You know those moments

You know those moments in life where you know on the other side of the chasm sits an abruptly different reality than the one you know right now. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not but it’s always different. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get to toe right up to the edge, peek over the side and take a breath before you step across. But we always have to step across. One big breath, one foot, then the other, then repeat.

My experience in this has been limited, primarily anchored in me holding my breath staring at a pregnancy test that hadn’t yet revealed two pink lines. Knowing if that stick confirmed what I physically suspected, our lives would be forever altered. These breathless moments, waiting, were full of optimism and excitement for a future we very much wanted. One big breath, one foot, then the other, then repeat.

I’d honestly forgotten about this rare moment, knowing life fundamentally changes and stepping forward, until it happened again recently.

On a Saturday morning in December, I was snapping photos of my kids in a theater as they chowed down on popcorn and cotton candy, excitedly waiting for Paw Patrol Live to start. My husband was sick and stayed home so I took my kids solo; it was truly a delightful morning.


3 minutes before the show starts, a Whatsapp message to my family’s chat from my dad, letting us know he’s sent an email with an update on his back pain. Back pain he’d been experiencing since April, had been going to PT for and a few days prior, had gotten an MRI. Expecting a routine update, something about a pulled muscle or something else annoying/inconvenient but overall, minor, I tapped into my email and refreshed to open ‘Back and Hip Updates’. I found an email with several dense paragraphs that I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully read before Paw Patrol started so I skimmed and saw words I was not prepared for:

‘there’s no other way to say it: the news is bad.’

‘a fast-growing and invasive tumor’

I gasped sharply and pulled myself back from peering over the edge of my future reality and closed my email. I brought myself into the present, with tears in my eyes as the lights dimmed and those goofy-ass Paw Patrol actors danced their way on stage and captivated my little boys attention. I told my brain we’d deal with this later but right now, I was going to stay on this side of the divide.

Of course I’d need to read the email. I’d need to understand my new reality – the future I wasn’t ready for and didn’t want. But I knew enough from my skim to know, my world and my family’s world will forever be different on the other side of the chasm. And, even more rare than knowing you’re facing the chasm, is to get to decide when to stop dilly dallying and take the step forward to cross.

And reader, I dilly dallied like a pro for rest of the morning and some of the afternoon.

I liked the reality I lived in – where my dad doesn’t have a tumor, doesn’t probably have cancer, where I expect he will be around for years and years to come to hug my little boys who love him so much. Where I’m 1,200 miles away but it’s okay because we have regular visits and vacations to spend time together. Where I don’t have to explain to my kids that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence like they believe now because the only person we’ve talked about with cancer is his Grandma Pat who died of breast cancer 30+ years ago. But also, maybe it is.

But alas, our only choice is to move forward. One big breath, one foot, then the other, then repeat.

On the other side of the chasm: my dad has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a sub-type as indicated by genetic testing called: ‘double hit lymphoma’. While lymphoma is fairly common (as the internet tells me), this double hit is more uncommon and generally less good. This week, he’s done an EKG to make sure his heart is strong enough for chemo, will get a port installed so they can easily pump chemicals directly into his heart and a PET scan on Thursday to determine where the cancer is exactly in his body at this point, and finally, a follow up with his oncologist Friday before starting chemo Monday. He’s shaving his head Sunday to tell lymphoma, ‘you don’t get to run the whole show, ya jerk’ and exert some agency where there is little to have. He will do 6 rounds of chemo, with the first one in-patient at the hospital, then at home for 2-6 if his body tolerates it well. And we will see what happens as we go.

grandpa+boys-lynnepetre  grandpa+boys2-lynnepetre

One big breath, one foot, then the other, then repeat.

Half Marathon Taper Week Thoughts

i’m about a week out from running my first half marathon, post-kids. hilariously to me now, in the months after both of my boys were born, i half-heartedly wondered aloud to my husband about signing up for a race again – primarily driven by the intense need to reclaim parts of my body and time for myself, in those early postpartum days – and now, as i’ve finished up my 12 week training plan, i can’t even fathom having had the energy to stick to this training before this moment of parenthood.

i used to be a casual-ish runner in the Before Parenting Times; i ran several halfs (this was probs my most recent?!), could run a 5/10k on a relative whim if a friend asked. i ran trails in the mornings before work and did a 14 mile race up mt. evans. running isn’t net-new to me. i ran a thanksgiving day 10k in november and stuck to my training plan and felt pretty great about my first-post-kids race. of course, training in CO and running in OH helped – all the extra oxygen to breathe! so with all this in mind, in february, weeks before my youngest turned two, i decided to rip the bandaid and commit to running this half and i had foolish confidence that i’d hit my stride (pun intended) with training and feel really great heading into this taper week and next week’s race.

but alas.

i DID stick to my training plan, pretty damn closely! there were a couple times i traded a 5 mile base/weekday run for 3.5 to better fit into my life though, i didn’t think twice about it. at this point in my life, i can’t let any one thing consume me fully anymore – not work, not parenting, not running. i am more than the loudest, most pressing thing in my life and i need these disparate parts of my life to complement and contribute, not overrun (lol, unintentional pun but we’re rolling with it). but on the whole, i was diligent about hitting my weekday runs, even if it meant heading to the gym at 8p after i did the kiddo bedtime shuffle, and i laced up every weekend for long run, even when we had visitors – even when my mom visited and gave us a parenting weekend off and i could have slept in in a dark, quiet hotel room (9 miler from our hotel stay downtown which followed the actual race route, fun!). i freaking committed and held myself accountable.

here, in the last days before the race next sunday, i’m feeling: proud, stronger (well, cognitively i know i’m stronger), super duper tired and honestly ready to be on the other side of this race and training.

the most recent weeks, mileage ‘peak weeks’, have truly exhausted my body and mind. which then opens space for doubt and disappointment to creep in. ‘i’ve been following the plan. why the EFF IS THIS STILL SO FREAKING HARD.’ my first 10 mile long run was SO HARD and my body was SO TIRED. the following week, i did another 10 miler – the same route – hoping to feel more confident, stronger. nope. maybe 11 miles would feel better? still nope.

so in this taper week, i’m cutting myself some slack. i had set myself an arbitrary time goal at the outset of this and at this moment, i’m deciding my only goal is to have a good time. to not be too hard on myself. to cross the finish line and be proud of what i did. i signed up for this race to force me (and my family) to create space to prioritize taking care of myself. to not consume myself with work in the evenings. to get outside. to exercise. to spend time alone (and for my family to spend time without me). i’ve done all those things!! mission accomplished!! so who cares if i’m slower than i ‘used to be’? literally no one. my body is tired, strong and it will finish that damn race next week and that is badass.

there are, however, a few things i’ve pinpointed that i’ll do differently next time:

  • finding a plan that calls for more cross-training (my body is tired bc it’s literally only been running)
  • finding a plan that includes strength training expectations (see above)
  • learning more about how/when/what to eat and when (i can’t figure this out for the life of me. i don’t know why nutrition/macros are like an alien language to me but they are. i need to pay someone to just tell me what to do)
  • committing to earlier bedtimes, consistently (true in running and non-running; my tragic flaw)

because i’m excited for a little break after this — and then i’m excited to push myself to get stronger and do it all over again.

does it feel hard bc parenting in a pandemic is hard? or bc parenting 2 kids is hard?

both are true. and we ask ourselves this question often.

but when we think about:

  • an infant who had torticollis and required weekly, then bi-weekly, then monthly PT to help stretch and strengthen his neck
  • that same infant who also was fitted for and wore a helmet for 22 weeks which required at least monthly check ins with a provider who was always 25 mins late and always took 45-60 mins, no matter that we were the only patient in the waiting room
  • that same infant then somehow presented a peanut + tree nut allergy the same weekend I was sick with covid, requiring a trip to the ER for him and now a very expensive EpiPen prescription
  • a toddler doing normal toddler emotive things more frequently that bring with it lots of yelling, screaming and tears
  • that same toddler who really struggled with the transition to a twin bed and refusing to stay in bed or go to sleep, requiring one parent to man his bedroom door for 30-60 mins for a 4-5 month period
  • that same toddler who wasn’t going to sleep on time also believing that the moment there’s light in the sky, it’s time to get up for the day – a habit we can’t seem to break before daylight savings so… pray for us when the Denver sun soon rises at 525a
  • a new daycare that closes for federal holidays, just like my company, which means my work holidays aren’t actually downtime
  • a busy babysitter who we’ve had sporadic success aligning calendars to grant us some much needed non-parenting time off together

these aren’t covid things. these are normal parenting things. working parent things.

does the stress of the pandemic – and daycare closures and high anxiety about every runny nose and wondering if that little cough will mean a call from school to come pick up our kid and a dearth of family friendly things to do in the city on weekends and using extreme caution around seeing friends/family to keep ourselves and our community safe and continually wondering WHEN THE HELL WILL THERE BE A VACCINE FOR MY CHILDREN – help the situation? hell no. but this exercise helped me/us realize, even without the pandemic, we’d probs would have felt stretched thin these last 12 months.

and make no mistake, this is not a complaint. this is not a cry for empathy or compassion. in the grand scheme of the parenting-in-a-pandemic crisis, we are on the easier side of this shitshow with access to (mostly open) daycare, sick time/paid leave at our jobs, health insurance, flexible and supportive employers, a house we own.

not all days are hard. some days and moments are truly delightful. and we can see longer moments of reprieve on the horizon – graduation from a helmet, slightly less ongoing anxiety around anaphylaxis, a slightly older toddler who has grown out of the ‘goofing off at bedtime’ stage (for now), little boys who make each other laugh at the dinner table – and we savor these when they come our way.

because even when the pandemic ‘ends’ or at least fades into a blip of a bullet point update on NPR news roundup, we know parenting will still be prone to (long?) periods of intensity. and shifting my mindset from ‘this will all be fixed when the pandemic is over!’ to ‘sure, this will feel better but it will probably still be hard!’ is v helpful as we inch closer to the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.

things will be better. things may still be hard. regardless, there will still be moments of delight even when it’s hard. and we’ll get through it, one foot in front of the other.

and on the conclusion of this hellacious week*…

…i’m choosing to remember the small, beautiful things.

a bed and quiet room to myself to rest, sleep and recover
my husband, unfazed, stepping into full time parent/household manager/errand runner while i was sick and isolating
text exchanges with friends who are also In It, offering support and virtual hugs
joking, playfully, after the kids went to sleep
drinking hot coffee in my car via drive thru while my kids were safely buckled in behind me, me out of arms reach
a tiny-voiced toddler who renamed himself ‘baby bear’ and me ‘mama bear’
the sound of that three year old squealing with delight at a birthday gift from his dad
the weight of a sleepy, heavy infant on my chest
these crossed feet, mirroring his dad’s signature style

*thank u for nothing: covid infections + inconvenient/unavailable testing + isolation, peanut butter toast that caused a ‘drop-everything-and-get-to-the-ER-now’ reaction and subsequent confirmation of peanut and tree nut allergies, part-time hours to get full-time work to get done, very late nights and very little sleep.

oh hey there!

i’ve been thinking about this little space on the internet a lot recently. in an earlier chapter, i found such joy and fulfillment in this nook – a creative outlet, friendships, memory keeping. and then, i didn’t for a long time. i prioritized other aspects of life – growing and keeping a tiny human(now, humans) alive, navigating parenthood in a pandemic, focusing on work, trying to keep in touch with family and friends, reading books.

recently though, this dusty corner has been on my mind. as we (collectively) show no clear end in sight to the pandemic, as we (as a family) come up for air after baby 2 and returning to work, as we look ahead to a new year (my favorite!), i’m striving for more balance. more diversification. more ‘cup filling’ activities in my life.

what will that look like, i’m not entirely sure. but i know i miss writing things so i’m hoping to create time and space to bring it back into my life. (and of course, ‘hoping’ isn’t a recipe for success but right now, that’s where i’m at.)

so under the cover of night, a couple days before christmas, on the first night of 10 straight days of parenting with no breaks – i make my anti-climactic return. cheers to beginning again and prioritizing things that bring joy. sending love and healthy holiday vibes to whomever and wherever you are.

Tips for Job Searching While Pregnant

About this time last year, I was more than halfway through my pregnancy and for a variety of reasons, I found myself pursuing a job search. Job searching not pregnant? Daunting. Job searching while growing a human? Daunting — and also doable. Because I’ve had a few girlfriends reach out in similar situations this past year, I’m sharing my (very limited) perspective in case you are someone in a similar situation, looking for advice or comfort in knowing someone else has done it, too.

So, what did I do? 

As I began my job search, I applied to a whole host of jobs – a couple I was really excited about and a handful I felt lukewarm on the role or company but interested in learning more – and I was able to land some intro phone interviews. As with any job search, this helped me really perfect my story/pitch before the stakes were much higher for an in-person interview and a pregnant belly harder to hide.

During this time, I was extremely critical in what I was looking for. I knew that changing jobs with 2-3 months before having a baby, I likely wouldn’t have access to maternity leave benefits and certainly not FMLA (have to be employed for 12 months) so I wasn’t going to pursue a job that I wasn’t 100% certain was the right move for me. I considered things like:

  • who would be my manager and how much management experience they had
  • team size/structure and how many direct reports my manager would have
  • any travel requirements
  • salary structure (base pay only? base pay and variable? variable based on what?)
  • company culture and values
  • parental leave policies and any intel about how many/if any parents on the team and at the company
  • how buttoned-up the interviewers and recruiters who conducted interviews were

As I whittled down my list  to a select handful of companies that had a role I was excited about and a company mission I could get behind, I was fortunate enough to move to in-person interviews with my top choice…at 25 weeks pregnant.

25 weeks pregnant //

I had definitely started showing at this point and as I prepared for my face-to-face interview, I decided to disguise my belly as much as possible. I had asked what the full interview process looked like and knew if I moved all the way through the process, I would have 2 face-to-face interviews so for the first one, I wanted to minimize my pregnancy so that my skills and experience were front and center. If I made it to the second, I planned to let the hiring team know of my pregnancy at that point. I’d decided that if this was the right company for me, my pregnancy wouldn’t penalize me. I also considered that if I were in their shoes, I would want to know before a candidate started that she would be having a baby pretty quickly after her first day to help inform a ramp up plan.

25 weeks pregnant interview outfit //

I couldn’t find much help on the internet for ‘how to disguise a pregnant belly for a job interview’ and as you can see, I am not the most stylish person (and also definitely not a fashion blogger!) so I opted for this high-waisted, flowy skirt and a blazer and crossed my finger that these people who’d never met me before wouldn’t notice my 15-20 extra pounds, primarily at my midsection, too much.

I passed this face-to-face interview session (4 interviews!) and was back on-site later that week for a second round of face-to-face interviews. No photos of this ensemble but I wore black jeans, a black shirt and an oversized kimono-style wool cardigan, again aiming to minimize. My first interview of this session was with the hiring manager and the person who would be my peer — both parents of small kids — and at the end of our discussion, I disclosed that I was pregnant and due mid-January. Fortunately, my disclosure was met with much excitement and I immediately felt at ease and knew I made the right decision.

When the team called to make me an offer soon after my second in-person interview, I was overwhelmed with excitement (a really great role at a really great company), gratitude (for the people who had cheered me on during the process – and for this company taking a chance on a pregnant woman) and pride (in myself – I frickin’ did it!!). I started my new role, 30 weeks pregnant, and worked exactly 10 weeks before giving birth to my baby.


Enough about me, here are some tips for you. 

If you find yourself job searching while pregnant, here are some things that helped me and hopefully can help you, yoo.

  • Apply to more places than you’re interested in. Because you’ll likely phone screen first, this will give you a chance to internalize/perfect your story and build rapport before you’re in-person. Additionally, this can help get you salary data points in the market to aid in negotiating later.
  • Let them know! This is a personal choice – you’ll have to feel out the company from research and your initial phone screens and consider how far along in your pregnancy you are. For me, I do recommend sharing your news with the hiring manager and/or recruiter before you accept an offer. If transparency is a value of the company, work that in!
    • I said something to the effect of: ‘I know transparency is important to you and it is for me, too, so I wanted to let you know that I am pregnant; I hope that this reaffirms for you how excited I am about this role! I wouldn’t be interviewing during this season of personal transition if I didn’t feel strongly about this role and company.’
  • Own it! It’s easy to jump to a place of speaking timidly during job searching – and especially so when pregnant. It feels riskier so we might want to downplay/minimize the potential negative consequences. But I so encourage you to own it and speak matter-of-factly. If you share the news, own it and speak confidently. You are a badass woman who knows her worth and is about to be an amazing working mama! Any company would be lucky to have you! The fact that you’re interviewing while pregnant speaks volumes – you are unafraid of challenges, you are ready to tackle problems head on and not shy away. Hopefully the folks you interview with will recognize this and if not, that is their loss and they’re not right for you.
  • Be excited! As a follow up, talking about your excitement, sharing thoughts about what you’d expect for maternity leave (how you’d ramp up before baby, what you’d plan to tackle after baby), assuring them you’re just as excited to come back after the baby, etc, can all be helpful to share, too. Employers can’t legally make a hiring decision based on your pregnancy but it’s hard to argue it might not affect people’s perception of you (unfair but true). So demonstrating that you’ve put some thought into how it will work for both you and the employer can go a long way in making them feel even better about moving forward with a badass future mama.
  • Be deliberate. If you’re job searching while pregnant, you won’t have access to FMLA (12 months at a company) and probably not able to access mat leave benefits (generally, must be employed 6 months), so be deliberate in the companies you choose to focus on. Pursue only roles that are exciting enough to take an unpaid mat leave for and still come back to work after.

Since my job change last year, I’ve known 2 other girlfriends who have applied, interviewed for and changed jobs mid- to late-pregnancy so it *is* doable – so if you’re reading this and if you need a pep talk, email me! Always happy to chat and be a cheerleader in your corner. And if you’ve similarly interviewed for jobs while pregnant, please feel free to share your tips/comments below so we can all learn from and support each other.

We Had A Baby!

Well, my baby is now 2 months old and he’s snoozing in the carseat on the floor next to me (I’ve learned it’s not worth it to disrupt an infant’s sleep to move him) so it seems as good a time as any to update the ol’ blog.

I probably don’t have enough time to share a full birth story (#infantschedule) so stay tuned for a future post! The condensed version of the past 8 weeks:

After a discussion with my midwife, Alex and I made the decision to move forward with inducing labor on Friday, 1/11, a few days before my actual due date.

38 Weeks Pregnant //

The first meds we tried, Cervidil, didn’t kickstart my body as we hoped so on Saturday morning, we started Pitocin and by Saturday afternoon, we met our son!

Family Photo - Hospital //

We stayed in the hospital for two nights and came home on a Monday afternoon. After a couple of days at home, we went BACK to the hospital because of some (er, a lot) of unexpected bleeding and we stayed overnight – in the same postpartum recovery room with the same nurses working as a few days prior which was nice it felt familiar but because of the sleep deprivation, also felt like maybe it was a dream and we’d never really left. (side note: If we were analyzing this story in a high school english class, you’d probably tell me this ‘groundhog day’ feeling would be strong foreshadowing for early days of maternity leave. You would be right.)

After being discharged again, we celebrated the peanut’s 1 week birthday and then welcomed family visitors for the next 4 weeks.

Visitors - First Month //

We’ve now had a few weeks with no visitors and have started to get into a little groove; it feels like we might be getting the hang of things a bit. And, truthfully, it helps that our baby has also been a LOT less fussy in recent days, too.

Lynne Birthday Dinner //

Maternity leave has been a strange transition – I went from being very busy at work, commuting downtown, seeing lots of people, having a routine, to spending my days mostly solo with an infant and very little free time. Sometimes, it does feel very redundant in what we do but at the same time, this baby is different every single day so it’s also new and fun. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything but it definitely has taken lots of adjusting, patience and resilience.

I am officially halfway through my leave and am excited about the next 2 months with this little guy; I feel like I’ve mostly got my head above water and am getting some life-giving air again. (That’s a little dramatic because we were fortunate enough to have several weeks of visitors and help but regardless, it’s still a major transition that makes it sometimes hard to breathe fully.) We have also recently figured out how to wear the Tula baby carrier which is opening so many new activities to us. Case in point, we went hiking earlier this week! So the next 2 months will be fun. 🙂

Hiking at North Table Mtn, 2 Months Old //

Things I Wish ‘Early Pregnant Me’ Did (or: Notes for A Future Pregnant Me)

Coming into this pregnancy, I was pretty clueless about what to expect over the course of these last 8.5 months. I did no pre-reading, no research and had very few close friends who had walked the pregnant walk before me so I was really flying blind.

And when I started to realize all the *stuff* that goes along with pregnancy and babies, I became somewhat indignant about needing to (seemingly) spend gobs of money on specific maternity clothes/things and refused to give into (what I perceived to be) the ‘traditional’ maternity mentality for as long as possible.

However, now, at 38 weeks pregnant, there are some things that I’ve bought recently out of necessity that I wish I would have invested in much earlier on for my own comfort. There are also some things I wish I would have done much sooner in my pregnancy. So this post is a note to Future Me, should we try for another kiddo, to have a more enjoyable experience – and, maybe it can help Future You, too, if you’re newly expecting or hoping to be expecting.

  1. Invest in maternity jeans that fit well and make you feel great. I did not do this and really wish I would have. I squeezed into my non-pregnancy jeans for as long as possible, using a Bellaband and the rubber band extender trick and when my belly (and booty) got too big for those pants, I hunted for maternity jeans at Goodwill. The thought of spending $60-100+ on a pair of jeans that would only be used for a few months seemed outrageous! But now… I know better. The maternity jeans I found at Goodwill fit, but don’t look or make me feel great (but, hey, they cost less than $10 total). Since I’m able to wear jeans to work, I should have invested in 1-2 pairs of maternity jeans that I really felt great in – I would have been physically more comfortable (vs. squeezing into pants that don’t really fit) and would have felt much better about myself.
  2. Same goes for exercise clothes. And PSA: Old Navy has some really affordable activewear options that look cute and fit great.
  3. Exercise – but specifically, keep up with strength training as long as possible! The first half of this pregnancy was constant nausea and puking so exercising regularly (or at all) was really difficult; I often opted out of my 1x a week Orangetheory class in favor of a nap on the couch. While I’m glad I listened to my body, I also wish I would have mustered up some energy early on to keep up with a semi-regular routine that included strength because after the nausea faded, my back and hips started to hurt in ways that I think could have been alleviated if my quads, hamstrings, IT band and back were stronger as my belly grew. I’ve kept as active as possible but once that belly starts to get bigger, it’s harder to stay limber and strong in the same ways.
  4. If possible, swim for exercise. I am not a swimmer. I know how to swim but I am terrible at it. But I tell you what, getting into a lap pool to swim laps is 1) a full body workout and 2) weightless and amazing. I didn’t start swimming until about 30 weeks and will definitely do so much sooner next time (though, I’m not sure I’ll stop, post-pregnancy!). In the same vein as #1, I recommend investing in a larger swimsuit as you feel the old one getting too small. I waited as long as possible which was uncomfortable (<– understatement) for everyone involved.
  5. Prenatal massage (or a prenatal chiropractor) is WORTH IT. My friend, Nancy, gifted me a certificate for a prenatal massage early in my pregnancy and I held off cashing in until just a few weeks ago. HOLY. COW. It changed my world. My hips and back have been sore/tight/painful since about week 25ish and no amount of at-home stretching or prenatal yoga had seemed to help. When I asked my midwife what to do about it, she suggested seeing a chiro who specializes in prenatal techniques, specifically the Webster Method. Of course, I changed jobs soon after and did not prioritize this. But during my prenatal massage, some of the chiro techniques were used and I walked out of the massage feeling like a new woman. I was pain free for multiple days! So next time, I’m either going to the chiro regularly or booking regular prenatal massages, starting on/around 20 weeks. (Also, being able to lay on my stomach…HEAVEN).

2019 One Little Word: Embrace

Here we are, the last day of 2018. Most of this year has been preoccupied with figuring out job stuff and figuring out baby stuff. We ‘officially’ found out we were pregnant on Mother’s Day (I had a strong suspicion the week prior, though); before that, I recapped here. What a weird year with unexpected turns that landed us here today. And seems to always be the case, my 2018 word, Intentional, helped guide me through this past year in ways I couldn’t have expected 365 days ago.

As I’ve been thinking about 2019, I’ve settled on Embrace as my word, my mantra. I have very little idea about what’s to come next year but I know I want to embrace all of it. The unknowns and knowns. The friends and family offering help. The ‘what the hell are we supposed to do now?’ feelings. The sleepless nights and crying baby. The returning to work. The struggle and beauty of finding a (momentary) new normal. The wonder of watching our kid learn about the world around him.

While I don’t know what it will look like, I’m certain 2019 will be a year of intense learning, living and loving and my goal is to embrace it ALL. (Including this not-so-patiently waiting for a baby part. Embrace it, Lynne!) 

Intentional Updates: New Jobs! (#OLW2018)

As if gearing up for a new family addition wasn’t enough, Alex and I both intentionally changed jobs this fall, within 6 weeks of each other.

While we both targeted our new companies intentionally, I’d say that my timing was much more intentional than his. For me, after 4+ years at Ibotta, I was seeking change, a new challenge. My role and team had shifted in my last few months at the company and while it was an interesting change, it wasn’t the direction I wanted to take my career.

As I was weighing my options, I knew that if I were to change jobs while pregnant, I’d need to be extremely intentional about my next step since I wasn’t sure what to expect from a benefits – and more importantly, maternity leave – perspective. I carefully considered my options throughout the process and decided that starting a new role at 30 weeks pregnant would mean I should expect nothing from a paid maternity leave benefit. This is to say, I would 100% take a maternity leave but that it would be unpaid time off since I would only be at a company for a handful of weeks before the baby. This helped me really focus my search to companies whose mission and work I was really excited about – I didn’t want to take unpaid leave for just any old company and role!

In early November, I walked into my first day at the top company on my short list and into a role that is a great fit for me. My team is customer-focused, newer in it’s product//team lifecycle and staffed with smart, interesting people. It’s a new industry so there’s a ton to learn and a lot of opportunity to do impactful work – both within the company and for our customers. And as icing on the cupcake, I have full access to their (very generous) parental leave policy and have felt so supported as an employee and soon-to-be mom; I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure this is real life! I couldn’t have predicted things would work as they did but man, am I ever grateful they did.

And for Alex, his change was more serendipitous timing but he was similarly extremely targeted in his search/company consideration set. He wasn’t actively looking to change companies but when this new company posted a very similar role to his own, he couldn’t not put his name in the hat – the ‘quality of life’ considerations/benefits were too great to not try. Needless to say, he was offered and accepted the role and started in mid-December; his team functions as a startup within a larger company so there’s a ton of opportunity for him to make significant impact, too. This change is great for our family in a whole host of ways but what I’m enjoying most right now is the fact that we now commute into downtown together on the bus and work mere blocks away so can meet up for lunch or happy hour after work. After years of his 45+ minute commute each way, it’s so nice to have more of my husband back!

As we’ve been reflecting on the year the past several weeks, we couldn’t have anticipated the wealth of change that this year held for us – hilariously, this time last year, we had vowed that 2018 would be the year of ‘settling in’ and ‘less change, less chaos’. Instead, we piled on the big life changes but truly, couldn’t be happier about how it’s all worked out, mere days before 2019 and the imminent arrival of our baby. It feels like this is how it was meant to be and we’re both so excited about the future.

So, dare I say it…here’s to less change in 2019! 🙂