PERFECT PARENTING: CHICAGO MOM.
Remember when I said that if I were to start my blog today I would have it be a site for multiple contributors (if not, you can read it here)? Well, I am delighted to share today's post with you from my friend Lauren who lives in Chicago with her husband and beautiful daughter Caroline. I first met Lauren years ago at my best friend's wedding, true story! Well, actually it was my best friend's bridal shower. Lauren is my best friend Rachel's cousin. I will never forget the beautiful shower Lauren, her sister Elizabeth and their mother hosted for Rachel-- every detail was perfect!
Lauren and I have kept in touch the last couple of years through Facebook and it has been fun to keep up with all of the exciting things happening in her life, especially when she welcomed her little lady.
Writing has always been such a pleasure for me. Sitting down anytime day or night and being able to share my feelings, especially on motherhood, is extremely therapeutic. Some of my favorite posts on motherhood I have written are this one, this one, and this one. I have invited a few friends, some who are moms and some who are not, to write a piece to share on Perfect 10 SF. I am grateful to my friends for taking me up on this offer. I hope you enjoy their pieces as much as I do!
Thank you to Lauren for writing this beautiful piece and sharing photos of your darling girl!
I always imagined that when I grew up I would become a wife and a mother. I pictured myself living somewhere on the East Coast with my husband and children in a suburban house with a yard. That was an image I always thought about and hoped would become a reality.
What has transpired is an altered image. The East Coast is Chicago. The suburbs are Lincoln Park in the heart of Chicago, and the yard is a small deck off of our third-floor condo.
Different than what I imagined? Yes! Better than I imagined? Absolutely!
Becoming a mother and raising a child in the third-largest city in the United States has been an adventure. The adventure has been full of unique experiences and challenges that I will carry with me for the rest of my days.
We live in the charming neighborhood of Lincoln Park which is full of shopping, dining, and cultural destinations. At the corner of our street is one of the oldest bars in Chicago. It’s a classic neighborhood bar where babies are not frowned upon. Lucky for us, on the couple of occasions we’ve taken our daughter she’s loved all of the lights and fans on the historic tin ceiling of the bar. From our condo, my daughter, Caroline, and I walk to the Lincoln Park Zoo, attend Tunes with Tim music class at Monica & Andy, stroll through the Green City Market, enjoy the butterflies at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and walk to the lakefront for Stroller Strides classes. I should have invested in a Fitbit a year ago when Caroline was born to see all the miles we’ve logged together walking this city.
With the good however, usually comes some bad. Our brand new City Mini GT stroller was stolen from our condo entryway. To steal a stroller from a city mom is a serious offense in my book, as I use the stroller multiple times every day. The three flights of stairs up to our condo are quite arduous when you are carrying an infant in a car seat plus the diaper bag and the tote bags from running errands. Thank goodness for grocery delivery! The climate can be challenging too, but this past year we lucked out with a very mild winter which allowed Caroline and I to still get out for many walks. Fingers crossed we luck out again this year!
As my husband and I approach the first birthday of our sweet Caroline, I feel a range of emotions. I feel grateful that we survived the first year. I feel lucky that I got to experience so much of Chicago with my sweet girl. I feel blessed by friends who have become our family in Chicago. I feel thankful for the unending support we have received from both of our families who are scattered all across the country. It has been quite a year—very different from how I imagined my first year of being a mother—but I wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe the three flights of stairs).