The decision to have another baby is a tough one. It’s permanent. There are so many things to take into consideration. One of the first things I thought of when my husband and I were discussing having a third baby was how I just knew I would suffer from debilitating “morning” (all day!) sickness. With my first two pregnancies I was sick for 20 weeks and 14 weeks. It’s miserable and nearly impossible to be that sick with two other children at home. I’ve complied a little list for the things that have kept us afloat and surviving during this season of our lives.
For all of you Type A mamas like me, this first thing I’m going to tell you is going to be tough. It was so hard for me but it was the only way I was going to make it through. You have to learn to let go of control. Your husband, too. Fortunately, my husband never seems to be bothered when he comes home and it looks like bomb has gone off in a toy and home goods store that was then ravaged by the Tasmanian Devil. The house will be a mess and that’s okay. It won’t last forever.
Incorporate some Montessori styles into your home.
You don’t have to call it Montessori by any means. It just means letting your kids be a little bit more independent and do more for themselves. One thing that I did for my two-year-old is put a few outfits in a lower drawer for her to reach so she could get dressed by herself. She loves to put outfits together and change her clothes multiple times per day so she enjoyed this. I also put a step-stool in the kitchen and cups out on the counter where they could reach them so they could fill the cups up with water when they needed a drink. (It’s also really great when they get big enough to fill your water up too! My sweet son always filled my water up for me when he saw it getting low.) I also made a small snack drawer that they had access to whenever they needed a little something for when they felt hungry. I filled the drawer with some goldfish, fruit, trail mix and apple sauce pouches. All of these things allowed me a little extra time on the couch. This might sound incredibly lazy but when you’re so nauseous that you can’t bear the thought of moving, you do what you have to do.
Sensory bins. My 2.5-year-old daughter and five-year-old son love sensory bins.
I buy little tubs and fill them with different items from around the house. Their favorites are random collections of things as well as the themed ones I do around the holidays. I fill a small tub with macaroni noodles, different sized scoops and other things that provide different textures. Sometimes I put in pom pom balls from craft stores that are soft and then I’ll add things like pieces of a sponge that I’ve cut up with some clothespins for them to practice their fine motor skills. It’s even more fun if there’s snow on the ground outside because I let them bring a few handfuls in to add to their bins. They sit at the dining room table while I can “relax” on the couch a few feet away and drool into my trashcan. The bonus gift about this activity is that my kids love to use the dust buster so all the macaroni noodles that fall off the table and don’t get eaten by the dogs, they get to sweep up!
Build a fort.
My kids are obsessed with building forts in our living room. We have a lot of different styles to choose from. They have tents that they like to incorporate but a lot of the time we just take the dining room table chairs into the living room and put a fitted sheet over the four of them for our roof. Then they add blankets to the top and put their tunnel leading in and out of it under one of the blankets. Sometimes we watch a movie in the tent but other times they have a tea party, play with their Magnatiles or read piles and piles of books. It’s always extra special when they get to have their tents up all day long and show Daddy when he gets home.
On the days that were too difficult to even do those things, I won’t lie. We watched a lot of Netflix and PBS. At least Daniel Tiger was teaching them some valuable life lessons while the Disney movies taught them to carry a tune. No matter how exciting and wonderful being pregnant is, there are still some days that can be rough, exhausting and filled with vomit. This is a blip on the time radar and I promise a few days of too much television won’t turn your children’s brains to mush.
Good luck, pregnant mamas! You ’ll get through this!