Pregnant and Parenting

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This time, seeing that pink little plus sign brought equal amounts joy and fear. What did we just do?

p-and-p

I am expecting our third child in May, and this season, so far, has been rather unpleasant. My first two pregnancies were a breeze. Sure, I threw up twice in my second pregnancy, but only because I decided to work out in 100 degree heat, ignoring the obvious signs of pregnancy. (You’d think after the first tossed cookie experience, I’d catch on. Nope, it took a replay.) But seriously, my experience as a pregnant lady until this point neared perfection: I craved healthy food with the first, junk food with the second, and even working full time, I really only battled the constant lead-heavy exhaustion and fatigue. Strategic power naps for the win!

This pregnancy is different (as most are). I am nauseous all. the. time. I am irritable except when I’m sleeping.  I’ll spare you the gory details, but I’ve thought more than once that maybe our decision to pull the “goalie” was the wrong one.

But what’s even harder? Parenting my sweet 2 and 3 year old little girls when I feel crummy all the livelong day.

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She’s hot, she’s cold.

Since I work part time, I’m not home with them most of the day, and I suppose that helps except for the fact that I have to work and function as a normal, sane human being at work, then go home and try to be cheerful, helpful mommy who doesn’t snap at the innocent question that has been asked four times. In two minutes.

I’ve made a few…observations about being pregnant and parenting.

 It is by no means a comprehensive list, but definitely some of the most daily observations.

First, a real dinner? It’s totally optional.

Trust me, they can and often prefer to survive on cheerios. This is a season, after all, and at the next physical reprieve, I will get our family back on the healthy eating track. Or at least try. I mean, I’ll think about it.

Second, I’ve discovered what my “musts” and “wants” are in terms of caring for house and home.

Children fed? Check. Children clothed? Check. Children bathed last in a reasonable span of time? Yes? (at the very least they don’t stink). *Pats myself on the back.* I’m doing great! Unfortunately, I’m a neat freak, and I prefer a house that is in order. But you better believe that our house is a mess on the reg right now until I can get my feet back under me.

Third, the reminders by every pregnancy site to “take care of yourself” with a relaxing hobby or book, feel like cruel mockery.

Somewhere between parenting, reading stories, trying to remain pleasant, cooking, working, and literally falling into bed at 8:30pm (if I’m lucky), I need to find time to relax with a hobby or a book. That’s cute.

Taking care of myself right now means that I allow myself to sit when I should be cleaning, washing dishes, or folding laundry. It means sending the hubby to wipe a little bottom when I cannot bring myself to get up and smell the poop. 

Fourth (and my favorite), having little children as a pregnant momma brings an excitement unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Those moments when I am completely spent, they talk to the baby, kiss my already-growing belly, or ask if they are going to have a little brother or little sister. We’ve had hilarious anatomy lessons, a running poll for the gender, and several sweet questions about whether the baby will stay with us. Their excitement is contagious, their questions adorable, and their gentleness absolutely heartwarming. Oh, they may change their tune once the baby arrives, but I will bask in these precious moments.

Finally, and a bit more practically…

I’ve learned to take advantage of every moment I feel good, because I know it could change in the next second. I’ve learned to ask for my husband’s help and watched as he, like the rock star he is, serves me and our family with patience and strength.  I’ve learned what foods help me feel better, and whether I want to or not, I choke them down eat them. I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be at my best, that it’s okay to answer every “how are you feeling” question with “not that great.” And I’ve learned to laugh at myself and hard circumstances because getting upset only makes me feel worse than I already do.

Pregnant and parenting is HARD, and hilarious.

Trying to summon the wits to make clear-headed determinations for your children while your body (and brain) are beyond maxed out with the whole, you know, GROWING A HUMAN, makes for some sitcom-worthy material. 

If you are pregnant and parenting too, give yourself heaploads of grace. Know that your irritability has little to do with the circumstance around you and everything to do with the hard work your body is doing to incubate that little life. Look for the laughter! It really is the best medicine, or in this case, the best remedy for pregnant and parenting.

What are some of the observations you’ve made about being pregnant and parenting?

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A generalist of much and a master of little, Louellen gets her thrills learning new things. Born and raised in Nacogdoches, TX, Louellen, her husband Tim, and their precious little girls, Isabelle and Rena, now reside in Tyler. They keep it interesting with 2 dogs and 4 city chickens! Louellen left a full time career for part time work to spend more time as “Mom,” and less time as “Hey You,” a move she says she has not once regretted. With the extra time and energy, she takes more trips to the parks and pools, spends more time reading books to her littles, intervenes in more sibling squabbles, and stays a little less behind on laundry and dishes. What precious moments she has to herself, she enjoys reading, exercising, and watching West Wing episodes on repeat. She believes deeply in the freedom found in Christ that permeates every part of who we are and what we do, and desires to see women live in that same freedom.