I am a fairly open book and have always enjoyed sharing my own experiences with others, both in person and online. I think that’s one of the reasons I love writing here on Balancing Today. I love building relationships with others, getting to know those around me, and inviting others to be a part of my life. I never want people to feel like they’re alone in this journey, and if by sharing my own life or the lives of others, someone knows they’re not alone in their thoughts and feelings, I feel like my voice has served a purpose.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve struggled to find the balance of openness, both in my personal life and here online. There’s so much I want to talk about, so much I want to say, and yet, so often I feel alone in my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Online, I feel it has become a necessity to protect my children. What’s hard is that their lives are my life, so not being open about my life as their mother cuts out such a huge portion of what I’m going through on a day to day basis. At the same time though, I want to keep them safe and I don’t want to blast out their personal lives long before they’ve had a chance to say whether or not they want their personal lives documented online. I’m having to find the balance of openness here on my blog, especially when it comes to my kids and my role as their mom.
The past 10 months or so have been really difficult for me as a mom and I feel like as I move further into 2017 (and become a mom of 2), I wanted to be open about where I’ve been and where I am now. Part of the balance of openness I’m trying to find is not oversharing, but some pretty big changes have occurred in our family that naturally impact my day to day and thus what you see, read, and hear on Balancing Today. There’s so much I want to talk about, mainly because as I search for help on the internet, I don’t always find it. I hope that by sharing my own story and experience as a mom I can help those around me to feel less alone.
So… what’s been going on in my life lately? Well, first and foremost, I am a working mom. I work full-time downtown DC in higher education and we live about an hour outside of the city in Maryland. This year has brought about its own challenges professionally, mainly as I’ve worked to balance my desire to advance my professional career with my life and role as a mother. It really is a balance, one that I work on every single day. In the fall, work really tipped the scales. Neal was such a huge help, taking care of Magnolia on nights I worked late. It was a tough couple of months, but I learned a lot during that time. We’re closing out the academic year these next few weeks and then I’ll shift towards preparing for the next year and my maternity leave.
Speaking of maternity leave, I just can’t believe I’m almost at the 30 week mark with this pregnancy. Time is such an interesting thing… This time last year we were trying to get pregnant, which took us longer than when we got pregnant with Magnolia. That was a difficult time for Neal and I, mainly because we wanted to get pregnant again so badly. Finding out we were pregnant in early November was such a blessing. This pregnancy has gone by slowly and yet, here we are, almost at week 29. I have been feeling really good, for the most part, but some of the other things going on in our lives have really taken away my focus on this pregnancy. I can’t wait to meet this little boy and to enjoy lots and lots of newborn cuddles.
Becoming a mom of two is exciting, but I’ll admit that I’m really focused on Magnolia and her transition. Magnolia is an absolute joy, full of energy, and so hungry to learn, and I know it’ll be a big transition for her. Neal and I love being able to focus on her solely and that’s just going to change. I fully recognize that our fears are our own fears and I’m sure she’ll adapt well, but it’s still something that consumes my thoughts some days. My goal these next few months is to prepare her new big girl room, to begin her transition to that room, and to treasure every ounce of our time with just her! She’s too young to remember any of this, but I still want to make it a happy time for her (and for us)!
Speaking of Magnolia, today is a really, really big day for her. After being in the same daycare since she was 2.5 months old, Magnolia will be going to a new daycare starting today. This is a big change for all of us and I’ll admit, I am really, really nervous. I know Magnolia will do well, but it’s still a big transition for her and for our family. Meeting new teachers and friends, transitioning to an entirely new routine, and joining a more structured daycare is just a lot at one time. I truly trust that God is in control and that Magnolia will thrive in this new environment, but it’s still a lot to go through. I’m also having to take on some new tasks – making Magnolia’s lunches each day, packing her backpack each night with her required daily items, and taking a different route to work, but I know we’ll adjust over these next few months.
Lastly, for a couple of medical reasons, we’ve decided to reduce our gluten intake. We haven’t gone completely gluten free, but we have been making small changes to really reduce our gluten intake. None of us have a medical condition that requires us to go gluten free, but after lots of reading, research, and medical advice, we’ve decided that it’s worth trying. So many people have spoken about the healing power of food and I really believe food can heal our bodies. I don’t ever want to be a house where one person has to eat completely different than the rest of us, so we’ve all focused on reducing our gluten intake, even if it’s not necessary. You’ll start to see more gluten free recipes here on Balancing Today, but you’ll still see plenty of products, dishes, and recipes with gluten in them. It has been quite the change for us, as it makes you realize just how much gluten you eat, but it has also been really good for us.
There are some other personal things going on in our world, which has made the past couple of months pretty challenging, but we are really grateful for the support we’ve found through our families and close friends. Neal and I have our good and bad days, but we are both so thankful for each other, for our marriage, and for the laughter we can find, even in the toughest of days. I’ve really had to focus on the reality that there’s always going to be something going on and that life will probably just get crazier as our kids get older, we move further into our careers, and as we get older. What I’m trying to focus on are the things I can control – putting God first, making my husband a priority, giving Magnolia the love, care, and energy she deserves, preparing for our baby boy, and being the best I can be in my professional career. The past few months has been tough, but there has also been a lot of joy sprinkled throughout!
Although I am still working to find the balance of openness, I’m grateful to be able to talk more about what we’ve been going through. I have so much I want to write about in the coming months and I think it’ll all make a lot more sense now that I’ve been able to update aspects of what we’ve been up to lately. As always, thank you for reading Balancing Today and for your ongoing support!