In honor of her Sunday due date with her second, here are her answers to questions I posed to her for 5QFriday...
1) What are you most excited for about having a second baby?
I am excited about having a second chance to enjoy the moments that went by so fast with my first. I was so anxious when my daughter was born that I almost wished the newborn phase would pass quickly so that I would know she was going to be okay. I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have and am grateful to have this chance again.
2) What are you most nervous about (if anything!)?
Well, I'm a lot less nervous going into this pregnancy than I was with my first. Throughout my first pregnancy and probably the first six months after my daughter's birth, I was nervous about EVERYTHING. From how my life and friendships would change after baby, to how my marriage would evolve, to how I would be as a mother. Despite my fears, somehow everything fell into place -- my true friends were still there, my marriage become even stronger, and I eventually turned into the best and most confident form of myself that I ever knew, and that was becoming a mom.
3) You have effectively been all three - a working mom, a stay-at-home mom and a mom working from home. Which works best for you? Why?
Being a work-at-home mom is the best choice for me right now, at this point in my life, because it offers me the flexibility of being at home with a husband who travels often and fulfills my desire to be physically close to my child, while keeping my professional engine running at the same time. But none of those options are easy for any woman (even if they make it look easy) and all of them take sacrifice. I've had to sacrifice the fun and intelligent day-to-day conversations I had with wonderful colleagues at my old job. I've also had to find ways to continue to grow and develop professionally without having the guidance of my former superiors.
Being a work-at-home mom and having my own business also comes with a large degree of risk -- I never know if a client will drop me out of the blue, or where I will find my next project and source of income. But I guess that uncertainly is part of life, right? You work hard, put yourself out there, prepare for the worst and always hope for the best.
4) You have also been a city mom and suburban mom - best differences? Worst? Biggest surprise about life in the 'burbs?
I loved my time living on the Upper West Side but when my daughter was born and we were three people in a one-bedroom apartment, living in the city became a burden. Sleep training (or the lack there of) was a big problem and although we relished our weekend brunches and endless strolls around town with the baby, something had to give. Even though I knew moving to the suburbs was an eventuality for our family, I was a big city girl my whole life and it took a lot to make this move.
Living in the suburbs does have its advantages. Besides the obvious reasons -- good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean snowy sidewalks and fresh air -- my car has become my best friend and now I can't imagine life without it. It's seriously my safe haven and home away from home. Also the change of pace out here is slower, and when you have kids, I was surprised to realize that it's actually kind of nice -- not boring. Now that I've settled into a good routine and made friends, I realize that aside from marrying my husband, moving here was the best decision I ever made.
5) What is the best piece of parenting advice you've ever gotten?
Trust your instincts. It's not foolproof, but you will usually be right 98 percent of the time. The only exception to this is during the newborn phase when you are jacked up with hormones, sleep-deprived, still healing and emotional. Then I would say, surround yourself with those you fully trust to help you get through this vulnerable time.