To the pregnant mama chasing her toddler—I see you

Dear pregnant mama with a toddler in tow,

I see you at the park, clutching your rounded belly while doing your best to push your other child one-handed on the swing, working to keep the enthusiasm in your voice as she begs to go higher and higher.

I see you at Target, begging your 3-year-old to stay seated in the cart—because your weary expression makes it clear your swollen feet are too tired to chase him through the aisles.

I see you at the grocery store, smiling at other moms of multiples ("See, people do this all the time!") while your eyes betray a subtler lack of confidence ("...but...can I do it?")

Because you're tired, mama. So, so, deep-in-your-bones tired, in a way you didn't know a person could be while still continuing to move. You're working as hard as you can to keep your toddler's life unchanged while your body takes on some of the wildest changes it will ever know.

You're trying to remember to appreciate every moment of this new pregnancy as much as you did with the first, while simultaneously hoping that all those rumors of second babies coming up to a week earlier are true because woof you don't know how much longer you can do this.

You're tired when your toddler has a hard time getting to sleep at night or wakes much too early to start the day.

You're tired when you all actually get to sleep in a bit and you even get to sneak a nap in the afternoon.

You're tired when you fit in a low-key prenatal workout, and you're tired on the days when you do nothing but lie on the couch watching movies because you just can't today.

You're tired when your toddler asks to be hoisted onto the potty for the fifth time in an hour.

You're tired when you manage to do laundry or get to the grocery store.

It doesn't matter how the day goes—this is some of the most tiring work you'll ever do.

On top of the omnipresent physical exhaustion, your emotions are going through the wringer too.

You worry about introducing a new member to your little family.

You worry how your toddler will feel as their world gets turned upside down. The thought of disappointing them or making them feel like they have to share your love wrecks your sensitive mama heart.

You worry about the shift in family dynamics—how your relationship with your partner will change and how you'll both adapt.

You worry about your ability to love another person as much as you love your toddler.

Sometimes at night, despite how tired you are, you find yourself wide awake in the dark as these worries (and more) race through your mind.

But then, just when you start to wonder if maybe you haven't made a terrible mistake, something wonderful happens.

Maybe it's something small—you and your child have a successful outing where you remember everything and no one throws a tantrum and it crosses your mind that maybe, just maybe, you have conquered this mama thing enough to take on another baby without it completely rocking your world.

Or maybe you're resting on the couch with your partner after your toddler is asleep, and just as he rests his hand on your belly, this new little life springs into action and his eyes light up at the sheer wonder of what your body is doing right now.

Or maybe you're doing dishes when your toddler runs up suddenly and wraps her soft arms around your belly, planting a sloppy kiss on your protruding belly button. "I yuv my baby," she informs you matter-of-factly, and you could cry because this budding relationship is already too beautiful for your hormones to handle.

Sometimes this in-between place, this before baby #2 place, can feel scary because just so much unknown looms before you. But believe me when I say, you've got this. We've been in this unknown place before, with a different baby and a different swollen belly, and we've found our footing and our confidence in ways we never could have imagined.

Yes, this time around poses new challenges. Yes, toddlers have zero sympathy for what you're going through (sorry, not much we can do about that!). But you will both figure this out. And the three of you will find yourself in new patterns and molded into this new family faster than you ever thought possible.

So my heart leaps when I see you, mama. When I think of all you have in store, of all you are already doing. It's going to be a wild ride.

But, then again, hasn't it always been?

You might also like:

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


For all the sweating and swimming I do in the summer, it seems illogical for my skin to be as parched as ever. But your mid-thirties (and 2020 in general) don't really seem to follow any rule book, so here we are.

A couple of months ago, I was on the lookout for a moisturizer that would not only keep my legs from looking like an ashy mess, but also truly nourish and benefit my skin. I've developed a deep interest in skin care for my face over the past few years and decided it's high time to extend that degree of consideration to the rest of my body. (After all, there's more of it, right?)

It's not that I'm too concerned with aging, but let's be real. If there's something that can be done to slow the Wrinkle Express, I'm going to give it a go. I also wanted to find something natural that wouldn't turn into a goopy mess the second I started sweating.

Enter: Esker's Firming Body Oil.

Keep reading Show less

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play