Now that my baby boy is seven weeks old, I’m almost out of the pregnancy haze. You know what I’m talking about – the months where you focus on nothing but pregnancy and your soon-to-be baby. In my first pregnancy, these were the days that turned into weeks of reading all the baby books, researching the best products and just all around letting pregnancy and baby take over my entire life. Which is exactly what you should do when you’re having a child! But when you’re pregnant with your second or third baby, life gets a little different. And today, I’m going to tell you exactly why preparing for a new baby is so much different when it’s not your first.
Life is Crazier
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I thought my life was busy. Working, being a wife, pregnancy, managing our townhouse… it was all a lot of work. By the end of the day, I was ready to jump in bed and catch some reality TV with my hubby. Things are a lot different when you have more kids at home. For the majority of my last two pregnancies, my toddler took up my focus and energy. If I wasn’t working, I was chasing him around and living by his schedule. When you’re pregnant with a toddler, exhaustion takes on a new level. By the time Friday rolls around, your body is so tired that you feel like your limbs could actually fall off of your body. Forget the reality TV – you just want to go to bed! Seriously.
You Forget You’re Pregnant
When you’re pregnant with your first baby, you think about being pregnant all the time. You stop working on a project to do a little extra stroller research. You shop online sites like Zulily every single morning with vigor, searching for amazing deals on the cutest outfits. You plan out your meals to perfection every day, for fear of letting one of the dreaded ingredients on the “do not eat” list come in contact with your mouth. With my second pregnancy, I actually forgot I was pregnant sometimes. As in, I would try to pull toys out of the depths of darkness behind our couch, squeezing myself between the furniture and the wall. And suddenly I’d realize that I just didn’t fit because I had a huge pregnant belly. It sounds dumb. But life is crazier, like I mentioned above. And that whole losing your short-term memory while pregnant thing? Well, I swear it’s ten times worse when you have other kids at home.
You Wait Til Baby Arrives
With your first baby, you start buying stuff basically from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. Who cares if you don’t know the baby’s gender! Buy both. You can return one later. Or, you know, just save it til the next kid, right? And then by the time your child actually makes his or her big appearance, your house runneth over with baby stuff that you wind up using once or twice. But when you get pregnant again, lesson learned, my friends. You tell yourself that you’re just going to wait until the 20 week appointment so that you know the gender. And then you buy one or two things, and think that maybe waiting until the third trimester is better. I mean, you don’t really have anywhere to PUT all of that stuff yet, anyway.
The third trimester rolls around, and you realize that you really should go through all of your older child’s baby stuff before you go on a spending spree, just so that you don’t buy duplicates. And by the time you hit 36 weeks, you’re racing to just get the nursery set up and essentials purchased before your baby arrives. Forget the cute outfits and new stroller and car seat accessories. You didn’t use that until your first was three months old, anyway. It can totally wait until you’re on maternity leave.
And that’s what happens. Your first pregnancy is this magical waiting game that seems like it will never end. But after you’ve got another kid in the house, the weeks go by so fast, it can be hard to keep up! Christopher is seven weeks old, and I still haven’t finished organizing our nursery. Every day I walk in and out of the room to grab diapers or outfits (he’s currently sleeping in our room) and think, tonight I”ll get to this mess. But life gets in the way. Eventually I’ll tackle it, probably right before he transitions into his own bedroom.
And you know what? That’s ok. You have a million things to tackle during the day. You’re busy. The world isn’t going to stop just because you didn’t perfectly prepare your nursery before your baby arrived. Thankfully, you’re a second-, or third-, or maybe even more than that, time mom. And you’re already well-versed in the best mommy mantra: I’ll get to it when I get to it.