I think it's quite funny that this cycle's theme is new beginnings, because that's exactly where I am in my life right now. I'm starting over. But it has nothing to do with my literary life, although it will definitely change the way I write. Girlfriends, I'm having a baby. Ten years after giving the birth the first time, I'm doing it again. Yes, there is another child in between the first and what will definitely be the last, but still, he was born almost seven years ago. For all intents and purposes, I feel like this is definitely going to be a new beginning. (Just as a side note: I can't believe all of the improvements and new gadgets there are for babies these days. A trip through the baby aisles at Target yesterday gave me a panic attack.)
While I would never say this baby was an accident, she wasn't exactly planned either. Suffice it to say, the hubby and I did not sit down and figure out exactly how a new baby would fit into our already hectic lives. My husband is in graduate school. I was planning on going on a whirlwind book tour this summer for Substitute Me. Considering I'll be bigger than a beached whale and on the verge of pushing this baby girl out, I can pretty much postpone those plans.
So, what am I going to do? How do I once again figure out how to marry my life as a writer, --which today we know also means my life as a non-stop publicist, promoter and social media whore -- with that of a new mother? After the birth of my first child, it took me an entire year to write one feature-length magazine article. I figured my writing career was over before it began. But then a funny thing happened. Once my son was a year old, sleeping through the night, on a semi-regular schedule, I started to fit the writing in during those nap times, after hours, or even while he played on his baby gym and I pretended to watch. If I'm being honest, I'll tell you that having kids actually made me into the super efficient writer I am today. Once my second son was born, I wrote three more books, a slew of magazine articles and a synopsis for a stage play that never made it out of my living room, but still.
My fingers are crossed that this child will be born knowing how much I love her, yet at the same time knowing how much I need her to be really keen on schedules. (Please!) Of course I know that it is entirely possible that because I actually need a really easy baby, I'll probably get a super fussy-won't sleep unless she's in a moving vehicle- needs to eat precisely every two hours for six months baby, but I kind of have a Plan B for that scenario. She comes with me on that whirlwind book tour. After all, Substitute Me is all about a working woman trying to find a perfect nanny. Won't having Baby X attached to my side make a great talking point for book groups? You think I'm kidding?
At the end of the day, I wouldn't change my life circumstances for the world. Since I was a little girl there have been two dreams that have been constant in my life; to be a writer and to be a mother. So far I've been able to do both and now I get a chance to try again. I couldn't be happier that this my new beginning.
(But just to calm my fears as a writer who's about to become a mother of three, I started googling writer mamas with three or more kids and I discovered, Jodi Piccolt, Jacqueline Mitchard and Sara Gruen all have at least three kids. If you want to make me feel better, let me know of any other three-kid author moms and/or if you are one of those yourself, how do you make it work? I'm so listening.)