stay home versus if they work full time? How do people get things done around the house or run errands with two? What if your spouse works all the time or you're a single parent? I decided to commit myself to the task of putting together a compilation of my own thoughts, recommendations, and those of my friends who are now in the same boat.

To all the women who are pregnant with their second kid out there: It may be hard to believe, but being pregnant is harder the second time around.  And you thought the first time sucked! On top of being your normal tired self, you are now tired, possibly nauseas, and running after another child who presumably is not the best listener (just taking some liberties with this assumption).  You may also be slightly more hormonal than usual, and prone to break into tears for a reason such as you forgot to buy lettuce at the market and now you can’t make a salad. 

Going to the park while pregnant is fine if your little one likes to sit in the sand and play quietly.  If your kid likes to climb with abandon, going to the park while pregnant can be one of the more stressful experiences.  If you do not have the option of bringing along reinforcements to run after Junior, then go to the park you must, as it is still better than moaning on the couch and eating chips in front of your antsy little monster who will inevitably end up on the couch, eating your chips, and watching wildly inappropriate reality TV with you because you are too tired to entertain her. 

During this time, daycare was my savior. I’d drop my daughter off in the morning and had all day to take naps and eat chips on the couch in my sweatpants and get whatever small amount of work done.   Daycare is the best: Your child will get to do much cooler art projects than you could come up with, socialize with their friends, and play outside for hours while other adults supervise them.  It is truly a win-win for everybody.