**I’d like to begin this post with an obvious disclaimer. As we know, all pregnancies are different and each mother has their own limits of tolerance with various symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sick – they can help!**
I am currently pregnant with my third baby, and dealing with intense morning sickness for the first time. My first two pregnancies were pretty typical – I felt nauseous but never got sick. I was tired, but could make it to bedtime ok. This third pregnancy has been such a wild card. As I’m rounding the corner into my second trimester, I’m amazed that I made it through in one piece! Here are my tips on how to survive morning sickness when you have other kids.
How To Survive Morning Sickness When You Have Other Kids
First off, let me tell you a little about my situation. I am a stay-at-home mom, and my husband works at least 55 hours a week outside of the home. My kids are 3.5 and 1.5 years old, and my oldest goes to preschool two mornings a week.
My morning sickness was the all day variety, and would get worse throughout the day. While I never threw up with either pregnancy before, I was now getting sick 5-12 times a day. And I truly struggled to keep my eyes open some days.
Lower Your Standards
I love to cook – having a hot, homemade dinner for my family to sit down to when my husband came home from work is and was a sense of pride for me. But now? I was lucky if I could boil noodles for some boxed mac and cheese. And you know what? My kids survived. My husband threw together a simple dinner for himself once the kids went to bed and didn’t complain once. Bless that man.
Scrubbing the bathroom floor? HAH! Not happening. (Plus the smell of the cleaners was an instant puke-trigger for me.) And you know what? We all survived.
Couponing? Volunteering? Hosting play dates? Homemade apple pie? For real, not happening. And it wasn’t the end of the world. I found it so important, even though incredibly challenging, to lower my standards. My daily accomplishments could be counted on one hand – but if those include keeping my kids fed, safe, and alive, then I did the best I could. I needed to accept that’s where we were right now, and that’s okay.
Give Yourself Some Slack
In case you forget, you are growing another human being. I repeat – your body is hosting, caring for, and growing an entirely new person. One that starts out the size of a pencil dot and grows to the size of a watermelon, all in a ~very short~ nine months. Give yourself some credit! And while you’re at it, give yourself some slack. That kind of incredible feat takes a huge toll on your body. It was hard for me to not be “Super Mom,” but when I look back on it now, I actually was. Just not in the sense I’m used to. If you can barely muster up the energy to shower, that’s okay. The world isn’t going to end if you have dirty hair and smelly feet. If your kids are getting more screen time than you’d prefer, that’s okay too. Sometimes, you have to do whatever you can to get through the day. And if that means an extra episode of Paw Patrol so you can lay on the couch and not have to move, then that’s a win for everyone.
Rest Whenever Possible
This one was the most difficult for me, obviously, because my kids weren’t interested in resting with me. I tweaked both of their nap schedules so they went down at the same time in the afternoon. You bet I also got in bed and napped every day! I had to lower my standards (see above) for the time being. I used to use those precious nap hours to cook, clean, work out, blog, or catch up on my TiVo. But what was most important now was to take care of myself, and that means resting.
I know not all kids nap, or even nap together, so for this I know I’m lucky. If I ever had to rest when the kids were awake, we put on a movie. I laid on the couch while they relaxed and watched a movie. “Mommy needs to rest” time also taught my daughter how to entertain herself for a bit, which is quite the important skill 🙂
Ask For Help
Asking for help – a task I am pretty terrible at. I am independent to a fault, and hate to ask someone else to help me. But I needed help. My sister in law offered to take the kids one morning a week and bring them back fed and ready for nap time. My mother in law would come over and play in the basement while I took a nap. My mom helped with preschool drop off and pick up, as well as grocery shopping. My husband stepped up big time (he’s very hands on, but he took it to another level) and helped me in ways I didn’t know I needed. When he came home from work, he took over everything – dinner, dishes, baths, bedtime, and straightening up. I was ‘off the hook’ and could get in bed early. Without this help, I would have hired a babysitter for a few hours a week to give me a chance to rest. Whatever help looks like for you, ask for it. It’s okay to ask for help! (**Especially if you are far sicker than I was. It’s not a contest, of course, but I know that many people get much sicker than I ever was, and in those cases it is EXTREMELY important to ask for help!)
Talk To Your Doctor
I was so proud that I never took any medications with my first two pregnancies. However, I quickly realized that I was simply very lucky in those two pregnancies and didn’t need them. This time was different. The ginger and saltines routine wasn’t cutting it. My doctor prescribed medication to help control my morning sickness which helped a little. Talk it over with your doctor, and they can prescribe an anti-nausea medicine if they feel it necessary.
I have had a few friends ask me “how I did it” – as in, how did I take care of my kids when I was busy getting sick all day long? And my answer always was, “I just do it.” I didn’t have time to lay in bed all day. My kids needed me. They didn’t really understand. So I’d run to the bathroom, get sick, brush my teeth, and move on with my day. Rinse and repeat… all day long. It was ugly, and challenging, and quite often downright miserable. But it is temporary and for a great reason. I am happy to report that I am slowly starting to feel better! If you are suffering through morning sickness, I sincerely hope you feel better soon too. You are a strong, tough, warrior who can get through anything 🙂