Being pregnant is a wonderful, amazing, miracle of an experience. You get to create this life inside of you, and then feel it grow and develop. Eventually you baby grows to become a tiny person that you will grow to love more than you ever thought was humanly possible. Plus, there is nothing quite as wonderful as new baby snuggles.
Pregnancy may be a wonderful, amazing, miracle, but it’s also the most goddamn exhausting experience of your life.
That is until you give birth and bring home your newborn and then you enter a fresh new hell where you long for the exhaustion of your pregnancy. It’s kind of cruel, that first pregnancy, and how it tricks you into thinking that things will get better as soon as the baby comes (no more back ache, no more leg cramps, wine comes back into the equation)… but like I said, after pregnancy comes the baby and all the love and snuggles that you can shake a stick at. It almost makes you want to do it again.
So you do, and then you discover that there is something worse than that first pregnancy and all the exhaustion that you thought would be the death of you… being pregnant while chasing around a toddler.
Talk about exhaustion. There were moments in the first trimester that I thought I would actually die if everyone in our house didn’t immediately sit down and shut up (myself included).
Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of upsides to being pregnant while also parenting a toddler. As I’m about to explain, sometimes your toddler is the only person that really gets you while you’re pregnant. It’s probably because much like life at the age of two, being pregnant is strange, exhausting, and nobody will let you do anything fun…
- You want to sit on the couch watching TV and eating olives? No worries, so does your toddler. She will gladly snuggle up next to you and not judge your digestive prowess as long as you keep spooning those little black beauties into her gaping maw. Sure, you have to watch two hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but it’s better than having to crawl around on the ground playing horsie.
- You’re tired, like, to the core of your being. You’re cranky, unpredictable, and prone to tears. You need a nap. You know who else is all of those things and more? That little person that is currently running down the hallway screaming (who may or may not also be the source of most of your cranky, unpredictable, tear stained outbursts). We took a two and a half hour nap together the other day and it was pure bliss.
- Like every other pregnant woman in the world, I am prone to pregnancy gas. It’s like regular gas but exponentially louder, more frequent in both occasion and duration, and has the potency to burn the hair clean out of your nose. My husband spent a great deal of my last pregnancy with his t-shirt pulled up over his face, like a makeshift gas mask. It got so bad that at one point he snapped at me and asked me to stop farting. Dude, would that I could. You know who doesn’t complain about flatulence? My toddler. I let rip one of the loudest most rapid fire farts of my life this past week while my daughter was two feet away from me. She whipped her head around and stared at me with an open mouth. With a look of awe and respect, she smiled, and said, “Woaaaah”. She gets me.
- Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwiches with a side of pickles and Doritos for lunch? My daughter doesn’t judge me, she wants one too.
- Toddlers keep your secrets. They won’t tell your husband if you (hypothetically) put on the Disney Channel and then sat in bed with them for an hour eating Nerds. They also won’t tell him if you (hypothetically) spill said Nerds all over the bed and then let them help you “clean up” (read: eat them). Yeah, my daughter ate Nerds an hour before dinner, I’m not proud.
- Sometimes when scrolling through Facebook you may come across a Duracell Battery commercial in which a grandfather refuses to get a hearing aid even though his hearing is fading. In this commercial he will be babysitting his new grandbaby who he thinks is sleeping soundly in the other room. In reality, the baby has been crying for him for quite some time. When the parents get home they will cry and yell at the grandfather for ignoring their baby. This may make you cry just like that baby and its parents. If you are lucky and your toddler has begun to understand human emotions, they will come over and pat you on the knee as you blubber for that poor baby and that poor grandfather who is now wracked with guilt. Unlike your husband, who will respond by leaning over to see what has you so upset and then mock you relentlessly by saying, “Are you crying? Over a battery commercial?!” Toddlers don’t do that. Toddlers don’t care what makes you They are too busy crying because their sock is still just a sock and not a washcloth.
Not that husbands don’t have their upsides, too (toddlers can’t drive to the store in the snow to get you a Slurpee when you just absolutely, positively, have to have it right now). It’s just easier to place blame on them. After all, they are the ones that got you back into this situation in the first place.
*Stay tuned for next week’s obligatory “Reasons why a toddler makes the worst pregnancy wingman…