Guilty confession: I’m 25 weeks pregnant, and have yet to take a photo of my baby bump.
With my first pregnancy, I had my husband take regular monthly photographs to document my growing belly, so that I could look back one day on the experience. Meanwhile, this time around, I’m lucky if I can remember what day it is.
This is (in part) due to my son, a vivacious, loving, and funny little boy with huge personality and energy level to match. But like most toddlers, he requires round-the-clock attention. He likes to be carried, isn’t into self-play, and has the eldest child bossy gene down already – he likes to dictate and be a part of everything I do, from cooking to picking an outfit to getting the mail. If he doesn’t get his way, we’re often faced with turbulence in the form of raging temper tantrums.
I love spending every (non-working) second with him, but this pregnancy, I haven’t had much of a chance to:
- Bond with my baby-on-the-way, or –
- Practice self-care
Although I’m eating (mostly) well and trying to be as healthy as I can, I definitely feel like I haven’t had many moments to sit, breathe, and focus on the changes coming up in the near future.
As I approach the third trimester, I’m determined to spend these last few months as family of three not only enjoying our time together, but also devoting just a little more time to me (and baby).
A few great ways to do this include:
Get Moving – I’ve signed for a prenatal yoga class at Schoolhouse Yoga. According to their web site, the class is designed to help expectant mothers safely tone and stretch, prepare mentally and physically for childbirth, get relief from some of the discomforts of pregnancy, and make a loving connection with their bodies and their babies. Carving out time for any type of (safe) exercise is a great way to clear your mind and focus!
Treat Yourself – Whether that means getting a pedicure, prenatal massage, or just allowing yourself a few hours to yourself with your favorite TV show or book and takeout meal, it’s important to take time to keep yourself feeling rested and fulfilled. You’ll feel calmer and be a better wife, mother, and person for allowing yourself the break.
Take Time to Prepare – It’s helpful to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for a big change. For me, this means taking a few beats during the week to connect with my soon-to-be daughter and journaling my thoughts. It also means thinking about your well-being in advance and carving out ways that you can make things easier once you have a newborn. In my case, that will involve preparing as many freezer meals as humanly possible.
Bottom line: Just because there will be more people to care for doesn’t mean that you should stop caring for yourself. Self-care is nothing to feel guilty about.