How Did you Maintain Work-Life Balance when Pregnant?

by Melanie Edwards on June 8, 2010 · 14 comments

in life, Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman

A long time ago there was a commercial for a pregnancy test on TV that showed a woman standing up and thinking, “I can’t concentrate. Could I be pregnant?” For years, my husband and I laughed at the commercial because we could not make the connection as to what one had to do with the other. Why would she think she was pregnant just because she couldn’t concentrate? The idea seemed absolutely ludicrous to us.

Now that I’m pregnant with our second child, I find that I am the woman from that commercial. And, I’m eating my words – or laughter, in this case. I totally get it now. I’m unable to concentrate and am having a somewhat hard time adjusting and maintaining my work-life balance.

More specifically, I’m finding it a bit difficult to deal with the pregnancy symptoms  – the various aches, and especially the lack of energy – plus entertain and play with my baby girl. I’m getting tired of saying, “Mommy’s not feeling good” and I know she must be tired of hearing it. I can only do so many couch-based activities with her before she requires more stimulation. I’ve tried reading together, watching movies, and playing board games, to name a few things. I get up and moving with her when I can, but it’s not long before, “Mommy has to sit down and take a break.”

I know she’s an understanding girl and for the most part moves on to do another activity. Often times my husband will take over and do something with her until I can keep playing. But, the mommy guilt is coming on full-force these days and I can feel she’s getting frustrated. I’m getting frustrated. It’s even causing tension between us and I find these days we are often snapping at each other; the hormones aren’t helping with my patience either.

Of course, other aspects of our home life are affected, such as keeping up with the household. Luckily, I have a great husband who is doing his part to keep up with things around the house. But, that is not as serious an issue in my mind as the connection with my daughter. That is something he cannot help with.

So, today I want to hear from all of you who already have two, three, and especially those of you who have four or more kids. I want to know how you managed your pregnancies while also working, managing a household, and caring for and entertaining your kids. Hopefully I’m not the only one out there who’s had this issue when pregnant the second time around and you’ll be able to provide some input.

How did you deal with the pregnancy symptoms and maintain a sense of work-life balance?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Maybelline June 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

now that you ask, I've always asked myself how would I deal with another pregnancy now that I have a baby. I know I want them to be at least 3 years apart, but when I was pregnant the only thing I wanted to do was sleep, and how could I'd be able to do it with a 3 year old??. Kung Fu baby is almost 6 months and I still have some more time to go, but I admire those moms that have more than one, and totally understand why so many decide to have only 1

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modernmami June 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

No, you definitely can't sleep all day with an active 3 year old running around! lol That's the thing. My daughter is 4, so she needs quite a bit of attention still and she's an active kid, who doesn't like to sit still too often.

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Dariela June 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Melanie!! I felt exactly the same way with the second pregnancy. I missed the first pregnancy moments where I could just relax and so whatever when I felt without energy, I remember weekends of going nowhere because I just didn't want to! Well not this time around! Little boy needs entertainment!! But hopefully the husband can be a great help. My husband did make lots of dinners and entertained the boy while I was just laying in the couch or in bed cause I couldn't do anything! And the good thing is that those moments are going to pass cause there is going to be a time in the pregnancy where you will have sooo much energy! Plus the kids really don't remember and appreciate the present–more time with daddy!–
Also, when the baby finally arrives it's another story and all of you are going to have to adapt to the new little person and the ritmo in the casa will be totally different, I wouldn't say it's super hard but the balance takes time. Finding the work-life balance this time around has been harder. I feel that I want to do sooo much and I can't really do it, not enough time. One thing that has helped is having a good day-care person and relying in any help (mom and sister) to take care of baby or kid while we take time to go out or just rest!!

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modernmami June 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

I'm gonna have to rely on abuela more then. I feel bad bothering her too much, but it might be the best option to keep my baby girl happy so I can rest while this passes. Thanks so much for your input and I'm looking forward to having more energy later in the pregnancy. *crossing fingers*

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Aimee Leon-Ortega June 9, 2010 at 11:42 am

Wow, this is a tough one. My second and third pregnancies were SO much more difficult than my first pregnancy. My OB/GYN kept telling me it was because my body knew what to do, so it would do it faster than the first pregnancy. Well not only did symptoms start faster and sooner, they were AMPLIFIED. Some symptoms were off the wall with their rarity. With my second, I developed “mala bariga” or “bad belly” in English with my husband. and I could NOT stand him. It was really bad. And with my 3rd I had nose bleeds, skin tags, pelvic pains from the 6th month so severe that I sought the help of a chiropractor when my OB/GYN said that it was normal and would only last for the next 4 months.

Well, symptoms aside, how did I maintain that work/life balance? You know, I haven't the foggiest. That commercial that you talked about always made sense to me though, because it came out after I had my second child and by that time, I knew all about “baby brain”. Those momentary lapses where you can forget anything.. even your best friend's daughter name… I mean VAMOOSH it is GONE!! it's like a cloud encircles your brain and when you snap out of it, you're like “what was that!? what is wrong with me? I was NOT like this before!”

Unfortunately, the good old days are gone. And I'd suggest trying to curb how guilty you feel. You're not the same that you were physically before, so you are physically not going to be able to do the same level of activity that you were before. Sometimes we'll have to play “brush Mommy's hair and makes her a princess while she sleeps” because you need to have your down time OR you will snap more on your hubby and you will have a shorter temper period.

It actually may be a good time for your daughter to begin adjusting to changes too in what Mommy can do… because once the baby comes that will be a big change as well, so the pregnancy should almost ease her into it in a way. She'll have to play a little more on her own sometimes because you can't do it all the time. Honestly, if you had something a broken back or something that physically impaired you, that wouldn't be her fault but you and she both would have to adjust to different kinds of play. Your pregnancy is not her fault and she shouldn't have to suffer because of it, but you and she both should just adjust to the types of play that you can handle right now. Good luck. :)

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modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I love what your OB said. I'm finding this pregnancy is quite different from the 1st also and I did get symptoms a lot earlier this time. Thanks for your input and I will work hard on curbing the guilty feelings. We'll see how that goes…

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Amanda June 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm

It has defiantly been harder this pregnancy. My first pregnancy not only did I not have a job (my then husbands job was able to support both of us) I also did not have a 3 almost 4 year old to keep up with like I do this time around.
The first few months were hard. The constant feeling of exhaustion, the never ending feeling of morning sickness, ect. Work was terrible I would be fighting to keep my eyes open and not have to run to the bathroom all day. When I got home I would make my daughter a quick snack, set her up with some quiet activity, coloring, puzzle, a movie and let her know that mommy needs to take a quick nap. I would tell her after two cartoons are over (one hour) to wake me up and we will go for a walk. I would take my nap on the couch and after that hour nap (though I still really wanted about 12 more hours!) we would go for a walk and even though every time I thought “oh my god, how am I going to make it through this walk?” we would get back home and I would feel a little better. The hour nap gave me the tiny bit of energy to make her dinner and then I often lied and said it was bedtime much earlier then it usually was. I did have a lot of guilt about not being able to spend quality,fun,time with her but I kept telling myself that the dreaded first trimester only lasts so long, and on the rare days were I had a bit more energy I would try to make it up to her. Work, on the other hand was a lost cause, I could not concentrate on anything, I would mostly just stared blankly at my computer screen and tried to do what I could.

Now that I am in my second semester and am almost back to my normal energy level I am able to give my daughter the active lifestyle she craves. Though I still am not 100% and there are days where I still go home and tell her I need that hour nap and as soon as I wake up we will do something. She is VERY understanding and I try to make it a point to not blame the pregnancy or the baby for my 'down days', I don't want her to have any more resentment towards the baby then is natural.

It is defiantly a struggle to balance a child, a full time job and a pregnancy, hormones ect and there are days where I wonder how will I be able to continue all this madness, but I somehow make it through those days and like they say, tomorrow is a new day.

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modernmami June 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I'm glad you're starting to feel better and getting back to normal level. I'm slowly gaining more energy, which is helping. Still have to work on the hormones/temper, though. LOL

We *will* get it all done, as you said and things will work out.

Good luck to you! Hope to hear more as the months progress for both you and I. :)

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modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I love what your OB said. I’m finding this pregnancy is quite different from the 1st also and I did get symptoms a lot earlier this time. Thanks for your input and I will work hard on curbing the guilty feelings. We’ll see how that goes…

Reply

modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I love what your OB said. I’m finding this pregnancy is quite different from the 1st also and I did get symptoms a lot earlier this time. Thanks for your input and I will work hard on curbing the guilty feelings. We’ll see how that goes…

Reply

modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I love what your OB said. I'm finding this pregnancy is quite different from the 1st also and I did get symptoms a lot earlier this time. Thanks for your input and I will work hard on curbing the guilty feelings. We'll see how that goes…

Reply

modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better and getting back to normal level. I’m slowly gaining more energy, which is helping. Still have to work on the hormones/temper, though. LOL nnWe *will* get it all done, as you said and things will work out.nnGood luck to you! Hope to hear more as the months progress for both you and I. :)

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modernmami June 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better and getting back to normal level. I’m slowly gaining more energy, which is helping. Still have to work on the hormones/temper, though. LOL nnWe *will* get it all done, as you said and things will work out.nnGood luck to you! Hope to hear more as the months progress for both you and I. :)

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modernmami June 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I'm glad you're starting to feel better and getting back to normal level. I'm slowly gaining more energy, which is helping. Still have to work on the hormones/temper, though. LOL

We *will* get it all done, as you said and things will work out.

Good luck to you! Hope to hear more as the months progress for both you and I. :)

Reply

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