Time is flying by during my second pregnancy and I can’t believe that I am nearing the third trimester! Baby boy will be here before we know it. 

This pregnancy has been so much harder in a lot of ways. Therefore, something I’ve really struggled with during this pregnancy is finding time for self care. As a busy surgeon trying to balance being a mom to a one year old while being a healthcare worker during a pandemic, this time around has truly been exhausting.

Here are some tips that have helped me survive and focus on my own sanity and self care.

  1. Make a plan: My anxiety is always at an all time high if I don’t have a plan. Being a Type-A personality, I always like to know what to expect next. When it comes to managing my daughter, having an idea of what outfits she’ll wear, what lunches need to be packed, and what activities are on the agenda for the week, help me to make things more predictable. I know that this is always an outline and can be fluid, but it provides some structure.
  2. An exercise pact: The theme of this pregnancy is fatigue. I was very diligent about exercise during my first pregnancy, and truthfully this pregnancy, exercise has fallen to the wayside. Most of my exercise comes from chasing after my soon to be walker, or taking long walks pushing the stroller. However, I did make an exercise pact with my husband when I felt my energy levels coming back up in the second trimester. He holds me accountable to do at least 30 minutes of exercise three times per week. 
  3. Enlist help: I’ve learned this time around that you really can’t do it all, and I’m not afraid to say no or ask for help. On the weekends I’ve learned that if I need to lay down or nap, then that’s what I need to do, and it’s ok to unload onto other people. My husband and mother-in-law have been particularly helpful in this arena, and are always willing to watch my daughter if Mama needs a break. 
  4. Do one thing a week for yourself: It may not sound like much, but I really try to focus on one thing per week that will make me feel like myself. Being pregnant again after such a short interval has me feeling like a gestational carrier rather than a person at times. By checking in with myself at least once per week, I try to do something that brings me joy outside of my family and work life. It can be something simple like watching TV alone, taking a bath, having a long phone call with a friend, or going on a solo coffee date. Just something that brings me solitude in all the chaos. 

Are any other moms out there struggling to find time for themselves? Please share your experiences below!

With love,

Dr. Shweta Desai