Dear Diary,

Recently, I returned to the nest. After spreading my wings and flying from city to city and place to place, I landed back in my native nest—my parents’ home. It was a tough trip. But I knew I had to take it. Nonetheless, it was a difficult decision. Growing up, I never imagined that I would live with my parents when I celebrated my fortieth birthday. But here I am, getting ready to blow out my candles this winter, raising my little girl under the roof I was raised.


So, why did I come back? I definitely didn’t do it for selfish reasons. I’ve always been a bit of a commitment phobe when it comes to planting my roots. In fact, over the course of my adulthood, I uprooted at least 15 times. I’ve lived in a big city and a small town; on the beach and alongside a canal; across the street from a park and down the block from a horse farm. Then, I became a mom, and my zip code changed once again. After being dumped by my long-term boyfriend during my second trimester of pregnancy, I relocated from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh and moved in with my sister. I wanted heal from heartache and raise my daughter near my family—my very big family. My maternal grandparents were married for 65 years and welcomed 15 children into their home. So, their house is always full of lots of people, laughter and love. And my daughter is surrounded by countless relatives.

After my maternity leave ended, I moved out of my sister’s home and into an apartment. We were within walking distance of a playground, pond and an ice cream shop. It was the perfect place to raise my daughter…for the moment. I later longed for something long-term. For the first time in my life, I wanted to plant my roots—and plant a garden in my backyard, which was nonexistent. But as my parents always told us, money doesn’t grow on trees! I needed to grow my bank account before growing roses and watermelons and purchasing a plot.


I decided to move back home. On paper, it made sense—I could stack paper instead of cutting checks to my landlord. Although I pay my parents, the rental rate is far less than the one in my lease. So, I decided to make a short-term sacrifice in order to reap long-term rewards. As my close friend says, it will get greater later. I will save money and move from renting a house to owning one.


Since I left my parents’ home, they renovated my room and filled it with their belongings. I needed to move things out to move my daughter and I in. And I needed to store our stuff somewhere. That’s where Guardian Storage came in! The storage facility offers affordable rates, convenient locations and space solutions of various sizes. The Monroeville location offers interior alarm units, 24/7 access and a free move-in truck rental. The rental rate is less than one of my credit card bills! Currently, there’s even an Internet special to get one month free.


Storage rental was easy. Adjusting to living with my parents was a bit more work. I am learning to share space and bite my tongue. This is my parents’ home and I must respect their rules and belongings. Fortunately for me, they haven’t set many rules. I really wonder who these people are and what they did with my parents. Richard and Malvane as Pap Pap and Grammy are different than Richard and Malvane as mom and dad. My parents love living with their only granddaughter, so they give me a pass on a lot of my idiosyncrasies, like late night Netflix binges and unmade beds. Therefore, I put up with their grandparent prerogatives, like serving soda pop at dinner and buying toys every time we go to the store. Heck, I remember when my sister and I couldn’t have a drink at dinner until we ate are food. When we did get soda, we split the can. Again, who are these people?

Although my mom and I are alike in many ways, she’s my opposite when it comes to cooking. I actually never want to move out! We get home cooked meals almost every day. My parents also offer babysitting services! I can now join a gym and workout after I put my daughter to bed. But I can’t get too comfortable. I must remember the reason why I moved in—to save money! My goal is to save at least $1,000 per month and pay off my credit cards. Currently, an American Express, Discover, Macy’s and   Mastercard reside in my wallet.

Thus far, it has been a humbling experience. I’ve learned not place a high value in things, to get organized—OK, I’m still working on that one—and to appreciate the everyday blessings in life. Hope you’ll come along of my journey!

You can find out more about storing your belongings, even if you’re not moving, by visiting Guardian Storage’s website, Facebook and Twitter channels.

Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is proud to partner with Guardian Storage to chronicle my journey to home ownership. Some form of compensation has been received, however all opinions remain my own. 

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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