8 ways pregnant women can survive pregnancy and be a still be a mom and function in the home. Tips for surviving pregnancy.
I remember one day when I was pregnant with my fourth child commiserating with my neighbor on the difficulties of being pregnant while still being a mother. She is 9 days younger than I and had 7 kids at the time (10 now), so she knows a thing or two about being pregnant with kids.
She told me how pessimistic she feels when pregnant–how she remembers all of the hard things about babies and toddlers. Oh yes! I had been feeling that. I had grown to enjoy sleeping restfully and dreaded the night wakings I knew were coming. I had recently watched a television program that started with a woman waking to a sleeping baby. My heart started to beat a bit faster and I remembered those days.
My friend also talked about how the smallest tasks like doing the dishes seem almost impossible. Yep. I feel that one, too.
Oh I know the joys of children. I know the good far outweighs the bad. I know they are worth it. I also know that when a baby is born, household tasks will once again be no big deal (not fun, but also not Everest). I know sleep comes again soon enough. It seems like forever while you are pregnant, but it comes.
When you are pregnant, however, things can be a lot more difficult.
Pregnancy Is Hard
My husband and I went into our last pregnancy with eyes wide open. We knew what we were in for. I get really bad morning sickness. We knew what pregnancy would mean for me (basically sick and from my perspective worthless around the house) and what that would, therefore, mean for him (assuming lots of my roles).
I am very lucky. My husband has got to be one of the five best husbands in the history of the world to have when you are pregnant–maybe even THE best. He really steps in and takes over everything he can for me around the house. He cooks and he cleans.
He watches me closely and if he thinks I look too tired, he sends me to bed early and puts all three kids to bed by himself. He tells me I am doing a great job and that I am not worthless. Seriously great.
Anyway, we knew what we were in for because we have done this several times before.
I pleaded in prayer to be able to have one good pregnancy–just one easy pregnancy. Not asking a lot! I had been blessed to have an easier pregnancy than the others so far as my pregnancies go, but still not easy.
It didn’t happen with my fourth. It was hard.
After much pondering, I know hard pregnancies are what the Lord wants for me to help me become a better person and a better mother. So I accepted it. It is just what pregnancy is for me.
I, of course, came into my fourth pregnancy with a plan on how to be as little of a burden as possible on the people around me (mostly my husband). I also wanted desperately to be able to be a mother to my children. I wanted to at least have the functioning to not only take care of their physical needs, but emotional, spiritual, and educational. I had been able to do at least that!
So I created a plan for how to best manage being pregnant and still be a mother and wife.
Tips for Being Pregnant While Still Being Mom
Now, to the plan. How do you manage to be pregnant and take care of your kids at the same time? We all know that moms don’t get to be sick or tired; our kids still need us. But we also know we need to take care of ourselves, and that for some, functioning is a challenge when pregnant. Here are eight tips to help get you survive pregnancy.
Don’t you just hate this tip? It is such an annoying tip. But it is a very valid tip. You need to accept help from your husband, mom, friends, and even your kids. You aren’t superwoman and you can’t do it all. You happen to be growing a human inside of you, and that at best takes your energy and at worst takes your energy and makes you incredibly sick.
I had more help than ever before during my last pregnancy. My neighbor randomly brought me food because she knew it is hard to eat food you have made yourself when you are pregnant.
Another friend has McKenna over to her house once a week to play while my other two are at school. Add my husband and my kids helping and I was in good shape!
I also had a lot of people who offer to help that I never took up on. The people who help me are smart enough to just do it without asking me if I need help–they are tricky :). So I am terrible at taking the advice I give here, but I still find it to be good advice :).
Do Meal Planning
Food can be very miserable to face when you are sick, and not fun to make when you are tired.
Meal planning was one of the best things for us in pregnancy. A lot of women make a stock of freezer meals before the baby is born. Well, this time I made a bunch of freezer meals before my first trimester sickness hit. As soon as I got pregnant, I would choose at least one meal each week to double. Then we froze half for later.
My neighbor and her husband plan on going out to eat once a week when she is pregnant–they consider it part of the expense of pregnancy. I thought this was an excellent idea.
I created a basic plan to follow each week to make dinner easier.
1-One night, have a freezer meal
2-One night, do a slow cooker meal
3-One night, have a very simple meal (like spaghetti, tacos, etc.)
4-One night, have a meal that is made by my husband. This can be the weekend if work nights are too hard.
5-One night, have breakfast for dinner because that is fast to make
6-One night, go out to dinner
7-One night, have a nice meal made by me (I hoped I would have at least one good night a week)
8-One night, have leftovers
I have 8 categories. This way, we can drop one each week and have a bit of variety. This plan really helped meals be less of a burden and also helped us to have a nice variety to our meals even though I was pretty much out of commission.
Get Sleep or Rest
Pregnancy is tiring to put it mildly. I tried to take a nap every day. It really helped me to have the energy I needed to take care of my kids while I was solo. I know this can be hard to do with children (oh I know it!). Even just laying down for 30 minutes in the same room my girls were playing in helped my energy level.
Also, be sure you get enough sleep at night.
Get Out of the House
My spirits are boosted when I get out of the house and see the world moving forward as usual. I rarely want to leave when I am pregnant. I prefer to wallow in my sick misery at home. My husband, however, forces me out, and I am so glad when he does because it brings me back to reality. So I find getting out (even just to swimming lessons) helps me stay in touch with who I really am, which helps me to be a better mom.
Teach and Encourage Independence
Pregnancy is a great time to evaluate what your child can and cannot do independently. You then decide what your child should be adding to that skill set and let her do it. I am always in a lot less of a rush when I am pregnant, so it is a great time for me to let my toddler try to put her shoes on by herself for 15 minutes. I am happy to sit on the couch and let her be so occupied for 15 minutes 🙂
Not only does independence help you now in pregnancy, it will be very important to you when you have a newborn. Pregnancy is the time to get your child to where she should be on her skill set.
Have Structure in Your Day
Have a routine you attempt to follow each day. This will give you periods to rest, periods for snacks, and periods to put that energy forth to get things done. I also find it very helpful to have a routine in place before baby comes–then you add baby to that routine, so it makes the transition to a new sibling easier on your other children.
Cut Back Where You Can
Pregnancy is not the time to add things to your task list–in fact, it is a good time to cut back where possible. Take things slower. One example in my life is our vegetable garden. My husband and I talked about what size of garden we could manage with me not being able to help out so much. We cut back the number of plants we planted and even the types of plants we planted.
Along the same lines, realize that you most likely will not be able to keep up with everything you used to–at least for a portion of the pregnancy. Your flower beds might get more weeds. Your house might get more clutter than you like. You need to cut back where you can.
Stick to Necessities
With that in mind, it brings me to just focus on the necessities. Put your energy into the things that really matter to you. When you are pregnant, you need to slow down and focus on the musts.
Also, try to figure out how to best use your energy. When I had a day when I felt like I need to just sit, I just tried to get things done I would like done I while sitting.
There you have my 8 tips for pregnant women on functioning while being pregnant. I would love to hear any tips you might have!
Related Pregnancy Posts:
- Surviving Bed Rest
- Remedies for Reflux/Heartburn During Pregnancy
- How to Overcome Mom Guilt When Pregnant
- Pregnancy News Flash: Pain is not a Requirement