It’s been awhile. Life has been busy: moving prep, running a business, and finding out baby #2 is on the way! Fortunately, this pregnancy has been less stressful, and not nearly as rough physically. In fact, I just entered my second trimester weighing less than when we discovered I was pregnant again, and I have explosive amounts of energy.
Yes, this baby was a big surprise! But we’re also very excited. I learned a lot during my last pregnancy – things that have made my life so much easier this time around. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
If you’re a new mom or are expecting, hopefully, these tips will help you stay sane on your journey through motherhood.
Disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. I only endorse products that I have used personally and have found to be beneficial. This blog occasionally contains affiliate links, and a portion of the proceeds when these links are clicked on go to support this blog, which takes time and resources to run. Thanks again for reading!
1. Take time for you each day, even if it’s just 5 minutes. It felt like when I was pregnant with Erin…everyone and everything had a job for me to do, and to be honest, I was afraid of saying “no”. This time, even when my writing business gets hectic, I take the time to relax and do something for myself. It’s not selfish, because if you don’t take time for you, then you can’t take care of your family.
2. Stay active. I’ll admit that it was tough exercising with my first pregnancy. I was very nauseous during my first trimester and had a hectic schedule my second and third trimesters. I’ve learned though that even 5 minutes is better than 0 minutes. Once I get moving, I feel so much better and more relaxed and can give so much more to the people around me. Talk with your ob about what types of physical activity are best for you at this point. I loved using resistance loops and bands because I could take them anywhere with me, and a comfortable yoga mat is a must. I like these bands because they’re made of excellent material and they’re affordable.
3. Be generous, but spend time with those who value you. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I’m not saying that you should be a snoot, but be mindful that if someone, say a friend is taking you for granted, and seems to think their time is valuable, but somehow yours is less, it might be time to part ways. For most of my first pregnancy, I felt like I constantly waited on people hand and foot. Did I have friends that would check on me? Yes, but they were few and far between. I’m not saying don’t show kindness to everyone, but there’s sometimes when you need to set boundaries. This time, one of our rules will be that we’re not traveling all over the place to go to everyone else’s houses. They will have to come to us from time to time. It’s just too stressful to load up your family all the time and load them up again to leave. The same rule applies to you… just because you are pregnant or have kids, doesn’t mean the world revolves around you. Let someone know if you’re running behind, life happens. It just does. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
4. Find healthier alternatives for your cravings. I learned this the hard way too. I do not have to eat 24/7 to grow a baby, but I don’t have to eat cardboard either, or feel hungry all the time. We started loosely following Trim Healthy Mama, and it has made a big difference in my energy, and I can have satisfying, healthy food that tastes great. If you want to know more about this doable way to eat healthy for families, you can find out more here.
5. Have open and honest communication with your doctor about stresses you are going through. At one of my jobs, yes, I was working two jobs while pregnant, I was receiving daily intimidation attempts, and no one seemed to care…only one of my friends had the discernment to ask what I was going through at the time. I was so embarrassed and hurt. I would literally cry from the time I got off work until I went to bed at night when no one was around. My husband had to intervene.
My doctor had to send a note, and it caused me to wind up in the hospital overnight 2 months before my due date. To be honest, I was terrified, and after my daughter’s birth. I was told by my medical team and a wise counselor in so many words that “No one has the right to alienate you and make you feel unwanted and unsafe. This is a time for you to be happy.” It took this to make me realize that being a Mom makes me more capable, not less. This empowered me to set healthier boundaries for work and other relationships, and I’m so thankful that Micah was supportive, and I’m happy to say, I’m in a much better place emotionally, if you know me, and you’re reading this, please don’t read into it…it is what it is. I’m just a mom trying to take care of her family. If someone seems to be intentionally trying to intimidate you or make you feel like you never do enough, tell someone you trust, and do not tolerate it. Your family needs you to be emotionally available, and you can’t be if you feel like you’re drowning constantly.
6. Have a getaway. I’m so glad that Micah and I did this… In fact, I wish we’d taken more time. Another boundary. This time, I have no idea how we’ll afford it, but we’ll have a baby moon if I have to sell donuts to pay for it. (And I don’t even eat donuts.)
7. Pamper yourself. Even if it’s an at-home spa night once in awhile. Take that time to feel pretty. Get together with some gal pals and relax and watch sappy chick flicks from the seventh grade. Laugh a little. I wish someone had done this with me when I was about a month from my due date. I was already on maternity leave and felt so shut off from the rest of the world.
8. Make date night a priority. Your marriage needs it. End of discussion. You can forego those $5 coffees twice a week to pay for it. Offer to exchange babysitting with friends to make it happen. Your kids need to see two parents who love each other. Because trust me, you both may have moments where you want to pull each other’s hair out after your baby is born.
9. Find a creative outlet, even if it’s doodling in a journal. I enjoyed crocheting things for Erin, and bought a coloring book with Scripture verse art. Relaxing with a cup of tea also helped me unwind. This is what worked for me. I probably would have pulled my hair out otherwise.
10. Meet with other women in the Word. I don’t care what anyone says, the days of women’s Bible studies are not over. Women need other women in an environment that isn’t comparison based. In a world of social media and selfies, it’s time to learn to build each other up again and refresh our hearts with Scripture. I have a great prayer partner that keeps things just between me her and Jesus, and we PRAY together, not gossip. Be real about your struggles and find a group of women passionate about studying and applying Scripture. This made a difference for me after Erin was born, and I plan to join a study on Romans after Little Bear is born.
What did you learn in your first pregnancy? What have you learned since becoming a mom? Comment below!