Apparently the key to a healthy pregnancy is having a toddler. Sure it is challenging to carry a baby while literally carrying a baby, but I’ve decided to reserve the whining for labor and those first few weeks of mommyhood 2.0. Instead, I’ve created a list of ways that Charlotte is already proving to be a very helpful big sister.
1). She keeps us hydrated
Charlotte thinks drinking out of a “big girl” cup aka my cup is much more entertaining than any sippy cup, which means I don’t drink water, I chug it, and then leave her a sip so she can backwash and then use it to "splash" or wash hands.
2). She regulates our meals
Everything I eat suddenly becomes more desirable and more delicious to Charlotte than whatever repulsive items I put on her tray (never mind that they are the same). So rather than eating for two, my portions are now cut in half. Also, I don’t want Charlotte eating sweets, and since being a mother means what is mine is always hers, I have to hide in the pantry or wait until she’s in bed, which by that time I am just so grateful to have made it to bedtime, I have completely forgotten about the peanut butter ice cream in the freezer.
3). She keeps me fit
It is recommended that pregnant women get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I am not physically able to sit for longer than 30 minutes on any given day which means the majority of the day I am on my feet moving, dancing and chasing Charlotte up the stairs or carrying Charlotte down the stairs. So our day looks a lot like this (except exchange Raffi and Disney music for the inappropriate rap song (but no judgement):
4). She inspires sleep
As was said in Juno, “Pregnancy can often lead to an infant” and while I knew this on my first go around, I couldn’t really understand it. I quickly learned that sleep deprivation is a newborn’s way of telling you that they love you and just want to be around you all the time. I now attempt to bank my sleep with the naïve hope that that savings will somehow carry me through the first few months.
5). She accelerates time
When I was pregnant with Charlotte time moved in slow motion. I had 40 weeks’ worth of aches, complaints, and fears. I’m already in my 3rd trimester and I haven’t had a moment to wallow in my migraines or research the statistical likelihood that my child will be born with an extra finger (I didn't even know to worry about this until my ultrasound tech told me she "always counts fingers ever since her sister's baby was born with seven on one hand").
Since being pregnant with a toddler is going so incredibly well, I am sure that having a baby and a toddler can only follow suit. Right?