Is this the last time I’ll put her to bed as an only child? Is the final night of sleep I’ll get as a mother of one? Is this the last day we will spend as a family of three?
I’m currently 38 weeks and 4 days into my second pregnancy and these (and many other) thoughts have been running through my head nonstop over the past week. Life is for sure about to change in our family with the due date of our little boy quickly approaching. I think we are finally prepared in terms of having the nursery ready, baby clothes washed, the infant seat installed, and the hospital bags packed, but am I really ready? Am I ready to have that final day of it just being my daughter and I while my husband is at work? The final bedtime where my only focus is her? Did I do enough with her as an only child? Could I have done more?
As any mother knows motherhood is chaotic, having a toddler is chaotic, and preparing for a new baby is (you guessed it) chaotic. Putting the three of these things together, along with all other aspects of life and it feels like time just keeps moving faster and faster. When I was waiting for the birth of my daughter I only had my husband and myself to worry about, but now having to keep a little girl in mind while all these changes occur the emotions are tenfold of what they were then. The guilt of having to put on an extra episode of Curious George (currently her favorite show) so I can prepare for the baby, or having to say no to the playground because the weather is just humid often leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough with her.
I have had to pull myself back to reality quite a few times over the past week and look at all that I have done. We have gone to her Little Gym class each week, we have had mommy and daughter lunch dates, we have had swim days, we have been playing indoors when the days are just too hot for my pregnant self to last outdoors; ultimately we have been enjoying our time together. Sure there are days where the “terrible” two side comes out, and I’m grateful that none of those have been our final together. I’ve held on longer at bedtime and taken any extra cuddles when I can. I have to remember our time together isn’t ending, it is just changing.
When it comes down it to, we always feel as mothers that we could have done more, but I am forcing myself to enjoy the last days I have with my only child and remind myself that I am doing my best to balance pregnancy and motherhood. So, I’ll hold on to extra cuddles when I can get them, I’ll give myself some slack when the day is less than perfect, and I’ll try to get us to the playground just one more time.
How did you mentally prepare for the birth of a second or third child? Is there anything you wished you would have done differently? Share your advice with PMB!