Around 4 AM, I was woken up by the baby – the first time this has happened!  And then she/he proceeded to thump me 12 times in a row, even kicking back when I poked the foot with my finger.  We went from a maximum of 4 thumps in a row to 12, right in time for Week 19.  Hooray!

16 weeks pregnant IMG_6173

Here’s what BabyHTP is up to this week, “He or she now weighs about 8½ ounces and measures 6 inches… Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! The brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now… The arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now.”  (Source, source)


I can’t believe the baby is as long as a hoagie sandwich from crown to rump.  What about the leggies?!  Crazy.


I’m feeling pretty good this week, save for a few days that my lungs felt squashed.  Tomorrow is our anatomy ultrasound, which I am SO, SO nervous for but SO, SO excited for.  Fingers crossed we don’t accidentally find out the gender! 


Here are my Babble posts from this week:

Your guide to those exciting nine months


Here’s Week 18, neatly summarized:


  • Total Weight Gain: Officially up 10 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. Only 10 pounds to go before I lap the Husband.
  • Workouts:  Four workouts!  1000 yard swim, 3 mile walk, 1000 meter swim + 1 mile walk, 2 mile run/walk
  • Baby Items Purchased:  I went to Nordstrom’s and got properly fitted for new bras.  The boobs, they are agrowin’.  I highly suggest that other pregnant ladies actually go get fitted – I was wayyyy off in my sizing.
  • Gender Suspicions:  Currently leaning towards a girl.
  • Cravings: MEXICAN FOOD! Ice cream. Salads. Nice balance there.
  • Names:  Although we are decided on a girl’s name and aren’t switching, I keep thinking of other nice girl names. This week, I really like Allison.   Still can’t come to a conclusion on the boy’s option, though.


This week’s post topic is… Our plans for post-birth employment.  A scary and somewhat loaded topic, for sure.


Unlike ‘traditional’ dual-income marriages, the Husband and I are in unique positions when it comes to our employment because we are both self-employed.  He is a full-time acupuncturist and herbalist, and he also runs his own clinic (which means he does all the advertising, office management, and book keeping). 


I run two blogs and do lots of social media work and freelance writing.  I also travel across the country for approximately 15 – 20 Operation Beautiful speaking events per school year.  At some point in the past two years, I wrote three books (only one is published; the other two come out this summer).  Oh, and in addition, I moonlight as the Husband’s secretary (about 20 hours a week), and together with our friend Isaac, the Husband and I are launching a small web-based business that should be up and running in a few months.  Whew.

It sounds like a lot, but more often that not, it’s a lot of small things, and I feel way less overloaded than I did a year or so ago.  I look back on old posts, and it was so obvious that I was completely drained  (book writing is really, really stressful).  Both the Husband and I have really gotten into our rhythm and found a nice balance between home life and work life.


And now… comes the baby.  


The best part of being self-employed is that we have a great deal of flexibility and can do whatever we want with our schedules… within reason.  The trouble with being self-employed is that neither the Husband or I can take a long maternity or paternity leave and expect to return to even mildly thriving businesses.   We also can’t survive on one income or afford childcare.  So we had to think of a way to juggle working nearly as much as we do now and being our child’s primary caregivers.  Quite a conundrum, you see!  But after thinking long and hard about our options and speaking to other self-employed parents, I think we have a manageable game plan.


I’ll be a SAHM, the Husband will be a SAHD, and we’ll both be three-quarter employees.


What the hell does that mean?  We’re going to swap being the SAHM/SAHD (stay at home mum/stay at home dad) and working.  Our game plan is to schedule patients at the clinic three days a week.  On those days, the Husband will work outside of the home, and I will be a full-time SAHM (juggling work responsibilities while the baby is napping… I think this is slightly delusional, though).  Two days a week, the Husband will be a SAHD, and I will get two full week days to focus on the work things that I need to get done.  I’ll be working from home so I’ll be available for feedings/pumping.  Evenings will be for work catch-up, as they are now, and hopefully, we will both find a way to make weekends truly weekends.  We like this plan because 1) it lets us continue both of our careers, and 2) it lets the Husband have lots of ‘regular’ time with his child. 


(Side note: Right after the baby is born, our plan is that the Husband will take a week off from the clinic to stay at home with us, and then we will institute the above schedule.  At week four, he will take another week off to stay at home with us again.  We liked the idea of breaking up paternity leave instead of doing it in one chunk.)


There are three troublesome spots with our grand plan.  First, I can’t be the clinic’s secretary once the baby is born.  This is unfortunate for us because… well, I work for free!  Not many strangers would be willing to do that.  Hah.  My mother-in-law, who also works at the clinic part-time, has offered to cover for me immediately after the baby is born, but this is a short-term fix.  We’ll need to hire someone, which is extremely daunting financially as well as personally (we are completely family owned and operated).  The second problem comes when I need to travel for Operation Beautiful events.  I’m not booking any travel until late October, when the baby will be four months old, and the Husband says he wouldn’t mind it if I left for 24 hours or so – he can hold down the fort (it’s very nice he’s so willing to step up and be involved with baby care – I didn’t expect anything less, though).  The idea of leaving the baby for events is painful, but I don’t think it’s realistic to take the entire family with me.  


This SAHM/SAHD/three-quarters employee thing sounds great, but it will put the skids on business growth, especially for the clinic.  I attended a presentation on being a working mom a few months ago, and one of the things that was discussed was to think of your child’s early years as being ‘maintenance mode’ for your career.  Sure, you aren’t getting promoted every two years or turning out epic profits, but you’re keeping your professional head above water, supporting your family financially, and generally doing the best you can with your choices.  It has been really helpful for the Husband and me to both step back and reframe the way we think about working during these early years (we plan on more kids).  Honestly, it takes a lot of the pressure off and helps us feel more secure in our choice to collectively pull back a bit so neither one is totally sacrificing their professional goals… which, truthfully, is not desirable or realistic for our family. 


And last, but certainly not least, volunteering is very important to both the Husband and me, but we will not be able to be Girls on the Run coaches once the baby comes, as coaching is a 5 – 7 hour per week commitment. 


So we’re planning to join one of the council’s planning committees, which meet once a month, and help out behind-the-scenes more.  We both want to stay involved in some small way, and hopefully, I’ll be able to coach again one day!


Whew.  Did I already say whew?  It’s a lot to think about and digest!  Lots of big life changes.  I’ve been reading lots of SAHM and working mommy blogs to get some perspective and ideas.  The one thing I’ve taken away is that no mother, father, child, or career is exactly the same, so there is definitely no ‘one size fits all’ solution to this issue.  That’s one of the reasons I find The Mommy Wars (the argument over which is better – working moms or SAHMs) so needlessly negative.  We’re all different!  And different things truly work best for different families. 


Here’s to hoping our approach works for us.  It hasn’t been tested in front of a cryin’ newborn yet, but at the very least, I feel like we have a decent game plan.  And that’s half the battle, right?


How do you or plan to juggle work and children?  Any other completely self-employed families in a similar boat?



  • Nicole January 18, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I think it’s a girl too!

  • Penny January 18, 2012, 1:04 pm

    I’m going to say something that is an entirely selfish statement……
    I really hope you are able to continue blogging 2 to 3 times a day once BabyHTP is here. 🙂 Hell… if I lived nearby, I would offer to babysit just so you could maintain my favorite blog. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP January 18, 2012, 1:07 pm

      AW thank you 🙂 And yes I will keep blogging 2 – 3 times a day!

  • Penny January 18, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Also….cutest baby bump ever.

  • Amanda January 18, 2012, 1:08 pm

    You are embracing pregnancy so well! Beautiful and glowing–all the wonderful traits that Moms-to-be should have! Congrats!

  • Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 18, 2012, 1:11 pm

    You are such a gorgeous woman! And I love that shirt! 🙂

  • Maria January 18, 2012, 1:17 pm

    I think your idea is great. One point on trying for a baby for us was that my boyfriend works from home a lot this year and is self-employed at least until October. Since I am still going to grad school, I am quite flexible, too. We are planning for me staying at home the first 8-9 months (I’m living on a scholarship), and after that, my boyfriend wants to have “Elternzeit”, “parents time”, which is a service of the German government that allows each partner to stay at home for 6months and get paid 70% of last year’s average income. This allows me to finish my studies (actually I am almost done, but because of me studying in the US I want to expand the time at my new university here a little bit) and prepare my dissertation, still having the possibility to work at home and being available for breastfeeding etc.
    2 more weeks til I can take the next preg-test…well, and you are so inspiring!

    All the best for your little family from Hamburg,

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 18, 2012, 1:17 pm

    6 Ways to Eat Your Placenta sounds rather intriguing! 😉 Wow Caitlin – it sounds like you’ve got some pro juggling skills with all the roles you play. I think you guys are very wise to put the business growth on hold while your baby is still young. Everything happening in your life is so exciting!! 🙂

  • Lee January 18, 2012, 1:20 pm

    I think every family/person has it’s unique challenges when it comes to raising a child and working. For us, (Im not pregnant, btw, but just in the future), it’s going to be the fact that my husband works the night shift.

  • lau January 18, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Wohouu BabyHTP is growing up !!

    If i have a child, I still want to keep working (maybe not full time). My mother was a SAHM, it was great but I think it wasn’t totally balanced for her. She made a huge sacrifice for us and now she’s working again (she’s teacher) and she s more happy than ever, really busy but she enjoys her work =)
    And even for the child, it’s good to be more “alone” (it sounds weird) but I think having my mom at home made me too protected and not ready for the world outside =) (I don’t know how to explain ^^ )

  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen January 18, 2012, 1:21 pm

    You’re definitely on the right track with your plan! My husband and I were in college when we were surprised with our son. Everyone told us that we’d have to drop out to either stay home with our baby or work full time. I’m happy to say that we had a similar plan that worked so well for us. My husband scheduled his classes for three days a week, and I scheduled mine for two days a week and supplemented with an online course. We got to keep our son out of daycare for the first nine months of his life, and I graduated in the same amount of time it would have taken me anyway. I think you guys will do an excellent job of balancing because you know what’s important to you and your family. And no plan is set in stone, you can always adjust to make things easier/better.

  • Laura January 18, 2012, 1:25 pm

    This issue is a big reason that we haven’t had kids yet. I don’t plan on being a SAHM, but I need to be able to work part time at a job that doesn’t stress me out. The current stress level with my career is through the roof and quite frankly I refuse to do that to myself and my family. The ability to change my career is basically a prereq for opening up the uterus for business. Also, it doesn’t help that we’re single income + GI Bill while my husband goes to school.

    I’m not even close to being a mom and I’m already sick of the mommy wars.

  • KlarZ January 18, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Mommy wars are so sad to me. I wish women would just stop worrying so much about whether what other women are doing reflects upon them. Everyone is just trying to do their best. Although it’s hard for me not to envy people for whom price is no object when it comes to daycare.

    We’re going to have to figure out the daycare thing out. In the meantime, husband and I both freelance in addition to having dayjobs. The best I can figure right now is that I am going to start being choosier about the gigs I take on, for instance, I don’t want to waste my time reviewing TV shows I don’t really love because that’s time I could be spending with the babby or taking care of myself. Other than that, it’s so early, I don’t know.

  • Anna January 18, 2012, 1:31 pm

    I think you should have a contingency plan for your 3/4 working thing falls through or does not meet your expectations. I’m self employed (communication consulting) and thought I could manage at least halftime work…yeah right. Without family and friends nearby to watch our baby, I quickly realized I needed to be a 24/7 mom. A few of our friends also ended up in the same position. Thankfully, my husband has a great job and we can still maintain our financial goals. Maybe check out and consider an in-home nanny? They are less expensive than you think. I am considering this part-time so I can go back to work in a few ways.

  • Jolene January 18, 2012, 1:31 pm

    That’s a lot of thought! Love the name Allison, by the way, my oldest daughter is named Allyson…we went with the Y as it is a family name and we had to honor that…we *love* it!

    I pray that it all works out for you but I think you should keep it all in perspective and not feel like a failure if it doesn’t go exactly as you’ve planned. Your pretty level headed though and already know all this!

  • Kellie January 18, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Would love to hear some of your recommended Mommy working blogs!

    • Kristin January 18, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I was going to ask the same thing – what are some of your favorites? Thanks!

  • Brie January 18, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Re: the secretary issue. I don’t know much about your business, but do you even need one? My acupuncturist schedules her first-time appointments via e-mail, and you make your next appointment in the room with her before you leave. There is a sign in the waiting room that says something like “healing in process, please seat yourself and wait for the doctor to come get you.”

    I struggle with whether to keep working or staying at home when we have kids. We could afford to live on just one salary, but it’s nice to have the little extra money my job provides, and I do have great benefits. Plus, honestly, I don’t even know if I’d like staying at home all day! I’m torn.

    • Anon January 18, 2012, 1:43 pm

      That’s how my acupuncturist does it too 🙂

    • Brigid January 18, 2012, 1:58 pm

      That’s how my former acupuncturist did it, too, either by email or voice mail. His office ran totally fine without a secretary.

      • CaitlinHTP January 18, 2012, 4:01 pm

        Question for you all: How did you do payments? Did you pay the acupuncturist?

        • Ama January 18, 2012, 6:50 pm

          I moved to a new area and was surprised to find that often small practices don’t have a secretary/receptionist. I reschedule with the practitioner as I’m leaving ( if I want to…) or can call or email later. I also meet them out in the waiting area to pay, which takes all of about a minute. It’s simple, quick, and works well. There is also often a sign with directions for first-time patients telling them how to fill out the necessary forms, etc. I actually kinda like it now that I’ve grown accustomed to it.

          • Rachel January 20, 2012, 5:03 am

            My chiropractor does not have a secretary either. She has a voicemail/online scheduling and between patients answers the phone. She only works 3 days/week as well. She seems to do fine, and does not schedule patients too close together. She has a recurring online payment program or bills insurance so payment is not a problem either. I think it is totally possible- see if you can find a practitioner in your area who does this and find out how it works for them!

  • Emily January 18, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Hly Moly. So much going on. I think you guys made a resonable decision upfront, and hopefully it works out well. Of course, you won’t know until summer!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 18, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I have NO idea what I’m going to do when I get to this part of my life. I can’t see staying at home for too long and coming back into a male dominated field. I will definitely need to maintain my career like you stated. I’m not quite there yet so I have some time, but I think your plan sounds pretty good!

    You look amazing, your belly is so cute 😀

  • Kate January 18, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Timely topic for me as today is my last day of maternity leave! I was fortunate enough to be able to spend my daughter’s first 11 weeks with her, but now my FMLA is used up and I’m heading back (I had to use some of my leave before she was born as I developed cholestasis and was unable to work for the last weeks of my pregnancy). I’m working at a large company that will probably be laying people off soon, so taking more leave beyond my FMLA allotment wasn’t really an option. To be honest, as much as I love spending time with my little girl, I’m looking forward to working again. Working is part of my identity that I’m not really willing to give up. My husband and I have agreed that I will put my career on cruise control for now and I will be taking care of about 60% of the baby responsibilities, and he will take care of the other 40%.

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb January 18, 2012, 1:39 pm

    very interesting! sounds like you have a great plan figured out. of course there will be unexpected bumps and growing pains (literally AND figuratively!), but it sounds like you and the husband are totally in this together and working 100% as a team which is the most important!

  • Anna January 18, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I am not self-employed (still a student with no babies on the way for a long while), but my parents both were when I was little (and still are).

    I think they had a very similar set-up when I was little, except they alternated mornings, afternoons, and evenings. So my dad would work in the morning, stay home in the afternoon, and perhaps do some evening work. My mom worked mostly in the afternoons and some evenings.

  • Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets January 18, 2012, 1:43 pm

    That sounds like an awesome plan. I am sure you guys will all make it happen. Look how successful you have been so far!

  • Amy January 18, 2012, 1:48 pm

    You might find that you don’t need to implement your plan until the baby is older – around 6 months.

    My husband and I also own a business (although ours doesn’t have clients that come in, like yours does, so it’s different), and we took all 3 of our babies to work with us. There’s no reason why you can’t be a secretary WITH a baby. Most of your clients will be delighted to see BabyHTP. Those who aren’t will be tactful enough to keep it to themselves. In fact, my chiro’s wife is his secretary and their baby is 2 or 3 and is always in their office. It is DEFINITELY do-able, especially if you have an easy-going baby who sleeps a lot.

    We found that it got harder when the baby started to be awake and require more attention, around 6 months, and it became impossible when the baby got mobile (12 months for the older two, 9 months for the baby). At 6 months I started to plan to be in the office when the baby was going to nap (in the swing) and I learned to get 8 hours worth of work done in 2 hours.

    While it wasn’t easy, this plan had lots of advantages – increased time together as a family, increased daddy/baby time, I got up and dressed and out of the house more often, etc. Anyway, it’s something to consider.

    The other thing I wanted to mention to you is the smartest thing I ever accidentally did – I was trying to learn a song while I was pregnant with my son, and after he was born that same song had magical powers to make him relax. We discovered it by accident – he was crying in the car and that song came on and POOF! Silence. Repeated experiments resulted in the same outcome. It worked for most of a year, and still occasionally works. He also loves music, in general, now. SO, the moral of the story is, pick a song that you will never ever ever get tired of, and listen to it A LOT while you’re pregnant, and when the baby’s born, s/he’ll have a Magic Song, too! And when you’re in the car and s/he’s screaming, you’ll be able to do something about it! YAY!

    • Anon January 18, 2012, 2:44 pm

      I’m not pregnant (yet – about to start trying) but I’m DEFINITELY going to keep this in mind! 🙂

    • Katie January 19, 2012, 6:21 am

      I have to butt in- I really don’t like the idea of a receptionist having a baby with her. It looks unprofessional, and as a woman who went to an acupuncturist twice a week for infertility issues, I would have immediately cancelled all followups if the office had a baby. On top of that, acupuncture should be a time for quiet relaxation and a crying baby in the next room would work against that.

  • Sarah January 18, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Great plan! It takes awhile to get used to working at home when your child/baby is there but after awhile it all falls into place! You just have to teach them how to be good nappers!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf January 18, 2012, 1:49 pm

    It sounds like you’ve really thought it through, and although I’m sure it will be difficult, you won’t know until you try it!

    All the best of luck for the scan tomorrow – I can’t wait to read all about it! 🙂

  • Laura January 18, 2012, 1:49 pm

    I think it’s great your thinking about this! I find that there are a lot more families that are having SAHDs nowadays. Maybe it’s bc of my age (31) or the fact that so many women I know make more money than their partners or the fact that my generation of men more evenly shares home responsibilities, but I know at least 4 SAHDs and both me and a very good friend plan to get pregnant this year and our husbands will stay at home while we work (neither of us has any desire to be a SAHM while our husbands think it’s the coolest idea ever. They want to brew beer and garden together. Haha!). Yeah for liberated women and men. 😀

  • Michelle January 18, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Love the balance in the plan. Thought for yall – BEFORE baby arrive, get a space together thats as separate from everything else in your house as possible, and get it all set up for your workdays. Come up with your “workday schedule” (a la will yall have lunch together? Can he just stick his head in and ask a question or show you when baby does something cute? etc). Go for the over kill office set up and then you can always back down into working while hanging out on the couch with the tv on and the baby on the breast or whatever will work for you. But going from couch and constant baby to separated office would be soo much harder (at least thats my guess since it was hard to do when we got a puppy).

    I love the 3/4 plan – hope it works for you!

    Also – read up on TSA and breast milk – its separate from the 3oz restrictions!

    • Caitlin January 19, 2012, 9:31 am

      this is a good idea. it would be fun to schedule breaks together!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 18, 2012, 1:55 pm

    First you look amazing! Little HTP is getting so big and strong! Second, I think you two are going to be such amazing parents. You’re pretty lucky to get to both be home with the little one. We switched back and forth with staying home, but not at the same time. Tony had our oldest from 6 weeks to 2 years at home while he worked at home, then I stayed home and had our youngest. Now we both work at home and they’re both in school. It’s not easy, but it works and I think we are a stronger family for it. It’s funny though, I think the ones that stayed home with each of us in their younger years, mimic the parent they stayed home with more. I wonder what your little one will pick up on from you two. Kids are fun!

  • Cristina January 18, 2012, 1:58 pm

    I think it’s great that you’ve come up with a plan that allows you both a lot of quality time with the baby, as well as “grown-up time” (working). We don’t have kids yet, but when we do, I think we will most likely look into sharing a nanny with another family. Or if my parents are feeling up to, maybe they will watch the baby a couple days a week, and we’ll have/share a nanny the other days.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 18, 2012, 2:02 pm

    it’s good to have a plan, and the ability to be flexible! I’m sure it will all workout fine!

  • Brigid January 18, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Your plan sounds like a good balance as long as it’s feasible and reasonable for the both of you. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. I work full-time, and my other half is an actor, which means his schedule is always changing. We definitely can’t afford for me to stop working — and frankly, I don’t want to — and I don’t want him to stop doing what he loves. I’m hopeful that my workplace will be flexible with my hours and bringing the little one with me sometimes, at least in the early stages. When Mr. X isn’t on set or at an audition, he can keep the squirmy little thing at home. I guess we’ll have to rely on drop-in day care sometimes, but I’m totally cool with that. I am pro-day care, I just don’t know how we’ll afford it.

  • Kat January 18, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Your bump is so cute!!! Are you wearing maternity pants yet? I’m only at 12 weeks, but I wonder when i’m going to need to change to maternity pants. I know everyone is different…

    • Caitlin January 19, 2012, 9:30 am

      I am wearing my regular pants with a belly band from Target <--- highly recommend. I have maternity sweat pants 🙂 LOL I wear mostly my normal tops because I always liked baggy tops but I had to buy some new ones because of the boobies. Try consignment! I got most of my stuff consignment.

      • Kat January 19, 2012, 10:14 am

        Thanks for answering my question!!! I will try out the consignment shops! I’m always up for a good deal. Thanks again!

  • Lu January 18, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Having flexibility is something that will prove to be extremely beneficial to parenting. I’m a working mom and have been since day 1 pretty much. It’s possible, but 9-5 can be difficult. Your plan is a wonderful one!

  • Marisa @ Loser for Life January 18, 2012, 2:08 pm

    You have a great plan in place, Caitlin!

    I was self-employed until my oldest was 18 months old. My business kept me long hours and although I had the wonderful opportunity of my Mom as daycare, it just became too hard for me to be away from the baby for 10-12 hours a day. My husband and I made the decision to sell my business. I instantly became a SAHM. It was a huge transition (both financially and mentally!), but here I am… 13 years later and can honestly say it was the BEST decision we ever made!

    Enjoy EVERY MINUTE of it, Caitlin… the good and not so good days because it goes by REALLY fast!!! xoxo 🙂

  • penny January 18, 2012, 2:09 pm

    I have two kids under 2 and am about to go back to work from FMLA with my second (he’s 13 weeks on Friday). I think it is possible to work from home during naps but don’t push it during the 4th tri. Our first was a great sleeper/napper but as a first time mom I was too scared to do anything and still too tired during his first 12 weeks to do much. My second is/was colicky (dairy issues and general gut issues which is resolving now). So I could not have done work until now as he was impossible to put down.

    Secretary – can you get some sort if intern? Someone who is training in acupuncture or herbal medicine?

    Ah, baby waking from his nap in the swing.

    You look great!

  • Tami January 18, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Whe. Yu hold your baby for the first time none of this will matter (for awhile) you will do what it need to do for our family. I had been a stay at one mom for 8 yrs, we never thought we could afford it but you make do. It such an exciting time and full of possibilities.

  • Brita January 18, 2012, 2:11 pm

    You look officially pregnant! You’ve reached that adorable visible bump stage 🙂

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 18, 2012, 2:19 pm

    I love how realistic you are being about everything – and how upfront you are being on the blog about your plans. When I started working full time I said something on my blog about “things staying pretty much the same on here” in terms of my 2-3 X a day posting. I really believed it at the time, but 9 months later, I am completely burned out from trying to do it all. I am learning that we cannot do anything if we are trying to do everything. I’m so glad you are promoting healthy balance on your blog! A great reminder to people like me who try to do it all. 🙂

    I feel like my husband and I are in the phase where we are learning how to balance work/life without children. It’s really helpful for me to read that you look back on posts and see that you were stressed but have managed to find a better balance over time. That’s what I’m currently hoping for!

  • Steph January 18, 2012, 2:19 pm

    It’s good that you guys have a plan in place. My only advice would be that working from home just 1 week after giving birth will be difficult. Particularly if you are breastfeeding. Many babies at that age (at least mine at that age!) want to nurse every hour, often for up to 45 minutes at a time. You’ll feel like a 24-hour milking machine! Just wanted to let you know that, so you know what to expect.
    It sounds great that both you and hubby will be able to spend quality time with your little one. I hope everything works really well for you! Oh, and that your baby takes naps. I wish that for every Mom. =/

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 18, 2012, 2:20 pm

    Great bump!

    My husband has always been the greater breadwinner than I, and works in a very demanding sales environment where his hours are CRAZY. Many people can’t believe how much or how hard he works (I am very lucky he’s such a hard worker). This makes my job completely a solo one though. I used to get a little jealous when I would read blogs of other moms whos husbands helped out a lot, or even a little – or even came home for dinner. I have to admit, I got a little sad for myself when I saw that your hubs is able to stay home a couple days a week. BUT I stopped feeling sorry for myself a started counting my blessings long ago, when I realized that, like you said, we are all different. What works for us, works because it HAS to, and because WE WORK TO MAKE IT WORK. Its definitely not ideal, and at times we all (my daughter included) struggle with it. But we all work hard to make our family unit a priority. We’ve instituted a “family night” which is one night during the week that the hubs comes home for dinner (usually he doesn’t come home before we go to bed). We also work hard to make the most of our weekends. We make our limited time quality time. And I also make sure that I make time for myself. Even if that means I have to wake up at 430am to get a workout in BY MYSELF before the hubs leaves for work – so be it. It is really important for us SAHMs to have some quality “me time” too.

    So, all the best — your plan sounds wonderful, and although it may not workout exactly the way you had planned, you will find something that works just perfectly for the 3 (and later, more!) of you!

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 18, 2012, 2:21 pm

    As if I didn’t write enough above, I jsut wanted to say that my husband also stayed home the first week with us and it was magical. Probably the most beautiful time of our lives together. Enjoy every moment 🙂

  • Lindsay @ Fuel My Family January 18, 2012, 2:22 pm

    First of all you look adorable! You are at my favorite stage of being pregnant right now! I think its great your husband will stay home with the baby part time. So many husbands who work full time dont see their kids during the week at all by the time the workday is over and kids are sleeping. It will make them so close! It will also be nice for you to be able to get a true break. I am a stay at home mom, but my kids don’t get to see my husband often because of his work schedule so even when he is home to help, the baby only wants me and the toddler says he doesnt do things “the right way like mommy does”.

  • Anna January 18, 2012, 2:29 pm

    I know nothing about anything Mommy or SAHM related (college student here!) but I admire your plan!

    About the secretary conundrum: you might consider setting up an internship, or work study program for a graduate student, or mature undergrad. Over last summer, I worked part-time at a orthodontist’s office under work-study (no payment, just college credit) mostly because I needed a resume builder. I think someone above also mentioned the intern possibility!

    If this doesn’t work at all for your situation, I totally understand, especially since the clinic is family owned. Just thought I’d share 🙂

    • Caitlin January 19, 2012, 9:28 am

      This is a great idea. I hate the idea of not paying someone but offering someone credits would be good!

  • Alyse January 18, 2012, 2:29 pm

    I have no children so I can’t offer any advice. All I can say is…..

    Hello belly! 🙂

  • Erika January 18, 2012, 2:31 pm

    first – you look great! I think even though your plan may change it is great you have one and that you are both on the same page.

    I never heard that term about the maintenance mode. I have an 18 month old and it is hard not being the best I can be at my job. When I first started working I got promoted 4 times in 5 years and in the past 2.5 I haven’t gotten promoted once. It is quite humbling but now that it has a term I can live with it!

  • Leah January 18, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Just a little encouragement…I own my own business and work full time from home with a 4 month old. So far it is working out great! yes, there are days where my work get shafted, or days when I have to work into the evening, but for me, I love being able to be home AND be a mama. Right now my baby takes three, 2 hour naps a day which means I am able to get a LOT of work done (should be doing that now instead of posting here…). I know that is going to change as she gets older, but we’ll make it work. I follow a VERY structured schedule for my baby in order to make this work for us…thankfully she thrives on a schedule!

    Another perk is that my hubs is a pastor so he doesn’t work on Fridays and then works from home on Thursday mornings so I can schedule calls/meetings during that time.

    Don’t stress about it…you will make it work!

    • Leah January 18, 2012, 2:34 pm

      p.s. I was so bored on my “maternity leave” that I started working 3 days after I gave birth whenever I needed a little outlet of something to do! 🙂

  • Krista January 18, 2012, 2:33 pm

    You’re looking awesome, Caitlin!!

  • Katy January 18, 2012, 2:34 pm

    Caitlin, can you recommend some working mommy blogs?

  • Elizabeth January 18, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I think it sounds like a good plan. My H and I are lawyers; he is f/t and I went back at 3 days a week/10 hrs a day. Up until our daughter was about a year, that worked great. We’ve had to revise things recently because she sleeps in (no way am I waking her after all that work I put into her sleeping well!) and wants to be in bed early. Luckily, I’m able to do some catch up at home at night. Now that I’m 10 weeks pregnant, we have A LOT of thinking to do with the next baby. I’m honestly in tears over it, because I don’t feel like staying home f/t will satisfy me, but I don’t want to up my hours just to afford daycare (and I’d have to go to 40 just to break even – if I don’t, we’re paying $1k/month to make it work). On the other hand, I kind of hate my job. There are just so few times in life that I honestly don’t know what to do. Guess I’m lucky I have some time to figure it out 🙂

    Anyway, way to go on having carefully thought it out. You might as well go for what sounds like it will make you really happy and adjust as needed!

    • Clare January 18, 2012, 9:58 pm

      It’s so hard, isn’t it? I was in the same position after I had my third (cost of daycare prohibitively expensive) so I’ve now been at home for 10 years. While I mostly love it, I’m dying to get back into the workforce when my youngest is in school full-time next year but I think it will be really difficult unless I retrain / go back to school and I’m 35 so I feel like it’s now-or-never. Plus there’s the added complication of still wanting to be around after-school and for extra-curriculars etc. I’m finding these decisions don’t get any easier as the children get older; mine seem to need me around even more than they did when they were babies/toddlers!

      • Vicki January 18, 2012, 10:10 pm

        Clare, I was going to post something similar. I have been a SAHM/ full-time college student (online) and I always assumed when my kids were school-age I’d work full time. However, my kids are 8 and 6 now and only seem to need me increasingly more as they get older. We’re still working through how to handle this and right now I’m leaning towards not working more than part-time until they are grown. I’m lucky in that we haven’t ever needed me to work but I would also really like to work on my career so it’s a tricky situation.

        • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:27 am

          Thanks for this feedback, guys. It really helps me to hear real-world experiences.

  • Kim @ girlevolving January 18, 2012, 2:35 pm

    Caitlin, I work from home 4 days a week with my 5mo. old son. It’s DEFINITELY doable to get work done during naps, while they play, etc. Leo is on a schedule and therefore is a good napper, which helps. But don’t let people tell you it can’t be done. It can!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 18, 2012, 2:36 pm

    First I must say that your baby bump is SO frickin’ adorable.
    I’m glad you’ve come up with a tentative plan about what will work for you and your family once BabyHTP is here. I think, like childbirth, it’s a wonderful thing to go into with a plan… while remaining flexible. And it sounds like it’s what you’re doing. Good luck and if you ever have any questions, you know I love to talk baby 🙂

  • JenRD January 18, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Sounds like you put a lot of thought into this! We also divided up my husbands’s paternity leave, which was a huge help, especially since we are both employed outside the home. He took 2 weeks off after the baby was born; then when I had to go back to work after 9 short weeks, he took another 2 weeks off, to help with the transition. I now work 4 days a week, and he works from home 1 day a week; the other 3 days, Maya is in a wonderful day care. One evening a week my mother spends a few hours babysitting so I can go out and run errands sans baby, and possibly go to the gym. It works for us–truly takes a village!
    Just a thought for your secretary situation–have you considered taking on a student intern? A friend who runs a nutrition practice takes on interns every semester from a local university, and she does not have to pay them, because the student earns credit. Even if you did have to pay the student, it would be at a lower rate. Sure, they would not have as much experience, but sometimes students can be very professional, especially if they are getting credit, and will be getting progress reports.


    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:24 am

      An intern is an awesome idea. I would feel bad about completely not paying someone though.

  • Whitney January 18, 2012, 2:40 pm

    LOVE LOVE the bump!! So presh! I think you have a great plan in place. Even if it doesn’t go accordingly, you at least have an idea of what you want your routine to be. I am a newlywed and I’ve already hinted to hubs that once we had children I want to stay at home with them. Easier said than done, I’m sure!

    I do love the fact that your husband will get some bonding time once the baby is born. I think that’s so important! 🙂

  • Amy January 18, 2012, 2:42 pm

    “Book writing is really, really stressful” is an understatement! I finished a round of agent revisions last night and I kind of sat there for a moment like “what’s happening? Where am I?”

    I really admire moms who are able to write while taking care of children. It must be hard, but I know tons of them make it work!

  • Grace @ What Grace Cooked January 18, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Balancing both you and your husband’s careers is a tricky issue! I’m glad you found a plan you both think will work; it seems like a practical and creative solution to let both of you be involved without giving up what either of you have worked so hard to build.

  • Christy January 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

    If you really don’t want to find out the sex, make sure you tell EVERYONE in the OB’s office. I have heard many stories where a nurse or receptionist will unintentionally spill the beans! I told the nurse and doctor every time I went just in case. And your baby bump is adorable!!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:24 am

      Thank you for this advice!!!!

  • Catherine January 18, 2012, 2:49 pm

    We are still trying to figure out the work/childcare thing. We don’t like the idea of daycare, yet we are skeptical to cut back on working because a baby requires MORE money. It’s just complicated like that!

    You probably shouldn’t look at the images of the baby’s lower body because it’s pretty obvious, or at least it was at my ultrasound! Your willpower must be amazing. I couldn’t handle 22 more weeks of not knowing the sex. I had my scan yesterday and mine is a girl 🙂 I didn’t have a preference, but I was sooo sure I was having a boy this entire time!

  • Molly @RDexposed January 18, 2012, 2:49 pm

    Best wishes! I can barely manage myself with zero kids.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:23 am

      hahaha molly.

  • Rachael January 18, 2012, 2:50 pm

    I’m going to echo the flexibility theme. Babies in the fourth trimester are happily quite portable – I brought my daughter (born last August) to work everyday until just recently. Before I had her, the thought of daycare or any non-mama care (dad included) was unfathomable; I was going to be the ultimate attachment, alternative parent. However, my reality shifted a little when I realized I was going to be the only source of income. She’s now in daycare two days a week, and while I’m still looking to create a life where I can work from home in time to unschool her, the little bit of space and thinking/working for a cause I believe in time has made me a better mother.
    Warm thoughts from Boone – seeing your posts makes me miss being pregnant (though the next phase is pretty amazing too :).

  • eatingRD January 18, 2012, 2:51 pm

    so tough! I think this is one thing we would have to definitely figure out too and kind of scares me! I don’t know how working moms do it all, but I guess ya get ‘er done. I wish it was more like most european countries where mom’s get more maternity leave and paid. That would be so nice. It sounds like a good plan with what you have to work with!

  • Rebecca January 18, 2012, 2:55 pm

    My parents weren’t SAH; both of them worked full time and my sister and I were at daycare every day. I was a latch-key kid in junior high and high school; I’d get home at least an hour before my parents most days and keep myself entertained. Sometimes I wish one of them would’ve worked only part time so we had more time together, but that never would’ve worked. Living off just one of their incomes wasn’t an option then, and it sure as heck isn’t now (although it might help with financial aid…).
    I think anyone who stays at home with their kids deserves an award, honestly. My daycare lady had it tough with a lot of kids (maybe 10 of us?) depending on the day, and while the older ones tried to help take care of the younger ones, it had to have been tough for her to juggle us all. Only having a couple who are super-young seems like it might be just as challenging, but also rewarding.
    You guys seem like you have everything figured out, and I’m sure you’ll be awesome parents!
    And I would agree with Anna up there about an intern. Might be a good experience for someone–like someone who’s in a medicine/therapy or business track? Experience helping around a clinic/office might be good. Or just someone who needs some work study. I did work study at an office over the two years I was at community college. During the school year it was literally only two hours a week, if that, but it was experience. I got really good at using the program, lol. It wasn’t that difficult, and they didn’t except me to answer the phone because I was working technically after-hours. I usually showed up half an hour before the other employees left, unless one of them stayed late to finish paperwork or something, and it was kind of fun. Pretty much the same thing every day, but it worked.
    And one of the offices here on campus uses email to schedule appointments, but also has a couple of secretaries. (I don’t know why they need four secretaries if there are only like two people in that department that I’m aware of, but whatever.) They could probably set things up mostly by email if they wanted to. I mean, I’ve gone in there several times and scheduled a meeting face-to-face with a secretary, but by email would work just fine too.

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu January 18, 2012, 2:58 pm

    I think that sounds like a great plan! I am not the type of person that could ever just leave my career in the dust, and I think baby HTP is so lucky that s/he will have both parents around so much and that neither of you will have to feel resentful for letting go of the careers you’ve worked so hard for.

  • colleen January 18, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Love the bump! BabyHTP is definitely growing and you are looking good! Growing boobs was one of the things my hubby loved about me being pregrant – men! Anyways, you have a great plan and are realist about it being a flexible plan. When our first son was born we lived in an area where we weren’t 100% satified with the babysitter/daycare options so hubby switched to a night supervisor/engineer position and I worked days 5 days a week until I switched to part time. It only lasted a year, but it was right for us at the time. Now we have three kids and to reduce our daycare bill hubby went back to nights so someone is home when the older two get off the school bus and I moved from start time for after they get on the bus. Every family is different and you have to do what is best for the family financially and childcare wise.

  • Claire January 18, 2012, 3:01 pm

    I like the comment about maintenance mode for careers, I think that is a really good way to look at it. It is a temporary refocusing.

    For us, we decided we wanted one of us to be home with the kids at least until the youngest starts school. So I’ve been a SAHM since our eldest was born just over 6 years ago. It is another 3 years until our youngest starts school.

    We manage on one income and while things are tight, it has been doable. In the last couple of years I’ve picked up some sessional university tutoring which is all online and can be done in the evenings. It has a great hourly rate and fits in so well with our family.

    It is so crazy that people judge what others choose to do. Every family is different and has to come up with an arrangement that works for them.

    Good luck with it all!

  • Dee January 18, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Your posts/thoughts are consistently balanced, inclusive, reflective, and very, very much appreciated!

    • mari January 18, 2012, 7:25 pm

      I agree! I love how honest you are about your life choices and desicions, it makes you very relatable.

      Ps you’ve got the glow!

      • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:21 am

        Thanks guys, this is very nice!

  • Amber K January 18, 2012, 3:09 pm

    You are so right that different things can be right, because we are all different! Some people might not be able to handle all of that, but I know you’ll do what is best for you and your growing family!

  • Rebecca January 18, 2012, 3:21 pm

    You have really popped and have such a cute baby bump! It seems like you have a great plan and I can’t wait to hear more about BabyHTP!

  • erica January 18, 2012, 3:22 pm

    My husband and I both work and we have a 6 month old. We are SO lucky to have Grandparent’s that watch him during the day for very little $$$, otherwise I would be sad (and poor) about sending him to daycare. Luckily we don’t have to do too much work at home so we can give 100% attention to our child. It’s hard. There’s days I want to stay home and days when I can’t wait to get to work but I guess that’s the beauty of working away from home 🙂

    You’ll fall into a routine once the baby is a little bit older and it’ll be like clockwork. Good luck 🙂

  • Laurie January 18, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Sounds like a great plan!! You and the husband will make it work! I had to go back to work when my son was 6 weeks old, but at first it was part-time. I was lucky enough that my Mom lived close by and took care of him. Also my husband was self-employed and he was flexible enough where he could stay home with him on some days. Good luck! Also, I think you’re having a boy! 🙂 , well because you are carrying him sorta low!

  • Beth @ 990 Square January 18, 2012, 3:30 pm

    I really hope this works out for you, and that you keep on blogging!

    My husband and I are thinking about kids, and I have the potential for a big promotion next year. It’s a lot more money, so I wonder, should I go for it and make my husband a SAHD, or would that just make me sad to be at work all the time? It’s hard to know!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:20 am

      Do you watch Up All Night? They have good episode about this very topic.

    • jenny January 20, 2012, 10:57 pm

      I have friends who tried the SAHD thing because she made more than he did. It didn’t work out. She just couldn’t leave her baby, and he couldn’t stay at home all day. She has been a SAHM for 4 years now and they just learned to live on less. But everyone is different.

  • Jamie January 18, 2012, 3:31 pm

    I raised my son as a single mom, so there was no debate. I had to work. I am getting married this year and my fiancee and I are planning one more. Because my son will be six this year and I am almost 30, I want to get pregnant right after the wedding. We will probably both have to work still but I am thinking that we will each work four days a week to have one full day at home with the kids alone and to decrease the cost of childcare. I have also thought about doing home daycare but I am scared that I would feel isolated…

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:19 am

      Congrats on your wedding Jamie!!!

  • Kim L. January 18, 2012, 3:34 pm

    First of all, I love the name ‘Allison’ because that is my first born’s name!!! If your first choice for a girl doesn’t work out, you can always fall back on Allison! Secondly, I agree that everyone has a different situation when they bring a child into the world and what works for one person may not work for another. It appears that you have done a lot of research and a lot of thinking about what would work best for your situation and your family. And it also sounds that you will be open minded when your bundle of joy arrives and make adjustments as necessary. One of the biggest lessons parenthood has taught me is to be flexible and learn from experience. I think you and your husband will do great!!!

  • Ali @SeeAliEatSeeAliRun January 18, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I don’t know if you have to rule out working at the clinic completely. My chiropractor is amazing and his business is “family run”. His wife is the receptionist and they have 3 children. With each one of the kids she still worked and just had the baby in the bassinet by the desk (the kids are far apart in age that it was only the baby at work). Patients didn’t mind because they knew it was family run. Honestly, I never thought it was disruptive at all and I always thought she did it with a lot of professionalism.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:19 am

      That is awesome. I guess in a pinch I could go to work!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 18, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I can completeley relate – as we are trying to finalise our ‘work’ plan when Baby BBB arrives in 7 weeks! At this stage it looks as though I will be working part time, from home, but I am trying to remain flexible!

  • Samantha January 18, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Thanks so much for this post. It definitely puts things into perspective, and how much your life changes when you start to have a family. I hope your plan works out well!!

  • Kath January 18, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Love this week’s photo!

    You guys have a good plan – I think you’ll find that being flexible will let it all happen as it will 🙂

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 18, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I think it sounds like a great plan–and that you’re being honest and upfront about it all. As long as you’re not totally delusional about it being hard on some rough days/weeks, you’re going to thrive in the plan!!

    I bet it’ll be harder than you think to let go of the baby to get work done…..that’s what my sis says 😉

  • AlisonJ January 18, 2012, 3:45 pm

    As an Alison, I do like the name 😉 Just with one L instead of two! You are looking great – can’t believe you are almost half way there!

  • Jennifer B. January 18, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Congrats sweetie, I still remember telling all you girls about my newest little one at the Ball Canning event and now you’re all having your own babies, I love it!! Wishing you a healthy, amazing pregnancy!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:17 am

      Oh man that seems so LONG ago!!!!

  • Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops January 18, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Wow you now have an unmistakable baby bump! It’s been so cool seeing the progression!

  • Jenny January 18, 2012, 4:04 pm

    I think having a plan like this is smart (and necessary). I think you also realize that the plan may become radically different after the baby is born and certainly as the baby gets older. But you have to start somewhere, and your plan sounds like a good place to start. (While you’re reading lots of baby/maternity books, consider The Smart Mom’s Guide to Staying Home. Even if you won’t be full time SAHM, it might help.)

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

    This is such a unique sounding plan and it sounds like it is perfectly tailored to your situation. Best of luck!!

  • Shannon January 18, 2012, 4:14 pm

    Yay, Caitlin! I agree 100% with your last statement about the fact that what’s best re working/parenting is DIFFERENT FOR EVERY FAMILY. I say that as a full-time SAHM, who has also been a PT working mom and a PT work from home mom at various times. And also as someone who has fielded many “mommy wars” attacks over the years (Gah–so frustrating, annoying, useless, and silly). I think your plan for sharing work/at-home parenting is awesome–some friends of mine in my town are doing that very thing. Also, I love that you’re being realistic about the whole “maintenance mode” idea. I would add to apply that notion to the other parts of your life for awhile, too. When becoming a new parent, your focus will be dedicated to that new little being, and the other things in your life will have to coast for awhile, as much as you can reasonably let them. But most moms I know find that change much, MUCH easier and less worrisome than they expected beforehand.

    Congrats on your clear head and exciting life ahead!

  • Marci January 18, 2012, 4:25 pm

    Every family has their own way to make it work. I am taking a few months off and my husband will still be full time, and then I’ll go back to my part time work with a nanny or daycare arrangement. Your arrangement sounds interesting!

  • Fuzzy January 18, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I don’t have time to scroll through all the comments to see if someone already said this (because I’m a full time working mom of two), but oh, honey, you are so naive! I think motherhood is going to be a shock to your little system. Best of luck, though!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 18, 2012, 4:26 pm

    I think just having a game plan, like you said, is half the battle. While things might change when your baby is actually here, at least you have a road map for how you want to try to adjust and work, instead of starting from scratch after the fact.

    Love that the baby woke you up at night. That is awesome. I am 24/25 weeks and this past week just started feeling all the movements! 🙂

  • Sara January 18, 2012, 4:27 pm

    What a plan! This is why we haven’t had children yet (outside of financial constraints) is that we can’t afford childcare at the moment and we must both continue to work when we have a baby. So sad. It makes me cry a little on the inside. (Not being able to afford a kid but really wanting one.) I know we’re being smart by waiting until we can make it a true reality and not a nightmare. My mom was a working mom and a lot of my dad’s family are all stay-at-home moms and she got a lot of flack for it. I have some cousins who stay at home with their kids and they are really lucky they can somehow manage to do so. But I can’t.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:16 am

      I think you are being smart. We waited about two years longer than we would’ve wanted to so we could get the business in order. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Your time will come!!

      • Sara January 19, 2012, 9:24 am

        Thanks, Caitlin. Makes me feel better (a little). My brain is constantly screaming “I want a baby!” over and over. Doesn’t help that my parents keep dropping hints about wanting grandchildren. Ugh.

  • Sarah January 18, 2012, 4:34 pm

    What a great idea – sharing the care/work is fabulous and will be so good for you all – not least bubba!!! I have two wonderful old friends who are full time SAHDs and they are some of the happiest families I know.
    As for juggling the travel – you’ll figure it out as you go along. Sometimes you might take the baby, other times you might not. It’ll all just happen perfectly when it does.

    As for me – I’m also a freelance writer (I have a PhD in Neuroscience) and now work 2-3 days a week from home writing about science and medicine for all sorts of places. I love it as I get to decide what, where and when I work and can drop it all for my two wee boys (they are in daycare 100m up the road 3 days). I get to be at home with them the rest of the time and we had a great life – beach, pool, parks, friends in the mornings. Baking, riding bikes, doing puzzles, time-out-for-Mum TV (everything in moderation!!). I never thought it would work out so well.

    And as my wise Mum says – ‘for everything there is a season’.

    • kath January 19, 2012, 11:18 am

      Sarah – if you don’t mind I would love to hear a little about how you got into writing after you got your PhD? I’m in the final year of my dissertation (in Earth Science) and also pregnant, and I’d love to transition to something flexible like science writing after I finish. But I have no idea how to go about it! I’d really appreciate any tips/advice you might have! Your setup sounds wonderful!

  • Hillary January 18, 2012, 4:49 pm

    I think it’s fantastic that you guys have it worked out this far. My boyfriend has always said that he’d love to be a stay-at-home-dad (and, ironically, I’d love to be a SAHM, and both of those things aren’t happening unless we win the lottery! Hah!) Luckily, we have a looooong way to go before we even need to worry about this, but you’re right: it’s different for every single family.

  • Eileen January 18, 2012, 4:50 pm

    I think your plan seems very realistic and feasible. I think that it is very good that your expectations are realistic in terms of your baby’s and family’s needs. In the beginning it is hard to juggle everything but as kids get older and more self sufficient you will have more flexibility. I wish my expectations were more realistic when I had my 7 year old daughter. But I guess hindsight is 20/20:). Good luck and I can’t wait to “meet” BabyHTP.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:14 am

      Thanks Eileen!

  • Noelle January 18, 2012, 5:17 pm

    It’s really tough, and you won’t know what works best for you until you actually do it. I thought I’d be fine with working and some days I wish I could just stay home and do kid stuff all day but that would drive me nuts, but working drives me nuts. So I think having a flexible schedule like you’re talking about where you can get into a groove and make adjustments when necessary sounds REALLY ideal.

    The one thing I’ll ad though, recovering from childbirth is REALLY painful. They have you take off 6 weeks for a reason, you had said you were planning to take off 1 full week and then go into that schedule. Thats not really very realistic, there is so much going on with you emotionally and physically at that time, I would say minimum 3 weeks of focusing on baby or else you’ll be a total nut case.

  • Becky January 18, 2012, 5:19 pm

    I think having a plan is a great idea, even if you end up having to modify it a little once the bambino shows. We are planning to have a similar set up, since I work from home but also need to travel and be out of the office for meetings a few days a week. The only trick is that I’m the only employee at my job and I have no idea who will cover for me or if I’ll even be able to manage a proper maternity leave! My husband is planning to work from home a few days a week to help out so I can go to meetings, but I don’t know for how long. We’re still not sure how this will pan out long term, but I’d rather have something figured out instead of just winging it. There’s enough to worry about already! I’m a huge planner of all things so pregnancy and a baby will really be a test of my flexibility…and I’m looking forward to it!

  • CJ @ January 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

    wow! your plans sounds really well and I am sure they will work out wonderfully. you are so inspirational as far as balance and coping with stress. thank you for showing how important it is to stick with what you value, even when you have a very busy schedule. you are awesome <3

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch January 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

    My husband and I both work full-time in demanding careers, run businesses on the side, and we have horses to ride and take care of. So we juggle a lot, all of the time. We do have an amazing childcare provider, which makes me feel better about working and leaving my toddler… but it’s still hard some days. I do feel overwhelmed some days. Other days, everything feels controlled and routine and manageable. I don’t think there is a perfect solution. Juggling busy careers and children is hard, and complicated, and stressful… but it’s really, really great. It totally reframes priorities- family first, work hard second (so family can come first). You’ll do great, and you’re smart enough to know if/when it needs reevaluation. Thanks for sharing these questions that so many of us can relate to!

  • carrie January 18, 2012, 5:26 pm

    i’m in my 12th week with twins and i love reading your baby updates! thanks for sharing – i’m glad to know i’m not the only one struggling to get in my workouts!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:14 am

      Twins!!! Congrats 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 18, 2012, 5:32 pm

    I didn’t have the time to go through and read all the comments but here’s my two cents:)

    For the first few months your baby will be taking multiple LONG naps….so your work from home plan should go really smoothly. After that they’ll take one or two LONG naps for the next year or two. After that they’ll be more independent and you can figure it out:)

    For example, my 16mo old is playing quietly and happily on his own in his room (within my view) while I blog and read! He already took a 2 hour nap. Let’s not forget the 7pm bedtime;)

    You may have to slow down a bit and adjust things as you go but as long as you have an open mind, and a willing heart you’ll do great. I’m a stay at home mom and LOVE it because not only does it give me full time with my son and to keep my house/cook, but I can explore other things I love doing like gardening.

    You guys are going to be great parents.

  • Jasmine January 18, 2012, 6:07 pm

    It is SO cool to see you go from almost no bump, to a real bump. I cannot imagine how exciting that is. It “seems” to happen overnight. Congrats again. 🙂

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 18, 2012, 6:43 pm

    Whew indeed! Sounds like you have a well balanced plan for your growing family!
    Love the bump — it’s so much more prominent now!

  • Army Amy* January 18, 2012, 6:58 pm

    I can’t add much to the conversation, but I wanted to say that your top is super cute!*

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 18, 2012, 7:02 pm

    When I first went back to work post babies, it was full time. I hated it. I wanted to spend more time at home so I dropped to part time, 3x/week. We were super fortunate that my husband was able to switch his work schedule to working four 12 hr days. That means the kiddos only go to day care 2x/week and are home with us 3. I am so glad I still have an outlet to work out of the home but can spend full days with the kids. It’s the best of both worlds.

  • Emily January 18, 2012, 7:07 pm

    totally irrelevant question, but I saw that you wrote “stay at home mum”… are you planning on being called Mum? I LOVE that. Perks of having a British husband, I guess 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:13 am

      yes! I would love for our children to call me mummy. i think it’s so cute.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery January 18, 2012, 7:10 pm

    Wow I can’t believe you are 19 weeks already! That must be so exciting that the baby woke you up 🙂

  • Kate January 18, 2012, 7:26 pm

    I’m not planning on having kids for a loooong time, but I would like to be a stay at home mom if I could afford to be. My mom stayed home with us and I feel so lucky that she was able to be home with us, so I would love it if either my future husband or I could stay home with any potential kids.

  • Jen@FoodFamilyFitness January 18, 2012, 7:49 pm

    I worked full time up until my 3rd was born and I’ve been a SAHM ever since…hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years since I quit my old job! I honestly LOVE being a SAHM, but there are days where I wish I was working again just for some adult interaction and to pee by myself would be nice too 😉 I have 2 kids in school and the “baby” who is growing up way too fast will be in school next year, it goes by SO fast!!! I think it’s awesome that you and your husband are going to be able to be staying home and working from home, it will be awesome for your family!

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes January 18, 2012, 8:07 pm

    You have some great plans in place! 🙂 I would say, expect that your plans might change after the baby is born. Just be flexible with what happens. 🙂

  • Sarah January 18, 2012, 8:15 pm

    your bump is super cute this week!

  • Wendy January 18, 2012, 8:29 pm

    Good luck! I hope your plans work out, and if they don’t I’m sure you and your hubby will find something else that does. You are completely right about there not being a one-size-fits-all plan out there – every family is different!

    I hope they don’t accidently spill the gender beans! They kinda did with my second baby – “you don’t want to look, because IT’S really showing!” And yes, he was a boy. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:12 am

      OH NO. LOL !!!

  • Katherine January 18, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Wow, you look so beautiful! This the the first photo where your bump is looking like a true baby bump! (Not that it wasn’t true before, but just that its displaying the classic pregnant roundness now). I don’t usually comment but I just wanted to say that I love your pregnancy updates. I’m 24 and babies are nowhere near by radar at the moment, but I love reading about your experiences. Thanks for sharing with the world.

  • Lauren January 18, 2012, 9:10 pm

    I’ve been a reader for awhile, but rarely a commenter. I just want to say that it sounds like you have a great plan, and you guys WILL make it work. I had my son this past July. My husband works four days a week- in addition to his regular job he has a rehab/rental house business on the side. I work three days a week and go to school full time (online). Like you guys, we also broke up the paternity leave which was awesome because you get a lot of help in the beginning from other people, but it tapers off a bit. Give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust and rest after the baby arrives. I can honestly say that I was glad when school started a month and a half after Elliott was born. I needed the distraction and it was easy to find the time for school when he napped. Now that he is six months old, he is able to entertain himself for longer stretches of time. Congrats and good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:12 am

      Thanks for the support, Lauren!

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runnee January 18, 2012, 9:16 pm

    I think you have a very reasonable game plan! I’m a working mommy and I wish everyday that I could stay home with her, but it doesn’t work for us financially. But I have the best of both worlds – I’m a teacher, as is my hubs, so we will both be sahm/sahd for 3 months in the summer! My hubs also coaches so I ended up having to give up GOTR. But I’m a solemate, and I am the site coordinator for my school, so I still stay involved.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:12 am

      Oh good point! I can be a solemate again!

  • Lindsay January 18, 2012, 9:22 pm

    The Baby HTP weekly check ins are my favorite! You are making pregnancy seem so easy and and are so beautiful! You are so smart to start planning ahead for post birth working plans. Good luck to you!

  • Renee January 18, 2012, 9:24 pm

    I LOVE your game plan. What an amazing adventure heading your way! 🙂

  • Stephanie January 18, 2012, 9:30 pm

    I love these baby updates! Thoughts on a secretary for the clinic: my acupuncturist doesn’t have a secretary. He schedules first time appointments via phone and then after each session, we quickly schedule the next appointment in his office. I also pay him then. I’m sure he leaves some time for that in between patients. It works out well.

  • Khushboo January 18, 2012, 9:36 pm

    Sounds like a realistic game plan! Excited to see how it unfolds eventually 🙂

  • Ali January 18, 2012, 9:44 pm

    You need to read this blog:

    This post was awesome as she realized what life was like post baby, but she’s a writer/freelancer from Florida who works from home. Might have a lot of insight for you. Plus, Heidi is hilarious and an awesome writer, so the entertainment value is an added bonus.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:10 am

      Thanks for passing this along! Will def check out.

  • Brenda January 18, 2012, 9:57 pm

    What a plan! Being a working mom is so hard, but it’s great that you will be at home for feedings (and not reduced to pumping in a cold closet at work= not fun). I sure hope this plan works out for your family!

    Also, you look like you’re carrying a girl, so that’s my prediction too! Allison is a sweet name… There are so many cute girl names, it’s hard to choose!

  • Kristen @ semihealthy January 18, 2012, 10:33 pm

    you are really getting a bump (a very cute one!) I love all you pregnancy facts even though I have no interest in having my own children currently

  • Allison January 18, 2012, 10:46 pm

    ALLISON, ALLISON, ALLISON! I think it’s a pretty good name myself ;P [and the correct way of spelling it hehe]!

  • Marissa C January 18, 2012, 10:49 pm

    As someone who is 6 weeks into this journey, I think your plan is awesome and doable…after 4 weeks. Just don’t expect to get anything significant done in that time period and you will be fine. It’s just so much adjustment and an emotional roller coaster. Plus you will still be recovering. That is about the time I felt normalish.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:09 am

      You mean…. like promoting a book? Ahhhhh. Worst timing ever.

  • Allie January 18, 2012, 11:03 pm

    I was raised by a stay at home mom and a work from home dad and, it was wonderful! My parents were always around, ready to help out, end an ear and, in general, be there for us. Even though children are still a long ways away for me, I dread the thought of having to work full-time once I have kids! Your plan sounds great though and I am sure you and your husband will work it out by making minor tweaks along the way! As a side note, my full name is “Allison” but I go by Allie…that name definitely breaks your “no names that can be turned into a nickname” as I was called Allie most of my life 🙂 It’s a great name though!! hehe

  • Jenn January 19, 2012, 12:17 am

    Stay at home mom* 😉

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:09 am

      No mum!! LOL

  • Julia January 19, 2012, 2:05 am

    WOW, it’s amazing how much your belly has grown in just 3 weeks!!!
    But you look wonderful and glowing. 🙂

  • Cyndi January 19, 2012, 7:38 am

    Hi, you’re looking great – pregnancy luvs u! Didn’t read all the posts above but I bet you could find an intern to act as secretary for free.Just make some calls to local colleges and schools. Good luck!

  • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn January 19, 2012, 8:01 am

    You look so beautiful pregnant! Not that you didn’t look beautiful before!

    I was thinking… Can you arrange a barter system with someone to work at the office in exchange for care? Maybe not completely but less pay and care or something like that? Is that legal in medicine? Anyway just a thought! I hope it all works out!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:08 am

      Hmmm good idea. I will investigate!

    • Sara January 19, 2012, 9:19 am

      I was telling my husband about your plans … (since we want to have kids in a year or so) and he suggested paying a college student to work some of the time as a secretary? You could pay them lower rates and then offer to give them a great recommendation when they are seeking employment. Just an idea. Not even sure if that is feasible.

  • Emily B January 19, 2012, 8:06 am

    Hey Caitlin,
    My Mum was a stay at home mum for the first three years of my life. It was AWESOME but when I started going to childcare a day a week I hated it because apart from my baby siblings I’d never learnt to make friends. Lol I still have the same problems even now so it might be a bit of nature as well as nurture but my point is that daycare with you or your husband there might be a good idea to teach your child essential socialization skills in the Early years, this also builds skills like sharing and taking turns:)
    All that being said I don’t have any children yet but you might want to try it out.

    I hope the scan goes really well, you deserve it:)

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:08 am

      This is a good point! We have some friends with kids our age so hopefully they can interact many times a week, even if we can’t do the daycare thing right away.

      • Jenny January 19, 2012, 2:00 pm

        When they get to preschool age (2) you can always do that for socialization, as an alternative to daycare. It’s much cheaper but gives mom or dad a few hours a few days a week “off” and gives baby time with friends.

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION January 19, 2012, 8:32 am

    Oh, you look so great, Caitlin! And how exciting that the baby is kicking now. 😀

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd January 19, 2012, 8:35 am

    You’re very grounded Miss! I love that you have a well thought out plan, but you also realize that there is a distinct possibility that things are not going to run smoothly and without flaws. I think this is the best way you can handle ANYTHING in life. Kudos for that!

    You are also sooo right when you talk about the “Mommy Wars” being completely unnecessary negativity. EVERYONE and EVERY SITUATION is different. Who are you or I to judge ANYONE! All we can do in life is try the best we can and support one another along the way.

    P.S. You are like such a cute preggo lady!!! YAY

  • Karen January 19, 2012, 8:36 am

    I’m a SAHM of a 9 month old and my husband works full time. My 9 month old has never slept through the night and I still have to get up with him at least 5 times a night. He also needs me to be near him to nap. Hopefully your baby will sleep better but make sure you schedule nights too so you will know who is getting up. But if you are breastfeeding you will have to get up anyway. FOr me pumping took much longer than a feeding and it would be painful to go without feeding or pumping every few hours. So, I recommend that you don’t take on too much early because you will probably be up many times a night and need the baby’s nap time to nap yourself. I wish my husband could be home more with our son. But I don’t want to work outside the house. haha.

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 9:07 am

      I wish there were 36 hours in a day! That would be pretty nice, huh?

  • Kristin @ FoodFash January 19, 2012, 8:44 am

    I think you guys are so lucky that you are able to re-arrange your schedule for maximum time with baby and minimal professional (income) sacrifice! I’m sure that things will change a bit when he/she arrives, but it sounds like you’re expecting that to happen and can modify as needed. Good luck!

  • Allison January 19, 2012, 9:04 am

    Just wanted to say… I think that’s a splendid name for a little girl!

  • Sara January 19, 2012, 9:16 am

    As a Vegetarian, considering getting pregnant within a yearish … I would love to know if your doctors have said anything about you not eating meat or have any concerns over soy while pregnant (read a few comments on your coffee post on Babble.) Just curious! I am afraid my doctor will give me a lot of grief about being a Vegetarian while pregnant, even though I’ve read a lot about it. So glad I can follow your pregnancy (and other bloggers’) until I can have a child of my own! (I hope that doesn’t come across creepy…) Thanks for sharing! I have learned so much.

  • Jess January 19, 2012, 9:32 am

    The work,mommy, wife balance is hard. I went back to work full-time at 9 weeks pp. Crappy American maternity leave. Anyway, I cried like A LOT and thought about quitting my job every day for weeks. But we got into a routine. My husband takes our daughter to daycare so I can get to the office early. Then I pick her up so I get a few hours with her every night before bed. I live for the weekends.
    I’ve worked at home with her there a few times and it’s so hard to get things done. Even a two hour nap isn’t enough time to get everything done. When she’s awake I want to play with her, not work.

  • Cindy @ The Flipping Couple January 19, 2012, 10:38 am

    Wow, I loved reading this! We don’t have kids, and don’t have plans for kids anytime soon (or maybe ever!) but if we had a little “surprise” we’d have a very non-traditional arrangement, too. It’s nice to hear of people breaking out of the box and just doing what works for them instead of feeling pressured to do what other people think is best. I’m excited to hear how the plan flexes and adapts as you become a family of 3!

  • judi January 19, 2012, 11:27 am

    I am with the first commenter… will really mess up my day, and….let’s be dramatic, my life, if you don’t blog 2-3 times a day. So…..lets make sure your readers are priority number one and baby comes second…… :)))) Just kidding of course! I am so excited to follow you in this journey! I LOVE reading everyday and can’t wait to “meet” BabyHTP!!!

    • CaitlinHTP January 19, 2012, 4:15 pm

      I promise to post 🙂

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove January 19, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but I had an idea about the issue of hiring a part time secretary.

    What about an intern or a student from a career tech center or something?

    Where I live there is a career tech center and the students work co-op jobs to get experience and might receive a stipend but not full pay. This could work financially for the clinic and benefit the student with job experience as well.

  • kristen January 19, 2012, 2:12 pm

    you look great! And dont focus on the negative comments from family or here. every family is different and has to do their own thing! (I secretly wish I was a stay at home mom)

  • Robyn January 19, 2012, 8:47 pm

    My acupuncturist doesn’t have a secretary. She does everything herself, which I absolutely love. She’s just in private practice…I wouldn’t expect someone like that to have a secretary. I’m also a healthcare professional in private practice and don’t have a secretary!

  • Ashley @ Cooking for John January 20, 2012, 11:01 am

    Your bump is so stinkin’ cute!

    I think your post-baby work schedule sounds attainable, and I love,love, LOOOVE the fact that your hubby can stay home with your lil babe a few days a week!

  • Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 21, 2012, 12:22 am

    Love your shirt 🙂

  • Gretchen January 22, 2012, 8:22 pm

    My husband is also self employed and since our son was born 8 months ago he’s been able to scale back to working about 1 week a month so he is mostly home with the baby, while I work full time. Our moms help out when he works. It has been amazing to see what a great dad my husband is, and its so much easier for me to leave the baby knowing he’s in great hands with his dad. I love the perspective of this time being about maintenance in your career. Its definitely a challenge balancing everything, and there are plenty of times that I feel like I’m not giving my son or my job the attention they deserve. Good luck figuring it all out! It is constant juggling and readjusting!

  • Kathy January 23, 2012, 1:24 pm

    No matter what plan you come up with, guaranteed the first two months will be extremely trying and stressful. All three of you will be getting to know each other and learning what works and doesn’t work. It will be wonderful to have one of you home at all times with the baby. I had to find babysitters and that is way too stressful and worrysome. You will manage. Take things slow and don’t allow surprises and unplanned situations to get you out of sorts and upset. Life as you know it will never be the same. (Thats not a bad thing, just different) You think life was busy before; you’ll wonder why you even thought you were busy. But it will be fun and exciting. I wish I could have been a SAHM. Enjoy every minute and once you get in a routine, you’ll find you can add more things to your everyday routine.

  • bitt January 23, 2012, 7:22 pm

    sound really tough. just putting it out there, I went to several acupuncturist who had no secretary or receptionist. we just waited for our appointment and sometimes they even ran two people at once.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales February 4, 2012, 11:37 pm

    So, I am backtracking on reading your baby-posts and just saw that y’all were/are (??) considering the name Allison. too funny! It’s a great name. I used to not like it when I was little, but now I really like it!

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