I write today from 35,000 feet on my way from Vegas to Minneapolis. Why was a 31-week preggo in Vegas you ask? Because my company asked me to speak at a conference and when you are trying to find your public voice & brand in your subject matter area, you don’t say no to the chance to practice… From what they told me, I did great.
I had such a good mentoring session with a senior partner at my company. Two things we talked about really stood out in my mind:
- I told her how our more junior women always tell me they are watching and what an inspiration I am. I told her how that inspires me to keep moving forward. And she responded with something completely profound: “Kari, I love to hear that – but you need to do what’s right for you and your family, regardless of the spotlight. Trust me – we still live with real double-standards… for every woman you hear from, there is another watching quietly and thinking you are the world’s worst mother.” Harsh. But so true… And a good reminder to only be influenced by what Dave and I need to do when we need to do it; not by any external factors.
- She walked me through her journey to manage her career while starting her family. I constantly battle between slowing down and doing more at home vs. staying on my current career track. My goal is the latter, relying SO MUCH on Dave for the next 5-10 years as I continue to hustle. My feeling is that it will be hard on me emotionally to miss some of the early moments my kids are experiencing; however, setting myself up to be around more when the children are in middle and high school is very important to me. Most women in my position choose to slow down in the kids’ early years, including this leader I was speaking with. However, one female leader also told me “The kids won’t remember a dang thing that happened before they turn seven. If you are there, if you are not there – they will not remember. So give yourself a break.” Frankly the early years are hard and normally the spouse needs more help to simply survive. It’s more about you and the spouse’s needs and less about the kids’ needs in these years. So – we test the limits of what Dave is able to do… and we add “more supportive / flexible child care” to our to-do list. Are we one of those families that require a live-in nanny? Maybe. We continue on our own path and we see where it goes…
The New Baby
Dave and I made a list of about nine things we need to do before the baby shows up, some of them relatively large (see above: find childcare). The good news: we have a list. The bad news: nothing has been checked off the list. The “nesting” with Viv was real. It hasn’t hit with #2. Like I just don’t want to… At. All. I think the best-case scenario is for me to pick 1-2 days to take off of work before baby so that I can do these things at my pace without eating into the precious time with Vivianne. I’ve had two friends that have had baby’s show up 2-5 weeks early which would basically be the worst thing for Dave and I – so let’s hope Tounces Junior stays put until his or her time. And that the urge to nest kicks in this weekend.
And finally, the house update. My last update was about mounting costs. Dave and I had to have a long talk about our comfort level with the spend on this house. I hate the word “forever house” because nothing is “forever,” but we hope to live here for a long long time. As such, we said yes to most of the features we want and no to a few that seemed ridiculous. Now we settle into the reality of a mortgage much higher than we were planning to have… Thanks to friend Kat for sending along some budgeting advice – we’ll need it!
- Step 1: HPC Approvals – Check
- Step 2: Project Bidding, Budget Locking, and Sub-Contractor Selection (ran three+ weeks over due to delays as the builder managed some unexpected complexities in the bid & budgeting process that were not built into the schedule) – Almost Check. We needed to redesign and rebid a handful of items, which is happening now.
- Step 3: Loan Papers & Permits – We Are Almost Here
- Step 4: Break Ground – moved from October to November due to delays in Step 2. Let’s hope Step 3 stays on track so we do not miss our window to break ground before winter.