Life can really throw you off track sometimes. When I started this blog last year, I was making plans and taking steps to explore a potential career in writing. I thought our family life had stabilized and I could begin to work on myself again.
And then, well, life happened. Literally.
My husband and I decided that we really did want to have another baby. My third and my husband’s fourth. And presto, here we are, expecting a new little man due in October.
So, I’ve really needed to reevaluate based on this new direction. First and foremost, to at least partially explain my absence from writing, I have pretty brutal morning sickness that typically lasts until about 15 weeks. I am just beginning to feel well enough to take back on some of my creative work.
The other thing that I am still working through when it comes to writing is deciding which avenues I really want to pursue. Is it that children’s book idea I have? Or, the non-fiction books that I want to write? My memoir? Or, working towards writing essays for publication? I am struggling with this because I really *want* to do it all, but the truth is I only have so much time in my day. And a major portion of my time is still dedicated to raising my young children (and will be even more so when the next one comes). For now, I am leaning towards focusing my efforts on essays for publication.
One other piece that having a new baby actually solved for me is that I will definitely not be going back to traditional work in the near term. As I encountered some of the difficulties with freelance work, going back to work seemed like an increasingly desirable option. I’ve definitely missed the clear-cut objectives, regular pay, and health benefits. But that idea will have to be put on hold for the meantime, likely postponed until our newest addition is two.
The other thing that I feel is important to share is my rededication to my investments. I haven’t talked much about finances on The Sanity Plan to date, but it is something I am definitely going to be doing going forward. I have an extensive financial background, both in education and career, and I have been investing for income for about 15 years. I am much more likely to check my stocks than social media, and I would much rather discuss investment strategy than fashion, celebrities, or even politics. In 2016, I really ignored my investments, and they suffered. It was the first year since the recession where I did not make money. Looking back, I was very distracted with trying to figure out my career direction and adjusting to having two young children, but since investing has been my main source of income since I chose to stay home, I needed to get back to giving it the proper time and attention. I’m glad to say these efforts have already paid off in 2017.
To recap my priorities: running my household and caring for the kids, followed by my investments, followed by my writing. And honestly, I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have time for much else. That doesn’t mean I won’t be making plans to see my friends or exercise or just relaxing. I just needed to get my head clear on how much time I really have during the day and what is the most important to me. I’ve spent many years since becoming a mother feeling stretched too thin across too many areas, feeling so divided that I wasn’t performing my best at any of them.
Part of my Sanity Plan is really keeping a check on that, being careful to be realistic about what I can and can’t take on.
We are super excited about our new addition. With this child, we will have two girls and two boys, in that order. The timing just feels right. When my son was born, our family was going through a big transition, and it really did not go as smoothly as I hoped. My daughter was struggling and yet undiagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and my son was a VERY difficult baby. And to top it off, my stepdaughter came to live with us full time when he was six months old. As I’ve mentioned before, it took us a year to fully transition and feel more comfortable. My husband and I can definitely feel the contrast from then to now, and are welcoming the opportunity to give it another shot with our family in a more stable position.