Recent Reflection

Life Ramblings

The one thing that has been really nice about this big life change is that it’s given me a chance to reflect – that first year of being a mom plus working and making the decision to jump ship left me feeling like I couldn’t think clearly. Now, I have lots of [semi] alone time on my hands! Moving to a big city has made me reminisce about our time in Boston, and leaving Dallas has made me think a lot about what I like and miss about it. A few things I’ve become more aware of:

  • I’m a much better mom if I have a break – gym childcare, nap time, Matt stepping in, vacation, and babysitters are essential.
  • Good weather/being able to spend time outside and better work-life balance for Matt are top priorities for our next chapter of life.
  • Space is not as important as I thought, but having a yard and a car are.
  • There are pros and cons to every situation, but I think I prefer working part-time to being at home all the time. I hate feeling like I’m not contributing to society. But, if we are lucky enough to have another child at some point, I  cannot stand the thought of someone else telling me exactly how long I can be with my newborn (but, if you know of a part-time, flexible, education or non-profit gig, lmk!)
  • Matt and I often discuss whether or not it’s worth it to spend money on travel when the experience is different with a little one – I know there are two camps of people on this one, but I’m still thinking travel enriches my life.
  • My budget is really tight and I’m trying to be more minimalistic about clothes. My SAHM outfit has been jeans + sweater or ‘nice’ sweatshirt with boots or gym attire, so I haven’t needed much and feel great not spending money. We’ll see how it goes in the spring when I’m lusting over dresses and sandals.
  • I’m more content to stay in for dinner than I used to be but I still want amazing food that’s better than anything I can cook.
  • Little things are more satisfying than they used to be: a massage, a glass of wine, a good tv show, SLEEP, laughing, sun, Emerson, a nice view = the.best.things.
  • Marissa
    January 17, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Yes, I’ve spent barely any money on clothes since I became a SAHM 2 years ago! I’ve really been surprised at this. I basically live in athleisure & I LOVE it. I jokingly say when I do go back to work in the future, I’d better find a job that I can wear stretch pants to! And getting a break as a SAHM is SO important. I’m definitely a better Mom when I have a break as well.

  • e
    January 17, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I moved to NYC in 2005 and haaaaaated selling my car so much! I completely understand missing that convenience. At least this is temporary? Try renting a car once a month to not feel so trapped. Hit up Wegmann’s in NJ.. it’s the best grocery store around there (though it’s no Central Market)!

    • Laura
      January 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Def. temporary and so wonderful to walk everywhere!!

  • Andrea
    January 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Working part time is the best set up for me as well. I need that variety – I find that right when I’m getting sick of either staying at home with the kid or working, it’s time to change! I hope you’ll like your new place more once it’s not so cold out! I’m in Canada so I feel your pain 😉

  • Jordan
    January 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    My daughter was born around the same time as Emerson, so it’s been great to follow your adventures! I’m working full-time and went back when my baby was 3.5 months. It’s been a huge adjustment for our entire family and has been really tough for me, especially since I have a long commute. We love our nanny but lately I’ve been thinking about trying to find a part-time role so I have more balance and more time with my family. I wish it was easier to find these elusive part time roles! Good luck!

  • Lauren
    January 17, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    While I’m sure you didn’t mean any ill will, I find the comment “I hate feeling like I’m not contributing to society” to be irresponsible. As a SAHM myself, it feels like you have implied that I make no contribution to society. Comments like that feed the chasm between working moms and stay-at-home-moms. (Again, I feel sure you didn’t intend that. It’s just the way it came across to me.) For the record, I firmly believe there is no more important contribution to society than pouring yourself into your child. Not that you can’t do that WHILE working—of course you can. But a few months (or years) spent at home with babies are not wasted.

    I really enjoy your blog. Wish you all the best in this new chapter!

    • Laura
      January 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks for your comment – I hear you and I’m sorry if my words seem irresponsible! What I mean to say is that I feel external pressure from society because I’m viewed by some as not contributing. I’ve wanted to be a SAHM as long as I can remember, but in this day and age (and now living in this career-focused city), I definitely feel societal pressure. Every time someone asks me if I’m going to look for a job, I feel self-conscious like that person thinks I should be looking. I’m with you in that focusing on raising my child is my contribution at this moment.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Denise
        January 19, 2018 at 10:38 pm

        Interesting perspective. I’ve fortunately been a stay at home mom for 21 years (we have 3 kids). My husband and I got married at 23 and after our first child it was always, I’ll be a stay at home mom. Two years ago I went back to finish my bachelors degree, because I always said it was something I wanted to do. As soon as I graduated I got the question of now what? What are you going to do with your degree? Are you looking for jobs? And I look at it as do I have to? I completed my degree “for me”. Do I really want a boss, now? Can I fulfill that void of a “paid” occupation by volunteering and doing some sort of service. I think society does put pressure on people, like you, that you have to seek paid employment. And does your salary make that much of a difference in what you can and cannot do? It never made sense for me to go back to work and even now if I was to go back to work we are bumped further into a higher tax bracket. I’m just given you a different perspective as a 45 year old.

        • Laura
          January 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm

          Love your perspective! And congrats on your degree!

  • Patricia
    January 18, 2018 at 12:48 am

    Perhaps you could find a volunteer job for a few hours a week. I don’t know if you have access to childcare, but if you really feel the need to “contribute to society”, volunteering might fill that box. I agree with Lauren, above, that you ARE contributing by raising your daughter. I’m sorry you feel societal pressure to “conform”, so to speak. You and Matt should decide what is best for your family right now. I think sometimes people ask questions about employment (or another baby, etc) because they don’t know what else to say.

  • Julia
    January 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    I have a job but I don’t feel like I’m contributing to society with it–totally want to quit and stay at home, and then othertimes I think my kids would drive me crazy and I’m grateful to work. Mostly though, I think I work bc I feel societal pressure to (as you mentioned). I have a phd and feel like everyone would think it was a waste if I stopped working. No insights…just wanted to say that this post really resonates with me, even though I’m working.

    • Laura
      January 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      It’s all so confusing and there’s no easy answer, right?

  • Karen
    January 18, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    My husband is in the military so we move around quite a bit and we are rarely in a place for more than two years. There is an adage that is often repeated in our community – bloom where you are planted. However, one thing I’ve learned over the years that it is okay not to bloom at a particular place. We can’t be the best version of ourselves everywhere we go…it simply isn’t possible. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t happy nor does it mean that we hate where we are…it simply means that we didn’t bloom as vibrant as we did at another place. I hope you find your groove soon! And who knows, maybe you will bloom. And if you don’t – that’s okay! 🙂

    • Laura
      January 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Love this – thank you:)

  • Sarah
    January 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Don’t overlook the fact that it is winter in nyc . Undeniably the hardest season here and much harder than it is in surrounding suburbs. Spring in nyc is amazing. I had a similar experience in that we moved to nyc when my older daughter was 15 months for what we knew was 2 years. We left right after she turned 3 and while leaving was what was right for our growing family (and we now own a home, Car and live in a great town), I will alswsys cherish those two years. I had been working full time before the move to nyc and loved having that dedicated time with my daughter without the restraints of a school schedule (she did a 2 day 2s program the second year ). We explored nyc together, having epic adventures in Central Park, the museums, playground tours of different neighborhoods etc. I also made such amazing mom friends. Do not wish this time away or spend it thinkong about what you don’t have — it is but a brief moment in time.

    • Laura
      January 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you for the pep-talk 🙂 Funny how similar your story is to mine!

  • Mary
    January 21, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Laura – our first move, to Williamsburg, VA was especially hard for me as it was my first time moving far from home. I like the phrase of “Bloom where you’re planted” also, and I personally have taken a page from those who say “Don’t wish away your days.” I try not to be one of those “Three (two, one, etc) days until the weekend” people because it’s really all the days that make up our lives. The mundane ones, in the end are just as memorable as the travelling, exploring, dining out days. Moving is always hard, so kudos to you for doing it to a wintering city with a small child!

    • Laura
      January 21, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks, Mary! Very true. I especially want to cherish this time with Emerson, and I find myself wishing away the days less than I did when I was working.