getting off the seventh avenue subway stop in park slope, brooklyn, all the memories start to come back. my old hood. my favorite coffee shop called grumpy’s, the tiny italian market and the bagel hole (which has my all-time favorite bagel in nyc). i met sean and cara shortly after finding a great church in the neighborhood. they hosted a weekly get-together in their apartment… their son, rogan, quietly hopped from one lap to another as we talked about what was happening in our lives.
this week, it was almost as if i walked into a different home! decorated with stockings, a tree, lights… the wilson family has seen many changes this year. the main one being their new sweet little guy, cohen! after putting the boys down for a nap, cara and i talked about both the things that have changed and the changes yet to come…
you’re running out the door, what do you put on?
i put my hair up when i don’t have time. i rarely wear makeup anymore. i’m always way more concerned about being prepared than what i look like.
what’s the most important thing in your diaper bag?
snacks, hands down. if cohen has a snack cup with a bunch of puffs, he’ll spend two hours trying to get those puffs out. feeding himself is still a novelty to him, he’s just entered that phase.
what item has proven to be the biggest bang for its buck?
funny you ask, it just broke! a video camera monitor. they’re really expensive but i think it’s been very valuable. i like that i can watch him at nap time and see what he’s really doing in there. and one nap time, this is a super confession, i had to move the car down the block to keep from getting a ticket. i took the monitor with me… but i was only gone three minutes!
what’s on your to do list that you never complete?
honestly, i don’t even put those sorts of things on my to do list right now. if i did, it would be really
discouraging. of course i have things i’d like to do, but there’s always something else that’s more pressing. it’s just the season that i’m in right now, the boys being so young.
any good motherhood tips for adding a second child into the mix?
when cohen was first born, i gave myself a six month allowance of as much tv for rogan as i needed. someone told me that when you have them this close together, you just have to allow it and not feel guilty. it helped.
what routines have you put into practice?
well monday is my big cleaning day… the best day of the week. because the weekends are so chaotic with company and going places, every monday morning i have to be home and clean.
you’ve gradually made the transition from graphic designer to stay-at-home-mom. how was that change for you?
i’ve always had this struggle with motherhood and my career. at my previous job, i did well very quickly, which is a blessing, because it made me feel like i fulfilled my career goals before i had kids. and i’m only 29! but it’s hard because you get attached to your income. if i went back to work, we’d have less problems, budgeting would be easy, we could go on vacations and travel… but the value of staying home with my children is much more significant.
what’s it like being a stay-at-home-mom in new york?
i was a super-judgey person about stay-at-home moms before i had kids. new york is such a career-driven, successful city. women are very independent and you’re not expected to stay home. in advertising, i noticed fellow pregnant women working alongside me resented me when i decided to scale back on work. there was a lot of, “oh, that must be nice.” sean’s job has been a big blessing, allowing me to stay home. at one point, neither of us were working full-time, but god wants me to stay home. sean started a great new job last january.
what do you do/where do you go to unwind?
i still don’t go places alone. at the ages that they’re at, it’s a lot of work for a babysitter. i’m just sacrificing “me time” right now.
what do you indulge in?
convenience. i buy everything online. fresh direct, soap.com, diapers.com. i’ve been doing it long enough that i know some of the tricks to make it cheaper. soap has a big sale once a month, so i’ll usually hold out until that and then place a big order. fresh direct also has great sales on meats. we’re a big meat-eating family.
why did y’all choose nyc to raise your children?
we just didn’t want to leave when we had rogan. it was helpful to see other people raising kids here. we constantly have people helping out, there’s a great community here in brooklyn. we didn’t need to leave. there are, though, temptations when i see what other people can give their children. a playroom or a cool car bed, because they have the space. i ultimately just want to live where god wants our family to serve.
what are some challenges?
everything’s in your face here. poverty. how do you talk to your children about when it’s appropriate to give when someone asks for money? how do you talk to your kids about the crazy person that’s screaming things? how do you teach your kids about safety without instilling fear?
you’re from ohio and sean is from texas. what do people from home think about your choice to raise your family in nyc?
it’s heartbreaking when you hear, “oh i could never live in new york. i could never raise kids in new york.” a lot of times i feel like i’m being accused of being selfish for living here. people assume… it’s the city, it’s dirty, the schools aren’t that good… why would you do that to your kids? there are a lot of misconceptions. i think people back home are finally realizing, “oh, they’re intentionally choosing to live there. they have two kids now and they really are going to stay.”