This photo makes my belly look bigger than I think it is, but it is growing. Only 8 or nine weeks left now. And how nice were those warm days we had in the Bay Area a few weeks ago? Felt so good to sit out for a bit a get some vitamin D. So I thought I’d compare my life this time around versus last time I was pregnant.
Being pregnant is such an interesting time in life. The first time it is so unknown and you really don’t know what is going on or what you should be worried about and then there’s the fact that at the end you will be bringing a tiny baby home with nearly zero idea of how to take care of it.
The second time is easier in some respects, and much harder in others. This is my opinion of course, I’m not sure how families have more than 2 or 3 kids . . . I’m about done with the whole carrying a baby around for 9 months thing. Maybe it’s just this pregnancy is harder than last time or maybe it’s because I’m a stay at home mom (who also works when I can — which adds another level of awesomeness to the equation) and I have a 2 year old who like me to pick him up all the time. Plus we just moved so there are things that need to be done, like potting plants and moving them around (definitely paid for that one, ouch.) So I am on a whole level of movement that I wasn’t at when I was pregnant with Jackson.
Back in those days, I would go get my hot chocolate and chocolate muffin (yes I have a problem — and I did gain 40 lbs with Jax) from the restaurant across the street then get on BART or drive in to work. Work till I got hungry then go get an egg and cheese sandwich or other snack (what others might call a meal) then work for another couple hours and eat lunch, hopefully it involved a burger or a french dip or something. Work some more. And by work I sat in front of a computer and moved a mouse around, sometimes getting up to go ask someone on my team a question. [I worked (and still do) as an architectural designer, as did (and still does) Brieanne.] Then I would probably run across the street for a cookie, and have a bag of carrots (and I really would eat a whole bag of baby carrots — I love carrots) then head home around 6pm. Get home and walk the dog, make dinner, watch TV, go to sleep. Wake up. Repeat.
Now, life is a bit more complicated. As it is for most parents. There isn’t really a routine day anymore. It usually involves me waking up at 5:45 or 6am, which is still after my husband who gets up at 4:45 and is often gone before 5:30, but still it’s early when you consider in my previous life I could get up at 7:00 and make it to work nearly on time. I am NOT a morning person. Never have been, and most likely never will be. I will usually turn on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (best show ever for teaching kids about pre-school, washing hands, brushing teeth, going to bed, etc.) and get some breakfast ready. Then it’s off to Grandma’s house for the day if it’s monday, or preschool for a few hours if it’s Tuesday or Thursday, or maybe off to Bloom for a yoga class if I’m lucky on a Wednesday. When Jackson is at Grandma’s or at pre-school I can go in to the architecture office I work at that is right near downtown Walnut Creek (where we live), or get home and work on Etsy orders, and maybe clean the house a bit. The rest of the afternoons are hit or miss with a nap after we get home and have lunch. He sleeps better and longer at night if he doesn’t have a nap . . . but I will seriously go insane if he gives up his naps all together so we still try. When he does get a nap in I can work on more Etsy orders (We have had two very good months in a row! And lots of custom orders!), research products for remodeling our kitchen and bath, clean (usually lowest on my list), write a blog post (you can see how often that has been happening), pay bills, basically all the stuff that needs to get done. THen I will hear that ‘Mama’ from Jackson’s room — he’s still in a crib (I have no idea how people get them to stay in bed if they are not in a crib — Jackson resists sleep at nearly every cost) so I go get him and we have a little quiet time in his room while he transitions from sleep mode to play mode. Then it’s a waiting game for Dad to get home. ‘I want Daddy home,’ he says for the rest of the afternoon. Which is actually quiet nice as there was a time not too long ago that he refused to let his dad pick him up, talk to him, basically didn’t want his Dad to be near him. That was rough. And how we got through that is the topic of another post if you want my advice on it. Fortunately Dad is between projects right now (he is in commercial concrete construction) so he is able to come home by 5 every night. I am really not looking forward to when his next project starts up again and he’s gone at 5 am and not back till 8 or 9.
Dad, will play with Jackson and Maddie (who as you can see is left out of the equation a bit) and I make dinner. Then it’s a little more play time, bath, and Dad does the bedtime routine of pj’s, books, and sleep. Which was part of how we broke Jackson of his previously noted Dad dislike.
If I don’t have any deadlines to get to I will clean up the house while they are doing the bedtime thing. Then Mike and I (funny how he turns to Mike after the kid is in bed) will settle in for a couple shows. We become obsessed with a series and can’t wait to sit and watch it. Earlier in the month it was Sons of Anarchy, which we are OBSESSED with, it is way better than what we thought and originally only watched it because the main character was named Jax and we wanted to see the character that our son shared a nickname with. Quickly we became engrossed and watched all four seasons on Netflix (via the Roku) in two weeks. You will start to think that everyone is out to get you if you watch too many episodes in a short amount of time. Now we are on to Downton Abby, which is basically a 180 but is strangely addicting too. We are open for suggestions of new series’ so let me know in the comments.
Then I try and shut my brain off, but usually peruse pinterest or search for a product we need while laying in bed. I will try and find the absolute best price with free shipping for the sink we want, or compare reviews on kitchen faucets that are in our budget and are not ugly (there is a lot of ugly out there), or research the best methods and products to paint our kitchen cabinets, or . . . . hopefully by the I have eased my mind into rest and have floated off to sleep.
When we hear, ‘No, no, no, no! Mama!’ coming from the other room. Jackson is up from a nightmare (I had nightmares when I was young, and still can remember some of the recurring ones to this day.) and needs a bit of reassurance that all is well. I would love to be the one to go in but if I do I just rile him up more because he will insist I stay and sleep on the floor, if his Dad goes in he’s back to sleep in 30sec so I hate having Mike get up a couple times in the middle of the night but in the end we all get more sleep. And Jackson has been a good sleeper this week and gets back to sleep on his own when he wakes up. I think my body clock still wakes up every couple hours but that won’t be a bad thing once the baby girl arrives!
And so that is our day. I’m looking forward to meeting our little girl and getting her involved in our routines as well. I know it will be an adjustment for the first few months but hopefully Jackson will take to being a big brother somewhat easily.
Meanwhile, I will keep on going each day as this belly grows and it’s harder and harder to do the things I am used to doing. I feel like I have every symptom in the book, except swelling, stretch marks and varicose veins. But heartburn — Check. I will look at a bottle of ketchup and get heartburn. Yep, there it is. Ugh. Braxton Hicks — Check. I didn’t mind these with Jackson but this time they come so much more often and frequently that it starts to bother me. Sciatic pain — Check. I attribute this to picking up a 26 lbs kid all day and I think she is lower than Jackson was. Leg Cramps — Check. Holy hell, these babies will last so long that I eventually have to cry out in pain and have Mike massage them out. With Jackson I could lie quietly and relax enough to get them to go way. Belly Button is OUT — Check. I really wasn’t expecting this one. Didn’t happen with Jax and here we are at 30 or 31 weeks and it is poking on out.
I have read a couple articles or blog posts about working moms vs. stay at home moms and which is harder. I think that being a stay at home mom who works from home is the hardest . . . but that is just me. It is a tough job being a mom regardless of where you are every day. When I am in the office that I work at I think that working has got to be easier (as long as you can also pay someone to clean your house and do your yard work). It’s so refreshing to have some time without screaming, or someone garnering for your absolute love and attention 100% of the time (although your boss might be crazy so you could feel like you work for or with a 2 year old), or demanding cookies when he knows that he is not going to get cookies, or . . . I could go on but I won’t. Then when I am home with Jackson and he is being his sweet funny self or he just starts doing something for the first time I think this is the easier than rushing off to work every day and rushing back home in time to get my kid in bed. So I think we have to admit that either way there are benefits and challenges to both. As long as we respect each other and give our kids the love they need and teach them to respect that everyone has a different way of doing things then I think we will be ok.
This got a little long and maybe you didn’t make it this far. Probably my mom did and now she is going to email me and tell me to stop stressing out, and if I want a job I should get one, or that being a stay at home mom actually is the best. But, hey, Mom, don’t worry, I’ve got this. I love my life, heartburn, remodel, demanding toddler and all! I simply wanted to go through a day in the life and give my two cents hopefully I’m not sounding negative because I’m not. Mike and I have always said that nobody has it better than us, and I’m not sure that they do.