College Life to Mom Life

I remember being so jealous of Maureen’s life in Los Angeles, it was the definition of living vicariously through someone.

She was studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (where LC went for any Hills fans), living in an apartment building with a roof top pool, meeting celebrities like Mariah Carey, partying at high end clubs, and working in fashion day in and day out. She was living out my sixteen year old dreams that were based off of Lauren Conrad, and as her best friend, I couldn’t have been more happy.

 

During college, as well as after she moved home too, Maureen was presented with various experiences, tribulations and opportunities. Although our undergrad years were drastically different, post grad life hit us like a brick wall.

‘What now?’

That haunting question that keeps you up at night, the one that is impossible to silence, struck Maureen upon moving home to Philly.

While reflecting back on what her initial expectations were for life after college, she notes that she thought it consisted of “freedom, partying and doing whatever you want, which does happen during a short window of time, but reality hits when you’re back living with your parents, loans kick in and you’re basically forced to find a full-time job. You have to grow up really quick.”

Stress is something that is inevitable for all of us, and Maureen often finds herself stressing over is being too hard on herself even when she realizes she shouldn’t be. On a more professional level, she stresses about not being in complete control which is why she hopes to one day be her own boss.

And speaking of stress, she advises all soon-to-be grads, to NOT stress and cherish the last moments of college life and have fun. “Whatever you’re stressing about will eventually be over with sooner or later. Don’t worry about getting your dream job right away. Do what works for the time being and the right job will come at the right time.”

So now three years out of college, Maureen has not only found the right job, she found her dream job: becoming a mom, which she comments is both the toughest and most rewarding job in the world.

IMG_1505

When talking about parenthood, I asked Maureen if she felt that others view her only as a mom now and no other role, and she responded by saying, “Yes and no. I think more so yes for those who don’t know me very well. I think people innocently assume that moms are just moms because they might not know any better. They assume that your life only consists of your child, which is pretty accurate because your child will always be your whole life, but they have no idea what you do outside of your kids. Some are so quick to assume that moms do nothing but be moms. I think being a young mom makes it harder for people not to judge me. Age is just a number, your actions show the kind of mother you are. I defy this stereotype by just being myself. I still do the things I want to when I can and it works. My boyfriend and I are truly an amazing team. Without someone by your side who truly loves you, parenting would be a completely different ball game.”

I admire and respect Maureen for balancing everything she does. While living in New York she had the opportunity to work for Armani, now she works at a high-end bridal boutique in Philadelphia which she comments on and says, “it’s a different side of the industry that I never saw myself falling into but I enjoy being able to be a part of a girls big day and helping them feel their best, it’s a rewarding job.”

On top of working and being a mom, I don’t know how she balances it all but she does and hats off to her for it. I can barely balance my life and I have significantly less responsibilities! Addmittedly, Maureen finds herself frustrated sometimes that she isn’t able to work out as much she would like to and not always being able to follow through on personal goals.But I know that when the weather is nice, she loves walking as much a possible with her daughter, Ava!

As I said in the beginning of this post, I was so obsessed with Maureen’s life while she was living in L.A. and I can confidently say I’m obsessed with her life now too. She has found something some people never find: true love. Not just with her boyfriend but in her daughter, too.

IMG_1502

The future is never clear, and sometimes it presents obstacles, but it can also present opportunities.

Post grad life for Maureen is going pretty well, I’d say. She has a job she’s passionate about, a supporting family, and the most beautiful daughter who is so full of life and love, it’s hard not to be jealous.

I want to finish by including some words of advice from Maureen that seem to be a similar response for those doing these posts. Every response I’ve gotten holds the central theme I’ve created for this blog.

“Be yourself and never doubt it. If you are still figuring yourself out that is okay too. Embrace it, it is okay to not always know the answers to everything or how you feel about everything. Whatever you do, do not let others mold you. You will get lost. Stop caring about what other people think.  People are always going to talk no matter what, thinking about it solves nothing. Do you and don’t look back!! You’ll be happy when your older and can say I didn’t give a shit what people thought of me!  Lastly, as cliche as it sounds, follow your heart. So many people our age feel obligated to get that big job or buy a car or even a house. Do what feels right. You might find a job you love that has absolutely nothing to do with what you went to school for. Does it make you happy? If it does, then that’s all that matters. Life really is simple if you take a step back sometimes. Don’t get caught up in the drama of what you think you should do, do what you WANT to do!’
10891750_10205549670929216_8744505619113933548_n

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Struggles of Moving Back Home After 4 Years of Semi-Independence

Let me just start off by saying that I’m very aware that moving home after graduation today is the most responsible, and maybe even the only option because of the skyrocketing pile of loans we all have; but in return, we better prepare ourselves to leave our freedom at mom and dad’s doormat and return to a lifestyle we outgrew. This may feel like a step in the wrong direction, but hopefully it’s just a pit stop while we keep piecing together our adulthood puzzle. However, even after knowing why moving home is the most sensible decision, it doesn’t make this hard pill any easier to swallow. If you’re reading this, mom and dad, I love you and please don’t kick me out. Also, I’m sure you’re equally as unhappy about this change as I am, maybe even more.

So here it is. My parents aren’t the most health conscious people when it comes to eating, which is fine, but after eating like shit the past four years, I’m trying to be better about what goes into my diet. So usually I buy a good amount of my own groceries with the exception of the staples like milk or eggs.

On Monday night, after already having a huge blow out with my mom about not remembering to text her that I wouldn’t be coming home the night prior, I went to the food store and bought groceries for myself to last the week. Normal, right? And not for nothing, my parents should be happy I’m buying my own groceries and not expecting them to just provide me with whatever I want and pay for additional items when they go food shopping. Well, in case you didn’t already guess, that’s not the case! The second I walked in the door with, mind you, two bags, the first comment I get thrown at me is, “You better not have bought anything that needs to be refrigerated because there is absolutely NO room for anything else.” Like holy shit, people, it’s not the end of the world if we have to rearrange a few things. I feel like I’m living with my psychotic roommates from junior year all over again who made me feel like an inmate in my own house, minus the bitchiness. This anecdote could be misconstrued as over dramatic, but I’m not exaggerating when I say my parents make comments like this all the time…

Not to keep talking about the kitchen, but it’s also frustrating that I want to make different dinners than what my parents make but it’s hard because 1) the kitchen is small, 2) my mom thinks it’s rude when I don’t want to have what she’s having, 3) I’m somehow always in their way even if I cook 2 hours after they do and 4) even if I do wait those 2 hours and cook myself a meal, the second I finish the last bite I can already hear my mom saying for the six hundredth time to clean up the kitchen. So, it’s not even enjoyable and I rarely do it.

Anyway, I realized I really took living at school for granted and didn’t realize how truly beautiful it was while it was happening. All those times I came home for a weekend, or even just a day- regrets!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and family. I mean it could definitely be way worse; but man, do I miss coming home after a long day and being able to just plop on my couch, catch up on social media, and relax without being interrogated as if I just committed a murder. “Why are you home so late?”, “Where were you?”, “Who were you with?”. Get the point? Sometimes I sit in my car for a few minutes outside of my house just to avoid 20 questions. And if it’s not the questions then it’s the repetitive, mundane comments like “Take your stuff up when you go up.” “Put your shoes on the steps.” “Hang your coat up” etc.

What I miss even more than coming home and not having to answer to anyone , is the people I was coming home to. Of course it’s nice being given the option to move home after college and not being forced to live on my own right away, but I miss having roommates my own age- people that have more common interests, like to gossip, and watch the same TV series. Not to mention, sometimes just wanting to drink a bottle of wine in the middle of the week for no reason. Although, I think I could easily persuade my mom into that one… she’s a good time.

Don’t even get me started on why living at home post grad is an obstacle and continuing struggle in the dating world, whether you’re in a relationship or not. You know what I’m getting at!

When it comes down to it, I really shouldn’t complain about living at home right now considering its dirt cheap, aka free, and I don’t have a whole lot of money especially after factoring in student loans; not to mention my constant, unsuccessful internet sourcing job search. But now I realize that paying rent pays for a lot more than just the literal roof over your head, electric, and gas- you’re paying for freedom and independence, a different and exciting lifestyle and an area more suitable for your job and/or social life.

So while everyone else on my Facebook feed is getting engaged, married and/or having babies, my only goal right now is to move out at my bank accounts earliest convenience. But until then, hopefully my parents don’t kick me out after reading this, and I can start saving up to make the move and truly experience my 20s!