Handling Pregnancy and a Three Year Old

As seen in Brooklyn Family Magazine and on NYParenting.comas

Dear Sharon,

I’m pregnant with my second child. Our little one is 3 years old and I am experiencing migraines and am unable to cope with him. Any advice for me as to how I can go on being a loving mom to my little guy while I am blinded by these headaches?

Dear Mom, I am so sorry to hear about the complications of your pregnancy. Here are some ideas that might help you take care of yourself while taking care of your 3 year old.

One of the hardest things for many parents to admit is that they sometimes need help. Many moms handle challenges during pregnancy and need to remember that asking friends and relatives for assistance or hiring a sitter, even on a temporary basis, can make a world of difference to their family. An extra person can give their children someone to play with while they are coping with headaches or other debilitating health issues. Even asking an older child from the neighborhood to stop by in the afternoon can make an overwhelming day much more manageable for everyone.

While parents and young ones are talking about and getting ready for the new baby they can also talk about how mommies sometimes have to rest when the baby is growing. When a parent is not feeling well it is also important to explain to children what is going on. A three year old is not too young to hear something about why Mommy seems so tired or grouchy. Children might complain but it helps to know that they are not causing Mommy’s upset. It is nice to be given the chance to express their thoughts about any new routines as well.

I also strongly encourage parents during and after pregnancy to set aside a part of each day (even 15 minutes or a half hour can help) to give their children undivided attention. During this time I suggest that Moms and Dads do whatever a child would like to do. If physical limitations make it hard to do “quality time” for very long, explain why to a little one before hand. If a strained mom can’t do this at all it can help to have her partner step in whenever possible.
Sometimes it can help for a child to say how hard it is that Mommy isn’t feeling well. When this is the case it is good for a parent to listen and simply express how sorry they are and how much they look forward to the time when things are easier. Taking the time to have conversations like this can help ease worry and frustration for everyone.

I hope your migraines pass quickly and you have some opportunities to enjoy your son before and after the new little one arrives.