Faces of AWNY: Katherine Bruce, AWNY Mums & Bubs Coordinator

I moved to New York with my husband Matt and our daughter Emily, who was eight months old at the time, nearly two years ago. It’s been a busy two years, with lots of highs – including the birth of our second daughter, Sophie, last Memorial Day – and some lows – hello, two of the worst NY winters on record!?!! As much as I’m looking forward to being back in Sydney with family, friends and an easier lifestyle for kids, I know there is so much I will miss about New York. In particular, the friends I’ve made through the Australian Women in New York group and the wonderful, supportive mums in our Mums & Bubs group.

So as I farewell this brilliant city, here are my top tips for making the most of NYC as a stay at home Mum with young babies.

Online Shopping

This is something I’m really going to miss as I order pretty much everything online! Groceries: FreshDirect for next day delivery, Instacart for delivery within 1-2hrs; Diapers.com for anything baby related, it usually arrives the next day; Bed Bath & Beyond will deliver anything in store within hours for a small fee; Gap, H&M, Zara for kids clothes, and all the high street department stores. So much easier than battling the busy streets of NYC with a double stroller!

Get out of New York

One of the most memorable trips we’ve done during our time in NY was a holiday in France to celebrate my 40th. We listed our apartment on Home Exchange and were inundated with offers from all over the world to swap homes. We ended up swapping with a family in Paris, who had a beautiful apartment in the 9th arrondissement. So easy with kids, huge saving on accommodation and they gave us lots of local knowledge on where to eat, parks for the kids etc.

Paris apt

View from our apartment in Paris.

We also joined Zipcar and took weekend and day trips out of NYC. There are so many beautiful towns within 1-2hrs drive of the city and Zipcar makes it easy and affordable.

Meet other Australian Mums

Every mother needs her support network and more than ever when living on the other side of the world. I met so many wonderful women through the Australian Women in New York Mums & Bubs group, including some very close friends who I will miss dearly. We have a fantastic Facebook community of Australian/Kiwi Mums in NYC who are always very generous with their advice and support for women in NYC or making the move over here.

Take Time to Chill

Finding a Sunday night restorative yoga class at Upper West Side Yoga has been my sanctuary from the noise of NYC and the intensity of looking after two small children 24/7. I look forward to this class all week!

Leave the Neighborhood

As much as I love the buzz of downtown NYC, there are fewer strollers and elevators, and more people so I usually keep to the Upper West Side during peak hours. I tend to save venturing downtown with the kids for early weekend mornings when most people without kids are still asleep or at the gym. One of our favorite things to do on a weekend morning when the weather warms up, is an early breakfast at The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, followed by a walk along the Highline before it gets busy. The restaurant has lots of outdoor seating and it’s always easy to get a table at 8.30/9am.

Culture

I’ve been to Women of Letters at Joe’s Pub every month since it started and this is also something I really look forward to. They bring together an eclectic group of writers, actors, musicians, and comedians, and ask them to write a letter on a theme and read it to the audience. Most of the letters are deeply personal and hilarious/heartbreaking. A highlight was seeing 80s icon Molly Ringwald!

Central Park

One of the best things about this city is Central Park. Living on the Upper West Side, it’s a short 10-15min walk from home and we spend most weekends there, outside of January-March. There are 21 playgrounds inside Central Park and I think we’ve been to pretty much all of them! So much fun for kids in the summer when they have the sprinklers on.

Date Night

So many incredible restaurants in New York… some of my favorites include Han Dynasty, Balthazar, Commerce, Gramercy Tavern, Morandi, and Meme.