My Very Forgettable Bump
When I was going through a very emotionally difficult first trimester (we'll chat about that soon!), my mother said something to me that really stuck. She said "This is basically like your third child so you need to go easy on yourself." This same thought was echoed only days later by a mom at school. I thought about this idea and realized that they were right - this IS like my third baby! While I've worked with many families over the years, the last five have been dedicated to just one. My two Nanny Kids have literally never not known me. To them, to their parents, and to me, I am an equal caregiver in the triangle that is me, their mom, and their dad. Before you start to say that I'm *just* the nanny and maybe I should slow my role, let's just state that we all know you can be a parent or primary caregiver without giving birth to a child and as far as time spent, YES - it IS pretty on par with their parents. So while this might be my first pregnancy, it's definitely NOT my first child and because of that it's easy to forget that I'm pregnant and I sometimes feel jilted about that.
When I used to think about how it would be like when I was pregnant, I thought of a magical time where I would focus on nurturing the life growing inside of me. I thought about the excitement of getting Baby's room together and all the cute items we'd have for Baby to wear, to play with. I thought I'd be resting and doing yoga and focusing on spending time with my husband. But to be honest, I forget about Baby. I forget about myself. I forget about husband. How can I focus on Baby when I have a crying child in front of me who needs me RIGHT NOW?! How can I focus on myself when I have days where a family needs me for 12 hours? How can I focus on husband when I'm exhausted trying to keep another household going on top of my own? I feel guilty when I sit down to do my baby registry and I'm so sick of looking at kid stuff, I end up adding one or two things and then signing off. I feel guilty turning down hours when I know a family doesn't have any backup. I feel guilty when I've spent 15 minutes talking about my 3 year olds hilarious whatever to my husband but we haven't talked about our Baby in hours. I feel like a bad mom every time I bend over to pick up toys off the ground and my belly pinches and floods with pressure. I feel like a bad mom when I read and sing with my Nanny Kids but forget to talk to the baby I carry in my womb every day. I feel like I'm choosing one child over another when I push myself physically by lifting a 40 pound toddler or sitting on the ground for an hour despite my back being on fire. I feel conflicted when my Nanny Family says I should totally bring Baby to work after Baby is born - who would I focus my attention on and how would I NOT feel guilty if I had to have the bigger kids wait for dinner because baby needed to be nursed?
I love my job. I'm so incredibly fortunate that I have a Nanny Family that has become a Real Family. I love my Nanny Kids and I feel amazing that they not only love me but they also already love my Baby. But it's hard not to wonder how I would feel if I had a different job. How different would this pregnancy feel if this baby was my *first* baby? If I didn't already know all the ins and outs of Babyville? If taking baby classes were exciting and not just redundant or a way to help me meet parents that DON'T already have kids? Would there be more magic surrounding Baby? I'm grateful for the knowledge that I have in regards to birth and children but sometimes my knowing takes away a little bit of the excitement.
Taking moments with my Nanny Kids to snuggle gets me excited for Baby to come snuggle too! /// Porch sitting and sunshine help me feel like I'm taking a gentle moment for myself but making sure my 3 year old doesn't feel left out. /// So grateful I have a job where this is professional work wear!
I'm doing my best for now. I'm trying to really focus on those moments when it feels new and magical. In the mornings when I wake up and start talking, Baby starts moving and I try to savor a few moments, feeling little kicks and giggling about the thought that maybe it's the sound of my voice that wakes up Baby. As I'm typing this, Baby is kicking so hard that my stomach is popping, Alien style and IT IS WILD! So I took a moment to text Hubby and share. And this is the best that I can do - try, be ok with focusing on the children that are Earthside but still take time for the one in my belly, be proud that I'm doing the best that I can. And for all the caregivers that have little ones here and another little one on the way - be kind to yourself too. Feel guilty or sad or angry for a moment and then let it go and take another moment to remember you're doing amazing things, growing an amazing human, and raising amazing children!
Did anyone ever feel the same way I do if they are pregnant AND raising kids? How did you deal with those feelings? Any advice?