Ten very real truths about being pregnant when you have a toddler
These truths might sound familiar...
Last night, putting The Toddler to bed, he said "Night night muma, night night baby." and I felt like crying at the loveliness of it all. (Okay truth is I did cry a little – HORMONES.)
A couple of hours later at 2 am and The Toddler was up and ranting at me in his tyrannical way about "No bank" (blanket) and "Mo' water" (more water) and "Go 'way mumu" (f*ck off muma) and I felt like crying again (not in a good way).
I cuddled him as he thumped my belly and his little brother or sister retaliated with a kick every bit as strong.
10 Really Harsh Truths About Being Pregnant With a Toddler Around...
1. Your toddler doesn't give a shit about you and your struggles
Morning sickness with a toddler around is gas craic; when I was in the getting sick phase, my one used to be constantly trying to push my head out of the way to get a better look at what Muma was doing. Super helpful.
2. You can't just lie down whenever you want
I don't know what it is about lying down that just screams "Come stand on my face and kick me in the belly" to toddlers but that seems to be their immediate instinct.
3. Toddlers think big bellies make excellent trampolines
Am keeping my fingers crossed that the baby won't be treated like a trampoline, I would say however the odds aren't great as anyone with older siblings can probably attest.
4. Toddlers think when you're heavily pregnant is THE BEST time to have a total sleep regression
This is a nightmare on two levels:
1) You are very tired of lugging your giant pregnant body around the place.
2) Even more crucially, the interrupted nights are a terrifying reminder of what is to come and makes it glaringly obvious just how out of practice you are in the functioning-on-zero-sleep stakes.
5. Heavy lifting
Quite a lot of the time, you will find yourself carrying all of the offspring – one in the belly and one in the arms. Usually, while their father saunters along arms flapping by his sides. Rage.
6. Car seats are Satan
Whatever about lifting the child being difficult, there's something about the action required to foist them into the car seat that is near impossible when you're super pregnant. I spend a good half my time apologising to the toddler for my frequent inept bungling of the car seat manoeuvre. I finally understand why people get those giant jeep things.
7. Toddlers are pretty disgusting
If you thought your nausea was bad the first time you were pregnant, forget about it. Now that you're dealing with a daily deluge of another person's bodily functions, that overripe banana you were complaining about last time around will seem like a piece of piss. Especially compared with all the actual piss (and excrement) raining down on you courtesy of your toddler.
8. The tantrums
The toddler tantrums take on a new sinister dimension while pregnant. Before you had the prospect of another child bearing down on you, the tantrum was an irritating inconvenience, but it was also something you could (usually) shrug off fairly easily. Now, I find, watching the toddler tantrum can set off profound anxiety spirals along the lines of "Jesus! And we're having another one of THESE???".
9. Toddlers do not respect the hormones
Other people know well enough to give you a wide berth when you're at your most hormonal. If The Man sees me embarking on my impression of a PMSing velociraptor, he will sensibly back away and quickly locate some chocolate with which to fend me off. The toddler doesn't read the signs well at all and can usually be relied upon to choose my sensitive hormonal moments (hormoments?) to inflict a bit of toddler unreasonableness on me.
10. This pregnancy will feel 10 times harder and 10 times longer than the last
It's not all bad... Check out my marginally less moany piece about the 5 Awesome Thing No One Tells You About Being Pregnant With A Toddler Around (note the FIVE awesome things vs. TEN harsh things).