One kid? Psssh! I got this… Finding my new normal

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I feel like I could stop reproducing now with my one little girl and be totally happy. But I know that’s not going to happen because it doesn’t quite feel complete yet.

Sometimes I’ll lay on the bed or couch cuddling with my husband and daughter and think “this is perfect.” Then wonder if we’ll add one or two more to the mix someday. I try to imagine which feels most right but I can’t decide.

This week I’ve felt happier than I’ve felt in a long time. Truly blessed. I feel like in this stage of my life I’m sincerely happier than I’ve ever been. I’m FINALLY getting the hang of my life as a wife, mother, career woman. Finally.

I thought I’d never get to the point where I found my place in both worlds because I thought that loving my job meant loving my daughter less. But it doesn’t.

I worried going to work, and having my daughter in daycare (or “school” as I prefer to call it) would mean she wouldn’t get as much love and attention as she needed. But I was wrong. In fact I could argue she gets more love an attention than I anticipated because she has that many more people who love her. Her classmates and teachers. Teachers who even bring her cute gifts and tokens after seeing our passion for fashion and creativity. Teachers she runs to, and jumps in the arms of when we get to her school. I’m not jealous of them because I know they aren’t her first preference, but people she adores when mommy has to go away.

She’s learning and thriving… And doing more art projects and classwork than we’d ever have time to do if I were home with her. In fact I think she’d be bored with me if we were together nonstop.

She blows me away every day with the things she’s learning, and the jokes she tries to play on me… Sneaking away when I’m getting her PJs ready, or crashing into me and my camera when I’m trying to take a picture from further away. She says–Or tries to say whatever words I say to her, and she can point to pictures and identify things like bubbles, balls, cats and dogs. She even pooped in the potty this week for heaven’s sakes!

And about work… I’ve finally carved out my niche and tailored my position to be exactly what my dream job would be. I just signed the dotted line, committing myself to another three years here, but I honestly couldn’t be happier with the deal. After some back and forth chats with my boss, and some producers, I’ve been approved to start a new parenting segment on my news station in January. It’ll replace another segment I have, and give me a chance to report on family news in Texas, things to do with your kids, and child health and wellness. Lil’ J may even get a chance to make an appearance from time to time.

As far as scheduling, I still anchor on the weekends, and do stories that help foster children get adopted, and highlight nonprofits and people doing good, but switching out another health segment for parenting is right up my alley. Another cool thing? My boss supports my social media endeavors.

My dress: Eskahti (use BMM112 for $20 off your order); Lil’ J’s: Pettiskirt Palace

We’re also planning to move next year. Not far, but more out towards suburbia, and less hood. I have an area in mind and we’re looking for places now. It’ll be better for my husband’s job… Which in April will be taken to a whole new level. Our schedules are both a bit crazy but we’re making it work.

I don’t do it all perfectly but I am somehow getting the hang of balancing everything. The best part of it all is I’m finding myself all over again and managing to do the things I love. I know I’m doing it better because I’m finding time for myself again, and I’m pushing myself in my job again, more like I did before my daughter. I’ve been able to read books again.

I’m about to finish the Hunger Games series (really good by the way), and I’m already making a “must read” list for when I’m done with these. I never thought I’d have time to read again, but alas, I do! It’s re-sparked my love for writing and I REALLY want to take a creative writing class at our local community college now. I haven’t figured out how I”ll swing that one yet, but it’s on my “to do before number two” list so I need to get on it. Hopefully I can use my job’s tuition reimbursement for it too.

Sure, work is a little nuts, our schedules are hectic, and I’m averaging less than five hours of sleep a night, but we’re making it work, and I feel better than ever.

Lil’ J has been sleeping through the night for months now but I think I’m finally caught up from my lack of sleep from when she’d wake up in the middle of the night and able to stay up because I want to.

I remember my husband telling me how his grandmother would sleep like four hours a night because she had eight kids, and I thought she was crazy. But now I get it. If I’m not sleeping because someone else is keeping me up I get pissed. If I’m not sleeping because I’m getting a butt load accomplished, I’m on top of the world.
I’m SO thankful for this feeling!

Now that I finally have my life back in control I’m actually slightly terrified to start all over again and lose this balance I’ve found. How long will it take me to get back to this point? Will I even be able to get back to this point? I know a huge reason for my happiness is my daughter’s happiness in school at her age. My husband was home with her for her first year and I’m not sure I could bear to return to work leaving a 12-week-old in the hands of someone other than his if I didn’t absolutely have to. Why couldn’t I have just had twins!??!!! I know it would be super hard but at least the decision on how to time my second child would  have been taken care of.

*added* When did you finally feel back to “normal” mentally after your first kid? Then what about your second? Did it take longer?*

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  1. Congrats on the extension!! I remember you and I talked about this. I’m so happy for you and your fam. I’m proud to see another sista succeed. It gives us all hope that it can be done. I always say it’s a tough balance act (motherhood, career, and being a wife). But as long as you have your t’s crossed and i’s dotted, you’re good to go.

    Lil J is doing so well. Of course everyone loves her, how could they not?! All the best! It’s great that you’re taking time for yourself, you need to! Good luck on the class! Would love to catch when you have a sec. I know you’re super busy. It’s ok either way!

  2. I just wanted to write and say thank you for hosting your link party…your site gave me the most traffic!! 😀

    I had my second daughter SEVEN years after the first. Holy, was I scared! Scared that I was so used to having an independent child, that I couldn’t fathom what it was going to be like to start over again.

    But, it was okay. Actually, it was better than okay…I was more relaxed the second time around, and it just seemed….easier.

    With my first, it took months to get back to normal mentally, but with my second, I was fine from the beginning.

    Just keep taking the time to do things for yourself…that is so important…it makes us better moms. 🙂

  3. Jen, I’m finishing the broadcast program at BYU and you have been my hero/idol ever since I got into the program. You continually inspire me, that your able to do it all! Be succesful in your career and as a mother and wife! You’re awesome! I can’t say it enough. So happy you’re able to find your stride again! Loved the hunger games 🙂 if your partial to dystopia Divergent will be a good one to pick up 😀

  4. Hi there, I had my second 3 years after my first. I was hoping for a smaller gap. But I didn’t feel ready until my son was 2. Then we had a daughter. Now we are exiting the baby making game two kids earlier! we were hoping to have 4 at the beginning. we are very pleased and exhausted by our 2.

  5. She is beyond perfect : ) I am so glad you get to be her Mama : )

    So, funny story, I was listening to this song while I was saying prayers with Kaish at bedtime and God brought you to my mind. I had to come and say hi : ) Listen to it if you have a moment. You will love it.

    Great to see you tonight : ) Love, Becky

  6. wow.. these are some amazing pictures! there is never anyone around to take pix of my letti and i when i’m all dressed up.. seriously jealous..

    just found your link on tbb.. great blog.. i love love love your header!


  7. Congratulations! I’m starting to hit my stride but finding new challenges as Nia’s activity level is growing exponentially and she leaves me exhausted. I can’t wait until she weans! I say having a baby is excellent birth control because I have no desire to have another any time soon 😉

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