FRIDAY Q&A: LIVING WITH MY PARENTS, SLEEP TRAINING TEDDY, ADVICE FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEOWNERS, AND MORE

It’s been ages since my last Friday Q&A post and I thought we’d give it a go this week! I answered ten questions on Instagram earlier this week and today I have ten more for you. I’ll try to answer some more on the blog next week as well! Thank you to everyone who submitted a question and have a wonderful weekend!

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1. Any tips for living with your parents when you have your own family?

My parents are both working in school for the time being (they’re both on their second careers, my mom as a middle school nurse and my dad as a high school math teacher) and my husband has been working from home since March (three months before my parents moved in), so we have a ton of time at home just the three of us during the week! Maybe I’ll have a different answer if/when Will returns to commuting to the city in a post-Covid world, but I think the most important thing is that we all genuinely love spending time together when my parents are home. Again I think once the pandemic is behind us, it would be great for me and Will to carve out more one-on-one dates together, but right now we go for walks every morning with Teddy, eat lunch together most afternoons, and usually spend an hour together reading and chatting before bed, so it’s not like we’re never alone!

2. Are there ever any tensions or issues with your parents living with you?

I know this may sound too good to be true, but there really aren’t! My mom and I are very direct with one another when we need some space and my dad and husband are both extremely easygoing. We love planning weekend outings together, eating dinner as a family on weeknights, and binging the same shows after Teddy goes to sleep. I know it’s not a situation that would work for every family, but my parents are really some of my best friends and Will is independently close with both of them. It’s a funny dynamic but it works for us and I feel insanely lucky that we get to do this. 

3. Can we see your parents’ finished living space? The plans were so creative!

I so appreciate everyone’s excitement over wanting to see their finished space! You can see it 99% completed in this renovation highlight on Instagram stories, but in terms of decorating, they’re still settling in and deciding how they want to furnish it and I want to be respectful of that process! I promise you will see it as soon as they feel it’s ready to be shared.

4. What does Will do for a living again?

You can read all about him in this Q&A he did last year. 💙

5. Did you sleep train? Is Teddy sleeping through the night?

We had a really rough go with sleep when we got to Nantucket in July and Teddy started boycotting both naps and nighttime sleep (for the first several weeks he was waking up around 4:30 a.m. — not fun even in our favorite place!). We did a Zoom call with our pediatrician and she was basically like, “You guys look exhausted and this kid needs to learn to fall asleep on his own.” I’m not great at letting him cry it out — if he’s whimpering for five minutes, sure, but if he’s screaming bloody murder, I’m going in for a cuddle. I kept reading stories from parents saying it only took 15 minutes the first night, then 10 the second night, so on and so forth, but he’s a determined little guy so that was never our experience and it was too much for my heart to handle! We had more luck with sleep training once we addressed an underlying issue for why he was resisting sleep. A ton of people suggested the Slumber Pod to put over his travel crib and it instantly made a world of difference — we went from having to rock him to sleep for every nap to him rolling around for a bit and falling asleep on his own in 10 or 15 minutes. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me sooner as someone who sleeps with an eye mask on every night! When we got back home in August, I ordered these window clings to achieve a similar blackout effect in his bedroom and he’s napped well and slept through the night ever since. Clearly I should have splurged on the blackout shade option in his nursery from the get-go so if you’re decorating a nursery, please learn from my mistake! 🙈

6. How has it been with Will’s parents living in Texas? I’m sure lots of FaceTime dates!

Yes, they Zoom with Teddy once or twice a week! But it’s been hard not being able to visit them and all our friends in Dallas. As grateful as we are not to know anyone who’s tested positive for Covid, the strain of not seeing family members and friends has definitely taken its toll. I know so many friends who find themselves in similar situations with loved ones and I’m sending love to anyone missing their people during this time!

7. Any advice for first-time homeowners? Overwhelmed by furniture and kitchen stuff!

Congratulations! My number one tip is to take it slow — it’s something I wish I could go back and tell myself at certain junctures! Almost every piece of furniture I bought in a hurry to fill a certain space in a certain home has since been donated or given to a family member. I would live in your house for a little while with pieces you already own and figure out which rooms you’re spending the most time in. If you’re big cooks, ordering counter stools or outfitting a breakfast nook is likely to be your top priority. But if you’re more the takeout-on-the-couch type, you’d do better to focus on your family room and finding a great sectional that will hold up to spills and daily use. In my book it’s totally okay to live with empty or half-finished rooms (we are currently sans chairs in our dining room because we all fit around our breakfast table, for instance!) and take your time decorating each space one by one. Rome wasn’t built in a day and that definitely applies to furnishing a new home! 

8. Any tips on renovating an older home and working through its quirks?

We’ve truthfully lucked out in that the parts of our home we want to renovate are actually newer additions and the original structure that was built in 1850 is in better shape than what was added on by the previous owners! A lot of what we want to do in this house involves bringing the rest of the house back to its original charm, keeping things like the original wide doorways and wood banister in tact, and updating funky fixtures and rooflines that were added on much more recently. My best advice would be to find a ton of photos of the look you’re going for (research houses that were built in a similar era, study the color choices of other houses in your neighborhood that were built around the same time, etc.) and to find a builder who sees your vision and has the ability to translate it into reality.  

9. What would you have done differently if you were just starting on your kitchen renovation now?

I would have listened to all the people who told me to put a pocket door on our pantry. I insisted on a regular door and it made getting in and out such a pain that we took the door off its hinges and left it open. Again, feel free to learn from my mistake! 😂

10. Has your workout routine changed lately? I’m four months postpartum and floundering a little!

First, please give yourself some grace — I am in the same boat thirteen months postpartum and Covid has not made this any easier for you as a new mom! Second, my mom and I just wrapped up our second week of a new workout routine that I’m really excited about. It could be something that works well for you to squeeze in while baby naps!

6 thoughts on “FRIDAY Q&A: LIVING WITH MY PARENTS, SLEEP TRAINING TEDDY, ADVICE FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEOWNERS, AND MORE

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  1. Okay, I feel like I need to know—why were you so big on the regular door for your pantry?! Asking as someone who has also died on some random, regrettable hills in the past.

    1. Truly no good reason haha I just find pocket doors annoying to open and close! But it would have been much less annoying than a regular door that opened into the pantry and made it impossible to access half our stuff without closing yourself in the closet 🤣

  2. I loved the Friday Q&A series, so happy you did another one this week! That’s so funny (or funny in hindsight?) about what Teddy’s sleep issue was. Blackout curtains make 100% sense though and I don’t know why they aren’t more common for nurseries!! And re #6, hang in there – it is incredibly hard and isolating to not get to see family and friends right now. Really hoping we’ll have a widespread vaccine by next summer!

  3. If you are 4 months post partum and even thinking about a workout routine, I think you’re ahead of the game! I’m 12 months over here and…. it ebbs and flows 🙂 My main focus these days is giving myself grace.

    Also: hard agree on blackout curtains! This is the one thing I emphatically recommend to people designing nurseries. I noticed my son napped much better at my sister’s house than mine, and, low and behold, it was her curtains. Maybe you’ll have a miracle sleeper baby (my sister has one, ha!) who will be a great sleeper regardless of conditions, but, if your experience is anything like mine, you will reach a point where you will do ANYTHING to get your child to sleep, so might as well be prepared for that scenario 🙂