I would love for you to address how to keep up with homeschooling and meals in the midst of pregnancy/all day nausea and exhaustion. Without outsourcing children to the tv all day. And without complaining. I remember you said during one of your pregnancies that your goal was not to complain about being pregnant. How did that work out? As I look back on my previous 3, I can see that I complained a LOT.
I would love to know how you handle pregnancy tiredness and staying motivated and get things done.
I’m with Annamarie and Cristy–would love advice on staying motivated while pregnant and NOT complaining.
How I would love to be able to tell you girls that I have conquered the sin of complaining, but I can't. Because I haven't. I did purpose to not complain the last two pregnancies, and just keeping that in the forefront of my mind helped. That and taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Pregnancies are a lot different for me now than they were when all of the children were under the age of say, six. Now I have several who can make meals, change diapers, answer the phone, etc. But back in the day when they were all without a lot of, shall we say, brains, I did have to utilize some survival tactics:
1. Small meals of protein. It took me a lot of pregnancies to figure this out, but once I learned that the advice to eat Saltine crackers was the absolute worst advice ever, I could keep the morning sickness at least at the surface instead of allowing it to totally take me under. Hard-boiled eggs sounded horrible, but after eating one, I felt I could manage. Almonds, cheese sticks, turkey slices, peanut butter (straight out of the jar if necessary).
I also drank a lot of water with fresh lemon. And if the nausea was particularly overwhelming, I drank lemonade. The combination of sugar and lemon juice helped tremendously.
2. Alter the priority list. If I did one thing right during pregnancies two through nine, it was this. During the worst bouts of morning sickness, my goals were to feed my family and make sure there was clean laundry. If I accomplished those two things during the day, I counted it a success. In light of that, I was able to see that we accomplished far more, but I didn't feel like such a failure just doing a few things during the day rather than the full plate that I can tackle when I'm not pregnant.
The first and third trimesters are not the time to paint the living room. Ditto to volunteering to teach a co-op class, sign up for swimming lessons, or cater your sister's wedding.
3. Continue to have a plan. Don't throw the schedule entirely out the window. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I made a battle plan: a new and realistic schedule for the first 18 weeks of morning sickness and the last 10 weeks of exhaustion, as many meals in the freezer as I could make, and a mental list of friends and family I could call on to help. My two best friends bailed me out even when I didn't know I needed it.
4. Serve a communal breakfast, or, Do whatever gets you through the worst. When I was pregnant with number three, the older two were four and two years old. As I lay in bed in the morning overwhelmed by nausea and rising only to vomit, I relied upon a Tupperware bowl of Cheerios served to the two little guys on the floor of my bedroom while they watched PBS. It bought me an extra hour in bed and they were as happy with a communal bowl of cereal as they would have been had I served pancakes.
I remember pouring that bowl the night before, getting their water bottles filled and all of it ready to go in my bedroom. It was a self-serve picnic, and now at almost 16 and 14, they aren't any worse for the wear. Do whatever gets you through, mama.
Expecting our sweet number seven, who turns two in just two weeks!