Congrats on your pregnancy! Time to cut back on what is not necessary in life. Get tips for how to evaluate what is best.
You are pregnant! Congrats! Now it is time to trim the fat, so the saying goes.
What do I mean? It is time to give up what you don’t need to do so you can focus on the things you do need to do. I talk about this in “Being Pregnant and Being Mom.”
Giving Things Up When Pregnant
I give up a whole lot when I am pregnant because frankly, I really am unable to do much while pregnant.
So much so that it literally brings me to tears several times a pregnancy–and that is a big deal. I rarely cry. My husband is great–he tells me my only job is to relax and he works like crazy around the house to get things done so that I won’t feel the need to do so.
Despite his amazing efforts, he still works a full time job and there are things I just have to do.
Think Through Your Abilities
At the beginning of my pregnancy, I evaluate everything I normally do and decide how necessary it is. It is kind of like spring cleaning or de-junking my to-do list.
I end up finding many things I find “necessary” are really just “nice.” Like, I don’t need to be working on a sewing project at all times. I don’t need to have a perfectly clean house all the time (and I mean perfectly so far as you can hope for with three little children involved).
>>>Read: Good, Better, Best
You need to think through what you realistically CAN do. What momentum can you keep up? This will change frequently throughout your pregnancy, so it is okay for this to change often over the course of your 40ish weeks.
When you make your plans and lists, focus first on the “best” items. What is necessary? Do those first. Make a list of the next hierarchy of items (“better”). If time and energy allows, do those items, but not at the expense of you or at the expense of best items.
My vegetable garden is something I cut back on big time this pregnancy. I planted about half as much as usual. I knew I wouldn’t be interested in bending over and weeding in my third trimester. I also knew my chances of being able to can (preserve) the food was going to be slim to none with a new baby.
There are a couple of great things that came from this. One is that I did some thinking and asking and found a great new way to keep weeds down. From this point forward, my garden life will always be easier than it would have been otherwise.
Another fun thing is I planted some plants that take a lot of space (like pumpkins) that I don’t usually plant because they take up so much space and we only need five pumpkins. It is fun to grow them yourself, though.
You Don’t Have to Cut It All
I am not saying to cut everything.
You feel good when you do things. Still serve where you can. Do things for your family and for your community. Just be wise in what you take on and what you don’t.
I serve on the PTO board and my kids’ elementary school. I am over teacher appreciation week right now. Last year was my first year. I fully believe it is most beneficial to an organization to stay in your role for a few years–you learn the ropes but you also stop before burn-out sets in.
Teacher appreciation is a huge role. I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to stay with it with a new baby on the way.
I thought it over literally for a few months. There were other roles I could do by myself. In the end, I was able to enlist a partner.
I now have a partner I have worked with in the past and I know we not only work very well together, but we are the same where it counts and opposites where it counts. We balance each other perfectly. We actually already have 95% of the week planned (yes, it comes in May–that is why she is great for me because she likes to be a super planner, too).
So I am not telling you that you can’t do things. Just to figure out ways to make it work where you can and cut what you can’t. For more on this, see “Good Sacrifice vs. Foolish Sacrifice” and “Slow the Pace.”
Pregnancy is a time to slow the pace. Take a step back and enjoy it to your fullest. People are forgiving and understanding–it is the best time to take it easy 🙂 And this post can just as easily be applied to the newborn time period, so apply it!
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