Pregnant and already have a toddler? Here’s nine unavoidable truths…the things that no-one ever tells you about pregnancy and toddlers.
What’s the perfect age gap between children? Answers on a postcard please, or the back of a copy of Emma’s Diary. But there’s no right answer and it’s different for each couple, isn’t it? When I was pondering this question pre-pregnancy, a wise person told me that the age gap you end up with is the one that’s perfect for your family.
And indeed, there was never any grand design with us, but we always figured that about three years sounded about right (which is what we’re getting, give or take a few months). But this kind of age gap means me being pregnant smack bang in the middle of the dizzy heights of toddlerdom.
It’s not all terrible, as toddlers are absolutely brilliant. But as Jerry Seinfeld said, ‘a two year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.’ And as someone said to me the other day, ‘are all children this energetic?’ Just as I was stifling a yawn.
And the timing means there are certain things – the good, the bad, and the occasionally exhausting – about pregnancy when you already have a toddler…
- It can be hard, hard work. The blissfully relaxing days of pregnancy one are a distant memory. “Your first pregnancy will seem like a spa break compared to your second” one of my second-time-mum friends told me. Which is so, so true
- The first opportunity you get to sit down and rest your tired pregnant self is the second your toddler must have milk / water / snack / potty immediately, despite being perfectly fine a minute before
- Pregnancy will make you feel incredibly bonded and in tune with your toddler, and so aware of their feelings (to the extent that any time she’s upset it makes me cry like a…well, baby). All the toddler milestones seem much more spectacular when you’re in the heightened state of hormone city
- But oh, the joys of potty training during this time…one day I went from sobbing in despair to crying tears of pure jubilation, like a hyper-hormonal Hollywood starlet on her first Oscar day
- They’re likely to drop the nap around the same time you really, really need a nap. They power up when you’re really, really powered down
- The days you’re feeling delicate are the ones they want to use you as a human climbing frame, elbow rest, train track and bouncy castle. Oh, pregnancy and toddlers…
- Toddlers actually understand lots about pregnancy, will chat to the baby and are genuinely excited…without any awkward conversations about how the baby got there….or questions about how you’re going to get it out
- That old adage about the days being long but the years being short has never been truer – the run-up to the acceptable hour of TV time (TM) can take forever, but your pregnancy will zip by at lightning speed
- ZzZzzz. See one.
But it’s mindblowing in many ways to think you’ll have two of the same soon. Exciting / ever-so-slightly terrifying…