Let’s talk about the obvious! In the last trimester, I have been Pregnant and…Parenting, and it has been hard!
The joy of 5-year-olds is that one minute they are angels sent down to put a smile on your face, make you laugh and smother you with cuddles! Other days they are demon spawn sent to test your patience and honestly bring you to tears! Yay for parenting. Dealing with this on the best of days can be tricky but I have found the last trimester particularly difficult because I am tired, more irritable and definitely more sensitive.
Add into that, the husband has been in New York and I have been parenting alone, it has been the trifecta of terror on some days that has resulted in me feeling like the worse parent ever (and my kid is generally well behaved!). I have definitely been relying on bribery on the days when it starts to get too much, although driving has definitely taken the pressure off and my little guy has been less tired because of it, he still misses his daddy and is a normal 5 year old that thinks ice cream is a suitable reward for eating a singular slice of carrot – and then the tantrum started.
Although pregnancy, especially in this last trimester makes it more difficult, let’s be honest, parenting is hard enough as it is and really it’s just a matter of feeling like you did at the beginning with a newborn! So I guess I better get used to this feeling then! Here are some of the ways
Parenting A 5-year-old In The Last Trimester
I’m not saying it is the best tactic, but 5 more minutes of TV time isn’t going to kill them in the morning while I try to lug my giant body out of bed and get ready! Plus, depending on the bribery you can actually use this to your advantage! For example, my little boy loves reading so if he gets ready in the morning at the moment we read a story before we leave, or if we get out early enough I will put Disney music on in the car (that’s also a little for me!) so bribery is not always a bad thing (she says, justifying to herself.)
One thing I will say though is, don’t use food as a measure of bribery because this not only promotes unhealthy eating habits but also backfires when you start including it as part of a routine and they kick off because they don’t have their usual snack!
I have found when preparing him for his sister’s arrival that being open and honest about things is the best option. I have told him that mummy is extra tired because she is carrying around a Heffalump, just like she did before and we have discussed what this means and that it’s not that I don’t want to do star jumps or planks, but at the moment I just can’t. Talking about the baby and what he can do to help as well as what he can expect has also worked wonders and meant that I think he is quite excited to be a big brother so we aim to keep the dialogue open.
This is a tricky one and sometimes controversial because I know some people don’t think they should apologize to their kids, whether they are in the wrong or not but I think it sets a good example because we all make mistakes and are human. I am extra hormonal and my fuse is much shorter, so yes, as much as I hate it, I have been snappy or jumped to conclusions which weren’t true and then shouted. The way I make up for that is apologizing and admitting I was wrong because I don’t want him to think that apologizing is a sign of weakness and I would hope it teaches him to do the same as he grows up! Plus, it’s not actually his fault I am extra moody and his “singing” and “whistling” just grates on my nerves.
I have found that since we are doing more quiet activities, that he has a lot of energy to burn off so we have been focusing on going out to the park, walking around the track or just taking a ball in the garden to let off some steam. I can’t do many of those things for very long at the moment but he can outlast me for days and it helps with his mood and it’s good for me to get out of the house. I also make sure I park a little bit away from the school so that we walk together for a little while and don’t miss out on the bonding we had when walking to school!
A cuddle speaks a thousand words (that’s my take on the old phrase) and sometimes we will just snuggle up on the sofa because let’s be honest, who wants to deal with being an adult or all the trials and tribulations of being a toddler anyway!
Ultimately, for me, it is all about being deliberate and trying to avoid the parenting autopilot we all seem to get stuck on because the situation is different and it is easy to forget that things are changing for him too so I don’t want him feeling like he is left behind! Plus, pregnancy is exciting but it can also be all consuming so it is important for me to remember that he should be involved in the process!
What is your advice for parenting when pregnant?? Did your parents apologise?
This post is part of my mini ongoing pregnant series “Pregnant and…” Check out the other posts by clicking on the picture: