Confession, I’m an Austin transplant, originally from the idyllic town of Coppell, Texas just north of Dallas. After two decades of plotting my escape, I got my opportunity to become an Austinite in 2013. So why Austin?
Well, I’m a free-spirit, a little bit hippie, and a lot a bit liberal. So is my husband. In my small town, that’s also known as weird. More than once we heard, “You’re weird. You’d love Austin.” So, we decided to give it a whirl and flourished. We welcomed our daughter, Henley, in 2015 and our cat, Gemma, in 2017.
Now that I’m raising an Austin-born daughter and an Austin Pets Alive rescued cat, I feel less like an imposter and more like a resident.
So with that street cred in mind, here are 50 things you’ll understand if you’re an Austin mom too!
- We’re somewhere between health nut and tacos are a food group.
- Fancy grilled cheese and gourmet hot dogs are staples. It would just be odd for our kids to eat Kraft singles and Oscar Mayer, right?
- If our kids aren’t living off those foods it’s a BBQ or vegan diet.
- Our vegetables are homegrown, it’s character building for our little ones and gives us a chance to talk about the cycle of life when the summer heat smothers our garden.
- We’ve got a little hippie in us. You might just spot our toddler in a flower crown shaking a tambourine with the beat of the wind.
- Our kids would be barefoot all the time, but the sidewalk, grass, air are all just a little too hot for it.
- We’re active and love to bring baby along. Mommy and me yoga is good for the soul, our bodies, and our kids’ energy level.
- Nothing ends a good yoga sesh like aromatherapy for us and the babe.
- Honestly, any ailment can be cured by some combination of things in our essential oil collection or a crystal, or both.
- We may have even asked our child to pick a crystal from our collection to decipher their energy for the day.
- And we know all about their astrological symbol and how it totally ties back to their personality.
- But at the end of the day, we don’t put too much stock into it, because we’re pretty calm mommas. Years of mindfulness practice is paying off.
- Like the good ol’ days our kids spend plenty of time in nature. But we’ll totally pass the iPad over so we can sip our hot lavender latte. Otherwise, we’re chugging cold coffee, which is basically a sin in Austin.
- No matter the day, we’re prepared for every climate. We never know if our kids will need a rain jacket or a bathing suit.
- Explaining snow to our kids is like talking a different language. And since it’s so rare, school and work shut down so we can all go ham making snow angels.
- Come summer, we know every splash pad within five miles of our home.
- Sunny and 75 outside? Enjoy it! There’s only like ten of these days a year.
- When it happens, we hit the trails. Two-years old is totally the right age to get our kids hiking, McKinney Falls even has a few easy trails.
- There’s so many beautiful things to do in the ATX with our kids like the Butterfly Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we live here.
- Then Cedar Fever hits, which takes a mix of Western and Eastern approaches. Bring on the antihistamines and elderberry syrup.
- We may not be sunbathing at Zilker Park anymore but we still make it out there to ride the Zilker Zephyr and sneak in some people watching time.
- We’ll be packing our weapons of choice: sunscreen and bug spray.
- It’s totally acceptable to take kids to a brewery. A fan favorite is Jester King because of the vast outdoor space + Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza on the same lot.
- Romance is a family date at Amy’s Ice Cream but we don’t mind because that Mexican Vanilla…
- We also don’t mind taking our kids to the Austin Zoo because it’s actually an animal sanctuary and our bleeding hearts can totally get behind it.
- Animal lovers we are. Our rescue animals were the first babies in our life so our kids grow up cuddling cats and/or chasing dogs.
- That’s not our only cause. Growing up in the state’s capital, our kids learn about civic responsibilities and even sit in our laps while we vote.
- We don’t shy away from discussing tough topics like homelessness and bring the kiddos along when volunteering at spots like Central Texas Food Bank.
- We also care about the planet. Recycling and composting are everyday habits for our kids.
- STEM education tops our list of things to share. We’re in Silicon Hills after all so events like Girlstart’s Starry Nights make our annual must-do list.
- When it comes to learning in general, we favor a holistic approach including experiential play. It might seem laissez-faire, yet it’s anything but – we just value more than academics.
- Which is why you’ll find our kids in music class or showing off their free flowing dance moves at a children’s concert.
- And let’s be honest, those concerts are the closest we’ve been to a club since becoming moms.
- We still have time for our village, though. Snapping a group photo, with the moms in giant hats wearing their babies, under the “I love you so much” sign feels like a requirement for being a mom in this city.
- In case you didn’t know, here’s how to wear a baby: Wrap baby in sustainable, vegan fabric, hold a craft beer, and sway to live music at your festival of choice.
- Ah, festivals. ACL is a totally for kids too, but every other year we like to leave ‘em at home to relive our “glory days”.
- But really our glory days are the ones spent exploring Austin’s culture through the eyes of our mini best friends.
- Culture isn’t hard to find. We grab a pie at Home Slice and stroll SoCo for local wares and live street music.
- When we were pregnant the first time, we took a farewell stroll through the Blanton because toddlers and an art collection don’t seem like a good mix.
- We’ve seen our children’s art projects and while they’re clearly the next Jackson Pollock, it’s best to keep the wild brushstrokes and tactile play at home or places like the Thinkery.
- If we’re not in North Austin for that Thinkery trip we prepare for the apocalypse. Austin traffic is ugh. Even chill moms like us bring snacks and drinks to drive a few miles.
- Brunch? It’s no longer about the drinks and food, it’s about finding a restaurant with a playground for our kids to run about while we catch up with girlfriends.
- And Kombucha is our new mimosa, microbrewed and local of course.
- We enjoy Buddha’s Brew while shopping local produce at the Farmers Market and letting our little ones eat popsicles.
- And the best Farmer’s Market is at Barton Creek Square. While sorting through local honey options our kiddos head over to the Tiny Tails petting zoo. Wait, who are we kidding, we want to hold baby animals too!
- If we’re not shopping local, we’re thrifting or scouring second-hand shops.
- For a handmade fix, we bring the whole family to events like Renegade Craft Fair. While snatching up soy candles, we sip on craft cocktails and make silly faces in the photobooth.
- We go through a slew of emotions when deciding where to grocery shop. Whole Foods has the best cart selection (regular, mini, or race car) but HEB has the best prices and Buddy Bucks. Yep, HEB it is.
- Our brain is full of the details for everything kid-friendly. Book People has storytime at 11:30 am Saturdays, come Sunday, Moontower Saloon opens up for kids, and so on.
- There’s so much to do here but at the end of the day we just want our kids to grow up kind and happy.
Austin isn’t too shabby when it comes to kindness and happiness. It’s a place where folks accept different backgrounds, appearances, perspectives, and so on. As we raise our own little weirdo as an Austinite, more than anything on this list, I’m happy to be raising her in this city of unique souls.
What would you add to this list?