I must admit, aside from the typical pregnancy woes like morning sickness and feeling like an elephant, I’ve had a pretty easy-going pregnancy. That being said, there are definitely some things that I’ve struggled with and learned how to cope with along the way. As my due date quickly approaches it seems like the perfect time to share my experience thus far.
I am like the Energizer bunny – I keep going and going and going… I like to get things done so there is nothing on my to-do list. It makes me feel accomplished and allows my mind to rest knowing everything is done. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I can no longer complete my entire to-do list in a day. One task leaves me completely exhausted. Seriously, it took me three days to do laundry. In the beginning, I felt useless and thought my lists would continue to grow without ever checking anything off. It took me a while but I’ve learned I can’t do it all and that’s okay! The “dad chapter” in the book I’m reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, explains that I “expend[s] more energy lying down on the sofa building a baby than you [the dad] do bodybuilding at the gym”.
Now, I give myself one task a day and move to the next if I am up for it. If not, I leave it for the next day’s chore. The hardest part about this is mentally knowing that whatever the task may be, it will get done eventually. I can now go food shopping, then go home to rest and call it a successful day.
I imagine this is much harder when you have another child running around and depending on you. My advice then is to get rest when you can. Get a babysitter or have dad take over for a while.
Not only am I like the Energizer bunny, but I am the Energizer bunny that does it all on my own. I rarely ask for help or accept assistance unless I absolutely need it. I hate feeling like I am putting others out or making a situation inconvenient for someone else. I do as much for myself as I possibly can.
However, I can’t do heavy lifting now and I am exhausted so I learned to change my habits. If someone offers to do the dishes for me I say “Yes!”. If someone offers up their seat for me I take it! Whatever the situation, I now take advantage and accept help without feeling guilty or like I’m imposing.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read
I am part of a few Facebook groups for women due around the same time as me and I’ve done some of my own research on the internet. One thing you can count on is that everyone has a different opinion. It can get overwhelming and stressful if you believe everything you read. I follow my doctor’s advice and try to tell myself that 100 years ago people didn’t have this information overload and most babies ended up just fine.
For someone who likes to plan things out and be in charge of the situation, I think I’ve been pretty relaxed and (mostly) stress-free throughout this pregnancy. Once I learned these few tips and learned how to apply them I felt more at ease. I don’t have the nursery finished yet, I still have to buy diapers and wipes, and my hospital bag is currently packed for the beach… You know what? It will get done and it will be okay.