My dear friends, I have some EXCITING news to share! In fact, over the years I always wondered when this day would come and it has and I’m so happy! As you know, I’ve been very busy since I started this blog over 7 years ago and was always very focused on my career first. It meant a lot to me to build something up for myself and over the years, I’ve made so many important, meaningful connections and some of the best friends I’ve ever had. But something else was always on my mind – kids. We knew that we eventually wanted children, well honestly only ONE child, but didn’t know when and frankly, we were having so much fun with our careers, freedom, traveling… We didn’t make it a priority. We were perfectly happy being childless for awhile. Our big plan, back when we lived in Boston, was to relocate to Germany to start a family where my husband was born and raised, so we moved over in 2009 but then my career really picked up, I wrote two books and we’ve been here for 4 years already and time just keeps passing by…
I’ve been talking to some really close girlfriends about having a child since the beginning of last year and they all gave me the same advice. Do it and stop thinking so hard. But it was only recently when I had a chat with a friend in America this past March, that the “baby advice” really sunk in. And though this will sound dramatic, her advice changed my life and I want to share it with you.
I told her that I wanted to have a baby but needed to think about when the best time would be. “It can’t be this year”, I said, “because I have speaking engagements lined up and I need to finish writing my third book… And it can’t be in 2014”, I told her, “because my book tour will kick off in the spring and I want to go back home to Boston to visit friends and family”… I can’t, I don’t know when, I need to think about… These words were the opening line of every reason I had for waiting to start a family.
Yet I really wanted to have a child, not because I’m trying to fit some image of what a woman should be doing because honestly, I don’t care about what we should and should not be doing at “stages” in our life. I am a firm believer in timing and that YOU know when you should (or should not) do things and you have to trust your instincts on this stuff, especially the big stuff. And I’m not getting younger with each passing year, who is? So what would it be, I thought… My career or a child?
Then my friend tactfully, but firmly, spoke words that were honest, simple, and changed my life in the most beautiful way. She said that I didn’t need to choose to have a career or a baby. I can simply decide to have both. She said that I needed to give myself the permission to have both and stop thinking that a parent has to fit a specific mould. It’s okay to want a career and a family (men do it all of the time) and that I don’t need to give up one to have the other. I just need to stop stressing out over it, relax a little and give myself permission because I deserve to be kind to myself. She said I should support my own dreams – and that there are plenty of women who love their jobs and their children and have no regrets doing both and they still travel and have great careers. She told me if I was waiting for the right time to forget it, that it will never come. Gosh, after hearing all of that I thought, “Okay, time to make some changes in my life!”.
After our conversation, I started to feel more at ease. I began to cut back a little more on work commitments and take more vacation days and I started to say NO to things more and YES to only what I wanted to do. Her advice was already sinking in, I was learning to be kinder to myself. I stopped worrying about everything and I mean everything. I let stuff go. I stopped worrying about people I cannot change (including some of my own family members) and people I cannot help (friends who never want help yet complain for help constantly). I started to wander in parks and gardens more and burn time doing nothing so I could just think about the direction of my life.
And then, 3 weeks after our conversation and without trying at all – I got pregnant for the first time in my life without any effort other than the obvious. And five weeks after that I found out (and my husband and I jumped up and down!) through a home pregnancy test and now I am in my second trimester, I’ll be 15 weeks on Monday, and the baby is healthy and doing great.
BUT. It’s not been fun and games since week 6. I have had a really hard first trimester — I lost 14 pounds due to constant vomiting and exhaustion. I’m still constantly sick to my stomach but less tired (thankfully) and the feeling of being eternally hungover is starting to pass BUT I still feel quite seasick. My husband totally took over our household – which is a huge relief – so he is cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, running errands and talking so sweetly to me about our baby that I feel nothing but love. And I need that because sickness is no fun. I’m so glad that my husband is so loving and supportive. You really know if a person truly loves you when times get hard and you can no longer be 100% for them but they are still cheering you on and supporting you. You also really see a person’s heart when they are constantly tested as he has been without any support from me for the past few months. The house is spotless, laundry is done and the fridge is stocked. And I didn’t do any of it. This is really the best time of my life, despite all of the sickness, and I just had to share it with all of you. And by the way, the moment we find out the sex, I’ll let you know.
But my dear friends, when it comes to anything in life take it from me – be kind to yourself. We are often so easily kind to others but unkind to ourselves, without even realizing it. Think about that ok? And this isn’t my family planning advice, it’s more life advice passed down from my friend to me and now to all of you. And you know what? The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Who would have thought? And all I can think about is redecorating my home and organizing every room perfectly and creating a fantastic nursery, complete with this lovely bed shown above in this beautiful photo showing Nord Design bedding. It feels nice to have a shift of focus for now and I invite you all to share my little journey and if you are pregnant too, please let me know so I can cheer you on as well!
Much love, Holly