It doesn’t happen right away. You have your baby and adapt to your new life in the city: lugging strollers on subways, feeding and changing anywhere you can, running around to playdates and classes--all while exploring this awesome city with your little one in tow.

But, then things start to change. Maybe it’s all of the running around or the second child, (or in our case the third child) that pushes you over the edge. Things are wonderful and amazing, but also so hard. You think about space and convenience. Before you know it, you are researching the suburbs, figuring out these other towns that are near-ish to NYC, learning about new schools. And then it’s done. You moved to the burbs!


As born and raised New Yorker, I never imagined that I would live in the suburbs. It wasn’t really part of my childhood, except for a few summers at sleepaway camp and visits to see family every now and again. Childhood was playing on stoops, in local parks, and hopping on the train whenever we wanted to get anywhere.

When I first had my daughter, there really wasn’t any talk about leaving. I adapted in this new terrain as a mother, and I loved rediscovering NYC through her eyes. When I had my second daughter we moved to a new space: a 3-bedroom apartment, which was a major score in our Brooklyn life. The girls shared a room and we adapted again.

But soon things started to change. With our third baby, everything just got really hard. I found myself constantly running from different classes to different schools, shuffling and lugging. All of those things at home we once overlooked--like no dishwasher and or washer/dryer--was becoming a burden. I struggled to keep up with the day-to-day, even with a work-from-home schedule. That is motherhood, I suppose, but there had to be an easier way.

We thought about moving within our neighborhood, but it was shocking how quickly the rents had risen since we arrived. Plus, we were starting to think more about the future for the girls. Did we want to stay in Brooklyn forever? I wasn’t so sure anymore.

The more and more that we thought about it, the more I realized that Brooklyn life wasn’t for us anymore. And while we were nervous to leave our community and the life that we had grown to love, it was time for something new.

For us, the suburbs was a no-man’s land. I knew a few people that had made the move, but I no idea where to go or even where to start. We only knew we needed a location that was close to the train to make commuting easy. We didn’t have a specific timeline for when (or if) we would move. Then one day my husband saw a listing in Westchester, so we loaded the girls and went.

I fell in love. It wasn’t a huge house or anything fancy, but it was just what we needed. There was space, a backyard and front yard, storage, a play area for the girls and an office for me. There was a dishwasher and a washing machine. After some contemplation and some quick research on the town and the school district, we decided to go for it. A few days later, we embarked on this new adventure together.

It’s been just a few months, and I don’t know why we didn’t do this sooner. The community has been incredibly welcoming, and the girls have made friends and quickly adapted. Our house is also close to the town that I can walk to the train, local stores and library. I love having a quiet space during the day and being surrounded by trees and nature. Having been in the city my whole life, these pleasures feel luxurious.

The day-to-day with 3 kids is still crazy and busy, but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It’s amazing to see the freedom that the girls have now. They both are constantly telling me how much they love living here. The transition has been harder on me. Since it’s more of a driving culture, I have found it harder to find moms to connect with, which is a little reminiscent of the feelings of being a first-time mom.

Do I miss Brooklyn? Yes, of course. But we have it nearby and it will always be a place that is close to all of our hearts.

Finding the right suburb is challenging and incredibly scary. You have to be ready--both mentally and emotionally--to embark on this exciting change. The best thing is to do your research, visit the towns and learn about the schools. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section!

Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)


Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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