Expanding the Dream

The Hanlon Family Expansion Project is well underway! We’re expecting a little boy sometime in the next 15 weeks! I’m excited, nervous, and all the other things that come with being pregnant. Admittedly, the first trimester (and a good few weeks into the second) kicked my butt! Hard. Being pregnant with a toddler is nothing like being pregnant the first time. During my first pregnancy, I worked full-time but I’d walk the dog at the end of the day, then fall asleep until Tom brought home Chipotle. This time around, I was working part-time but had “morning” sickness every single day, all day long. I’d pick up Lucas and want to curl into a ball on the couch but there were other things to take care of - namely, Lucas. After a couple of months of feeling terrible, I made the tough decision to leave my job. We also discussed how my part-time salary wasn’t going to cover the cost of two kids in daycare and how much support I could offer my family while being home. I loved my manager, my colleagues, and I really was starting to feel at home there. It was difficult but giving myself time to rest, heal, and gear up for the next chapter of our lives was the best choice for our family.

I’ve found that one major thing is not expanding during my pregnancy, time. Time for just the two of us, time alone, time to craft or further our careers, time with our friends and families, and even time with the dog! Tom and I have goals for our family, our careers/businesses, and our own personal goals. Tom runs his own electrical business and it’s not only his job to do the work, it’s his job to generate the work. It’s demanding and there’s a lot of pressure, especially now. I’m thankful that we can acknowledge the autonomy and the challenges of him being the sole earner currently present. It allows us to put clear lines around downtime, family time, and work time - we are flexible but to a point. It’s not our favorite thing saying no to invites or even skipping date nights but we can’t do it all, and honestly, we’ve stopped trying. I can say that without batting an eyelash is because I’ve adopted a new mindset. I was recently watching season 5, episode 5 of Girlfriends Guide to Divorce and had was inspired. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s a great show to binge watch on Netflix.) The main character, Abby, is making a pitch to a company but she’s making a mess of it because she didn’t have time to prepare. I found myself truly identifying her sentiments in this moment.

“Women I mean, some of us feel like we can expand infinitely, that our energy is just limitless. But it is not. It has limits. And so you have to make choices, and then you disappoint people, because how can you not? There are no shortcuts through this. Then there's all this guilt and shame about not being everything.”

-ABBY Mccarthy (lisa edelstein, girlfriends guide to divorce)

This is where I cried real tears because this is me! I’d like to blame the hormones but this is 100% me. Having this second baby has made me surrender to the fact that I cannot do it all. My energy has tangible limits! Limits I can see and feel (hello 2nd trimester baby bump)! Yet, I feel so guilty about being human. I couldn’t go to work while sick, take care of myself, take care of Lucas, make dinner (almost) every night, keep the house clean, stay awake long enough to have meaningful time with my husband, attend events with my friends, make travel plans to see my family, and write a new blog once a week. I could barely write all of that without getting a little stressed! Our dreams may be growing and our family may be expanding but that doesn’t mean I have to lose my mind in the process.

Current mamas and mamas-to-be, how are staying centered while being pulled in a million different directions?! Do you stick to strict family/life schedule? Or do you just kinda fly by the seat of your pants? And how do you do when life throws you a major curveball - illness, work changes, family changes? Let me know because I know I have a lot to learn becoming a mama of two and I’m pulling from every resource I can get!