An announcement for the new year

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Ahem. I shall now attempt a TIME magazine first by making a work-life announcement on my blog, and only on my blog.

I quit.

Kidding! I’m so kidding. I need this job like I need my teeth. Who else would give me family dental coverage?! Okay, the real thing:

I’m pregnant.

Truly. I’m 16 weeks along, which is probably around the time I should be telling my bosses. I sure as heck can’t hide it much longer; as my husband likes to say, I’m huge. (He’s so romantic.) But I’ve been working from home more frequently to accommodate my annoyingly numerous doctor appointments as well as my annoyingly persistent morning (and noon and night) sickness. When I do hit the office, I’m swaddled in sweaters and lumpy coats. So maybe keen-eyed colleagues figure I’ve just been hitting the Cheese Doodles extra hard.

Number Two was a major decision for us. As you read in my last post, I had recently written a story for the magazine about couples who have four and more kids. My sister is one of them; she popped out her fourth a year ago. And as one of four myself, I suppose I always imagined I’d wind up with a litter.

But when we got married 11 years ago, my husband and I had fledgling careers in nastily competitive industries that we felt needed every bit of the care and nurturing we’d otherwise lavish on a child. So we put off the whole thing for eight years.

We thought we were ready. But nothing can prepare you for kids, right? Our little one turned our lives and careers upside down. For a long time I believed there was absolutely no way I could manage the whole thing over again and still hold on to, much less grow, a fulfilling career. Like two-thirds of moms, opting out of work isn’t an option for me. So did I have any business bringing more kids into the world if I wouldn’t be the one to care for them?

The thing is, it’s just not all black and white like that. Our little one has had some form of childcare provided by people other than her parents since she was three months old. She is now three and a half, and she is a curious, bright-eyed, incessantly chatty child. I credit all of her caregivers. Still, I credit her father and I most because we know and love her best.

I look ahead and I realize: it doesn’t get easier, does it, friends? I’ll never be the Class Parent; I can’t supervise the Disney on Ice field trips; I won’t host most play dates. She’ll learn someday to find this bothersome. But she is loved and watched and tended to, and she is becoming a wonderful little person. And we can do this again.

Happy 2008, folks. May it be full of good fortune, good health and happiness.