What Moving To The Suburbs Has Really Been Like
You know what’s funny, loves? The above photo was taken last winter right after we moved into our new house, and I was planning on writing this post then.
A million things happened that prohibited me from doing so—i.e. I went to San Diego for three weeks for yoga training and got pregnant—and now here I am, almost a year later, writing this post from an entirely new perspective.
Ryan and I moved to the suburbs (specifically to New Canaan, Connecticut) in August of 2014. Shortly after we got engaged the January prior, we starting thinking of where we wanted to settle down. The thing is, I was so wrapped up in the engagement and wedding planning that I didn’t even think to consider whether or not I was even ready for a move of this magnitude.
Moving to the suburbs in Connecticut is a commitment. Most of the towns in Fairfield County are built for families, which is why couples tend to move here from New York City when they’re expecting or have little ones and crave more space.
To this day, I truly believe Ryan and I rushed our move here, but I’m also someone who believes everything happens for a reason (more on this below). In all honesty, the past three years have been hard.
Living in a town that caters to families while working from home is extremely isolating, and I spent the better part of two years trying to find my place here with only some success. I was by far one of the youngest wives-to-be in town, and didn’t feel as accepted as I had hoped. This was no one’s fault—it’s simply a sign of the times and I didn’t fit in.
The feelings of isolation and depression put a strain on my relationship and mental health. I was also trying to start a new online business simultaneously and while some things were working, most weren’t. It felt like a constant uphill battle that I couldn’t seem to win. I would go out of my way to try to meet other women, and even took a job at a local juice shop to connect with like-minded people. I constantly felt like I kept failing and even asked Ryan to consider leaving Connecticut to head back to the city until we were ready to start a family.
Shortly after several conversations around the above topic, I decided to essentially “quit” my business and start over. Alas, Healthy Wifestyle was born in January of 2017. I also realized I didn’t want to spend my life sitting behind a computer, so off to yoga training I went. OH! And one other thing happened right around that time. I got pregnant!
I’m someone who knows myself well. I knew I wasn’t happy, and I kept blaming our surroundings for my unhappiness. I recognized it was time for change, so I took action. But little did I know that all of the changes I made would alter my life in such a drastic way.
It’s very common for women to experience a difficult transition moving to the suburbs, regardless of whether there are children involved. My experience seemed so extreme because I worked from home. If I was commuting to an office and around colleagues during the day, I don’t believe I would’ve had as difficult a time. I’ve spoken to dozens of women over the past three years, and nearly every single one can relate to my feelings of isolation and depression with this big change.
I took my lessons and starting sharing them with other women I had met. Before I knew it, I had friends from all over the county whose sentiments were similar and we quickly bonded over our similar circumstances. Recently, I hosted my baby shower, and all of these wonderful women had the opportunity to meet each other. It was magical.
I even decided to start a Facebook Group with another mom-to-be (due one week before me, ironically) called New Moms in New Canaan, and we hosted our first meet up last night. We all agreed there’s a major gap in figuring out how to meet other women who are new to the suburbs or newly pregnant, and I’m so happy to be able to use my experience to help other women transition to this new lifestyle and feel a little less alone.
Everything changed when I got pregnant. I was easily able to connect with my community and feel like I was a part of something. Is getting pregnant necessary to fitting in around here? Of course not, but for me, it was an important part of the journey.
This little baby girl has taught me so many lessons, and she’s not even here yet. I truly believe her message was for me to slow down, and stop forcing things that weren’t working (like my prior business).
Moving to the suburbs has been quite the journey, but I’m happy to say that 2017 was the year that everything fell into place and I’m so excited for what lies ahead.
If you’ve ever been in a similar situation, know that I feel you. To go from city life to the suburbs, to go from a family of two (you and your significant other) to a growing family of three-to-be (being pregnant)—these two transitions are not easy ones and the discussion around them is rarely brought up. It’s okay to feel like you don’t fit in, and it’s okay to experience difficulty in making things work. It took me over two years to really find my place here, and now I’m so happy with this life Ryan and I have created—both within our home and our community, and this little being that will be arriving anytime within the next month.
My biggest piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to reach out. Go out of your way to meet new people. Organize walks or coffee dates. Connecting with other women later in life can be tricky, and it’s almost as if you’re “dating” again. Don’t look too much into it, and try to enjoy yourself!
What are your thoughts, my dears? Have you experienced a similar transition in moving to the suburbs or to a new place? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!