Ali Fedotowsky and her husband, Kevin Manno, always knew they wanted to have two kids close in age. In May, that wish will become their reality when they welcome Baby #2. "We're so excited but so scared, because we're going to have two under the age of two for a hot minute," says the former Bachelorette contestant and mom of 17-month-old Molly. With the holiday season here, Fedotowsky shares on behalf of the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card her tips for getting through this hectic time while pregnant, new traditions she's starting with Molly, and what she's looking forward to most about bringing a new baby into their home.
Parents: Congratulations on your pregnancy! Is Molly excited to be a big sister or does she have no idea what's to come?
Fedotowsky: She has absolutely no idea, and I feel terrible. I think my dog knows though, because when I was pregnant with Molly he would chase me everywhere and always want to lay on my tummy and he's doing the exact same thing now. But we're trying to prepare Molly in little ways. We got her a small Elmo doll and I'll wrap it in a blanket and say, 'Oh, look! It's a baby!' But if I ask her, 'Where's the baby?' she'll first point to herself, and then I'll say, 'Where's the other baby?' and then she'll point to my belly. It's definitely going to be a big surprise to her come May!
P: How did you share the news with your husband?
F: I found out I was pregnant the morning I was having a photo shoot for my blog with my photographer friend Ashley. I took a pregnancy test, forgot about it, and then saw it was positive when I went in the bathroom later. I was freaking out but knew I couldn't tell Ashley before I even told my husband, Kevin. I quickly got on Amazon and ordered a book for two-hour delivery called I'm a Big Sister. At the end of the photo shoot, the book had arrived, and I said I wanted to take one more photo with my husband. That's when I decided to tell him that he was going to be a dad again. I was nervous he would be upset that Ashley was finding out the same time as him, but he was so happy because now we have great photos of the reveal.
P: Do you know if you're having a boy or girl?
F: We are the type of people who can't wait for anything. We found out at 11 weeks but are keeping it a secret for a little while longer. When you're pregnant, you have this big secret that you can keep from everyone. I have no idea how we'll announce it. It could be an Instagram post or we could accidentally just slip up and say it. It's more about timing and when we feel ready.
P: Molly and the new baby will be 22 months apart. What's going through your head?
F: I already feel overwhelmed with one. I don't know how single parents or parents with multiple children do it. They are super-humans. I find it difficult to balance my work, personal, social, and family life, and always feel like I'm struggling to stay afloat. I don't want to live my whole life like that, so I'm trying to find balance. But the fact that I haven't found it with one child, how the heck am I going to find it once I have two? I'm definitely scared, but I know we'll figure it out and get through it. I'm just so excited that Molly will grow up with a sibling so close in age and be best friends with.
P: Do you think work-life balance is achievable?
F: No, not at all. I don't think it's achievable even if you're a stay-at-home mom—that's like the hardest job in the world and I have so much respect for SAHMs. When I go to work, I think of it as a break from my actual job of being a mother. The problem is that if you're a 100 percent great mom, your work is suffering, but if you're completely dedicated to your job, your home-life suffers. I just don't believe there is any balance. Something always suffers and you have to figure out what that can be today.
P: How did you combat constant nausea early in your pregnancy?
F: I didn't really discover any remedies other than asking my husband to eat his dinner outside. It was delicious food, but to a pregnant woman with morning sickness it smelled nauseating. I would also go on walks when he was feeding Molly, because she had "stinky" food too. I could really only eat pasta, toast, and clementines, because everything else smelled disgusting!
P: How are you trying to make the holidays less hectic?
F: This month has been stressful, because we've had family in town and we're moving into a new home soon so our house is in boxes. We have to have balance somewhere, so we recently took a mini stay-cation at the Beverly Hills Marriott thanks to points from the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. People spend a lot during the holidays on gifts and entertaining, so it just makes sense to put it on a rewards card. We were able to take a break and recharge a bit in time for the next round of holidays. Hopefully, we will get to really settle down once we move into our new home in January.
P: What holiday traditions have you started as a family?
F: Last year, we bought a bunch of gifts that we wrapped and put under the tree so we could take photos of Molly in front of them. She doesn't need that many presents, so we donated half of them to families in need. She doesn't get it yet, but hopefully next year she'll understand when we explain that she can keep three or four and we'll give the rest to boys and girls whose mommies and daddies can't get them presents this year. This way we can teach her about the world and giving back. It is an important tradition we want to continue and something we hope she passes on to her children.