Thursday, July 16, 2009

Parenting During Pregnancy

I'm beginning to wonder if these are mutually exclusive.

I can't tell if this pregnancy has been more physically taxing or my day-to-day life chasing a toddler not to mention lugging all his accoutrement from house to car to stroller to pool to car to house to washing machine (repeat as necessary) takes more of a physical toll that's simply become more apparent during pregnancy. I'm tired, mentally strained and walking a fine line between patient and gritting-her-teeth-choking-back-tears mommy.

Whatever the reason, I'm not feeling good about my mothering lately. It's one thing to let the dust bunnies collect, the laundry pile up or the vacuuming go undone a few extra days (ahem, weeks?) under the guise of self-care during pregnancy. But the idea that I'm not being the best mom I can be to peanut because of the same reason? I'm having a harder time coming to terms with this.

Add to that the guilt I project on the entire situation - if it's this difficult now, imagine how much I'm going to suck at being a parent of two when pumpkin is actually physically here demanding attention? Let's just say it's been fun times for the hubby listening to me lately.

I know I need to cut myself some slack. I know I'm probably not doing as craptastic a job as I think I am (let's hope). I know that peanut is healthy, happy (save a few excellent tantrums) and potty trained (alleluia). I know that the hubby would be the first one to step up and say something if he thought my performance was severely lacking. I know I have the comfort of advice from a girlfriend who recently had her second and assures me that it is physically easier when the baby's here and suckling as opposed to inside and sucking your energy dry.

But I can't help but feel like I'm trying my damnedest to give my best to everyone, some of the time at the detriment to my own physical care, and that it isn't even close to "enough."

Is it guilt? Hormones? High expectations? A toddler phase of uber difficult behavior I'm overanalyzing as peanut acting out because his mother is knocked up and he's already feeling ousted from his thronely perch?

Who knows.

All I do know is that it's been a hard week around here, which came as a total surprise after my completely wonderful, indulgent, quiet staycation. I suppose just as my ligaments and belly are stretching to make room for this growing new child inside me, my heart, soul and energy stores are doing the same.

So for the next three months and change I'll not only be cleaning out space in peanut's room for pumpkin, but looking for some extra internal room for things like my patience. If only the Container Store offered that particular storage solution...

3 comments:

Goddess in Progress said...

Good luck, I can only imagine how hard it must be to parent and be pregnant at the same time. I remember how exhausted I was during my first pregnancy, I hate to think of going through that while still having to have my "mom face" on!

I'm sure you're doing much better than it feels like, and I'm sure Peanut will be just fine.

AmyK said...

I went through the same thing - and still am sometimes, as far as not always having the energy and patience for #1 as I'm still adjusting to life with #2. But even though these next months will be rough, as my pediatrician said, you're giving him a brother (sister in my case!) and that lasts forever!

Annie said...

I remember those days. Luckily, I can look back now that the toddler is in college and appears to not have suffered any long term affects from the 8 months of exhausted mommy.