The pros and cons of being pregnant while dealing with a busy toddler

Pregnancy can be enough of a struggle already, but what happens when you add a squirmy toddler to the mix?

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Pro: In your nauseated state, all you can stomach is toddler-friendly foods that you’re already making, such as grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, plain buttered pasta, yogurt and sliced fruit. (So. Much. Fruit.)

Con: Parenting while dealing with morning sickness is pure torture. And your toddler still needs you to make dinner every night, even if the sight of food makes you retch right now.

You know what’s also not fun? Dealing with diapers or potty training while feeling barfy.

Pro: You both need at least one nap a day, and it’s a regularly scheduled cornerstone of your day. (Win-win for everyone!)

Con: You can’t caffeinate as much as you’d like to get through those days when your kid decides to wake up at 5:30 a.m.

Con: You can’t unwind with a generous glass of wine after a long day of toddler-wrangling insanity and a million teeny battles. (“I don’t want to wear my jacket!” 30 seconds later: “Put on my jacket, Mama!” “No, I want the blue sippy!” Child chucks blue sippy across the room.) Sorry, lady, your only options for self-medicating are ice cream and Netflix—or a warm bath.

Pro and con: You both get hangry and irrational multiple times a day and, for the most part, it’s considered socially acceptable. Pregnant ladies and toddlers get a pass: They’re allowed to freak out over nothing.

Con: Your kid is at that frustrating stage of toddlerhood when full-on tantrums (like lying-face-down-on-the-sidewalk crying), wildly unpredictable mood swings and misbehaviour like unprovoked biting, hitting and head-butting are developmentally normal, but they still scare the crap out of you. “Am I raising a sociopath/terrible human?” you wonder several times a week, while knowing that you’re simultaneously incubating another potential future sociopath.

Con: Snuggles and/or co-sleeping get harder when you’re sharing the bed with a giant pregnancy pillow and a toddler who likes to sleep sideways. Your unborn baby is also kicking you in the ribs from the inside. There are so many jabs and squirmy limbs coming at you from all directions!

Pro: It’s pretty cool to cuddle up with one adorable kid tucked under your chin and another one that you’re excited to meet, safe inside your belly. Before you know it, you’ll have two very mobile little humans running in different directions at the same time.

Pro: The pregnancy will fly by super-fast. The first time around, you marked each week and read up on every milestone and symptom. You were eagerly counting down the days until the first-trimester mark, the 20-week ultrasound and your baby shower. This time, you can barely stay on top of your prenatal appointments, let alone keep track of how many weeks pregnant you are. In fact, you have no idea. (I suppose if you’re someone who loves being pregnant, the lightning speed at which a second pregnancy progresses could also be considered a disadvantage this time around.)

Con: You might get a seat on the bus once you start to show, but no one will offer to help you carry your flailing, uncooperative 30-pound child mid-meltdown when you inform him that sorry, buddy, it’s really time to leave the park and go home for dinner now.

Con: The return of pregnancy insomnia. You wake up at 4 a.m. from all those kicks—there’s some sort of fetal rager going on inside your uterus. Your toddler wakes up, too, and asks for water/snuggles/a lost pacifier/his favourite stuffy. Is it a full moon or something? Why is everyone awake at the same time? And now you can’t get back to sleep, so you’re lying there, awkwardly surrounded by your pillow configuration, making random and useless to-do lists in your head. Or worrying about what time of day you’ll go into labour and who will answer their phone at 2 a.m. to take care of your toddler. Or wondering how much of a behavioural regression to expect when the new sibling arrives. Or calculating how many precious nights of being able to sleep through the night you have left before the new baby arrives. You know your days are numbered.

Pro: If this isn’t your first rodeo, you’re probably more relaxed about being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding and caring for an infant. After having done it once already, you’ve learned that everything is a passing phase you can totally get through with a little patience, some Googling and lots of coffee. You know what’s coming.

Con: YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING. And this time, there’s a tornado of a toddler in the house, too. Maybe ignorance really is bliss?

What did I miss, mamas of two (or more) kids?

Read more:
7 milestones to celebrate when you have two kids
7 things you need to know about your second pregnancy

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