I’ve written before about the information overload that comes with being a new mom: more books, articles, and advice from friends and strangers than you have time to process! However, now that I am pregnant with our second child, I realize that the information for second-time moms isn’t quite as robust. With each new baby added to a family, the pool of people who can give you advice grows smaller and smaller! Sure, you can still find lots of blogs and opinions, but the majority of information is geared toward first-timers.
The biggest thing I have learned being pregnant a second time is that I am stronger than I thought! Even though the symptoms are the same (morning sickness, fatigue, feeling gigantic toward the end,) I am getting things done! I am still being a wife and mother, and not some feeble, sick pregnant woman who can’t get out of bed like I was the first pregnancy. Motherhood has a way of giving you the energy and fortitude to just get things done, even when it feels impossible.
My first lesson in being a second-time mom happened during my first trimester when I had bad morning sickness and fatigue but was still working full-time outside the home and taking care of my almost one-year old son. I had morning sickness and fatigue with my first pregnancy but going through it again with the added responsibility of another baby made it a very different experience!
Suddenly, all the rest I was able to get after work when I was pregnant for the first time disappeared. Instead of eating random snacks and making my husband fend for himself, I had to make dinner, entertain, feed, and bathe my son, get him ready for bed, sometimes get laundry, dishes, and other cleaning done, and then finally go to bed. I actually found that working outside the home provided some rest, because I wasn’t having to take care of my house or child. I could sit at my desk when there was a free moment to just close my eyes and think about nothing for 2 minutes. It sounds silly, but it actually helped!
Now that I am in my third trimester, the old challenges that I experienced before have become new again with a toddler in the mix. In the third trimester, I get big. Like, smuggling-watermelons-under-my-shirt big. My biggest challenge has been figuring out how to carry him into our apartment (which is up a flight of stairs) and also get my groceries and other bags all at once. So far it’s been impossible to do anything in one trip, so I have to be strategic. This means I have to take multiple trips with one or two bags and a toddler, which can get exhausting with the stairs. If I’m lucky, my son will be content to play with some toys and books in his crib so I can make just one or two trips with all the bags up and down the stairs. He usually prefers to be part of the action so I end up getting quite the workout.
All of the things that I couldn’t/didn’t do during my first pregnancy have all gotten done the second time around. Motherhood feels like a superpower now, except instead of flying I can keep my house reasonably clean and organized, and instead of X-ray vision I can carry groceries up the stairs in one trip. So perhaps the reason there isn’t as much advice floating around out there for second time moms is that we don’t need it as much. We are starting to realize our own abilities to just get things done, even when it’s hard.