5 Differences Between East Coast & West Coast Moms (And One Big Thing We All Share)
Confession time: I'm both slightly intrigued and impressed by people who choose East Coast living. I mean, I'm West Coast through and through: I've lived here my whole life and am raising my family on the West Coast, too. Aside from airport layovers, I've only been to the East Coast (New York City, to be exact) once and I was pretty sick at the time so we only left the hotel for a concert and a hazy walk to Times Square. So, my understanding is that the coasts are pretty different, as our parenting styles are.
Here is my very West Coast perception of what East Coasters are like: They're savvy, smart, and quick. Everyone wears suits to work everyday, everyone works either in fashion or finance, and they all go to the Hamptons and wear cardigans on the weekends. All of their kids are in fancy private schools and have super-straight hair parts. Clearly, none of the above applies to the East Coast south of Washington, D.C., which is a whole other ballgame. Floridians, you guys obviously have your own thing going, I hear. I probably would too, if I lived near The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. How do you guys even manage to get anything done with an amazing distraction like that in your neighborhood?
To be fair, West Coasters deal with stereotypes, too. We prioritize our chill. We are serious about our coffee and/or our avocado-kale-mint smoothies or both, depending on who you ask. We get things done, too, specifically in the areas of tech and entertainment. We wear jeans and hoodies to work. We like mountains and beaches, and doing yoga in either setting. Our kids go hiking and/or surfing before they can talk, and they wear organic jammies, because obviously.
We love stereotypes (apparently).
Yes, I'm generalizing, and yes, deep down I know and recognize that we are all individuals with our own personalities...but the whole "East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry" is utterly ridiculous anyway, so why not be ridiculous about comparing it? Just for kicks, let's take a closer look at just how they could be affecting our parenting. If you damn East Coasters can turn down your Bruce Springsteen and stop blaring your car horns, maybe you can pay attention.
You don't just go to birthing class, you go to every possible baby- and pregnancy-related class possible. Your babe's future preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school are chosen before you finish the second trimester, and you probably didn't cry during your birth class because who has time for that?
You're not sweating the whole birth things. If any issues come up, your doula will handle them. You're not all that worried anyway since you're doing prenatal yoga five times a week, taking all the vitamins, and drinking all the green smoothies. You're hydrated AF. You cannot wait to encapsulate your placenta.
Unlike me, you guys probably know where your iron is, and use it often. You wear collared shirts for casual things like school drop-off and meetings with your lactation consultant, and not just for job interviews. Your nails and highlights are always fresh.
Yoga pants FTW. We sport our ponytails or beach waves with reckless abandon, love our layers and our flip flops (or boots, if the weather's not cooperating). A hole in our jeans never slows us down. In fact, it gives our toddlers something to point at, so in many ways it actually speeds us up.
Activities & Fun
I've heard summer camps for kids last all summer, which sounds awesome to me. Your kids have access to fancy language classes, and fencing instructors, and you may or may not start prepping for college during the preschool application process. Also, lacrosse.
Our kids spend lots of time sitting cross-legged in circles outside talking about nature, whether as part of an organized activities like Girl or Boy Scouts, or just because they feel like it.
Food & Nutrition
Your kids get take-out all the time, right? Plus, they're allowed to indulge on delicious pizza and bagels, usually in the middle of Central Park, as long as you wash it down with artisanal cucumber soda from a quaint mom and pop store that also sells expensive cheese.
Quinoa for every meal, plus we buy things like nuts and flaxseed in bulk. Smoothies are their own food group, as are salads. We can never get enough fair-trade coffee, though our kiddos get almond milk instead.
Scheduled c-section. No overnight hospital stay. Two-week maternity leave. Boom.
Water birth at home with family, at least one doula, and a midwife, although she doesn't really do much because you catch your own baby. Lotus birth. No formal maternity leave since both you and your partner are self-employed freelancers who work from home.
Images: Taylor Wasikonis/Romper; Giphy(6)