Thinking about a move to New Mexico! - Mothering Forums
Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico > Thinking about a move to New Mexico!
mama_ness's Avatar mama_ness 02:50 PM 03-17-2011

Hey there! 


I am currently in the midwest and am studying to become a midwife. I'll be done in about 3 years. I would really like to move from midwest. I've lived here my entire life and feel *no* desire to stay. No matter what... we'll have to leave our current state because cpms are illegal here. If we're going to move, I'd like to move big and never move again! 


I am lobbying hard for a move to New Mexico. I am having such a hard time finding information on the Internet about moving there or what life would be like for our family. 


We have 4 daughters. I will be a midwife when we move, but I can also do doula work, childbirth education, placenta encapsulation, etc. 


We unschool and like to grow our own food. We hike and ski. 


Any New Mexico mamas want to shed some light on our situation? Would NM be a good fit for us? I'd like to stay in the Northern half of the state. 


Any books, memoirs, blogs you could point me to that might help me decide? 


Thanks so much! 



elmh23's Avatar elmh23 08:37 PM 03-18-2011

NM sounds like it would be good for you.  Homeschooling is really easy here as far as I know (I'm not a homeschooler) and, as a whole, the woman of NM tend to go with midwives more often then OB's (not necessarily home births though.)  Albuquerque has a ton of homebirth midwives, but I'm not sure about other parts of the state.


Good luck.

mama_ness's Avatar mama_ness 12:10 PM 03-20-2011

thank you for replying! 


the more i read, the more i believe that albuquerque would be a great fit for us. they have an active secular homeschool group, lots of things for kids/families to do, a lot of midwives, and affordable housing (at least it seems affordable compared to where we live now!) 


elms23, are you familiar with abq at all? two things i am wondering about the area:


is it possible to be a one-car family and rely on busses and biking to get around and 


what's the gardening situation like? i can't imagine not growing at least a little of our own food. is there enough water to grow a garden without being horrible unfriendly to the environment there? 

Eyelet's Avatar Eyelet 07:53 AM 03-21-2011


Originally Posted by mama_ness View Post

is it possible to be a one-car family and rely on busses and biking to get around and 


what's the gardening situation like? i can't imagine not growing at least a little of our own food. is there enough water to grow a garden without being horrible unfriendly to the environment there? 

I lived in Santa Fe some time ago and now live in the Chicago area, so take my answers with a grain of salt. When I lived there, there was a severe water shortage and watering your garden/lawn had to be done on specific days only. Most people I knew (and saw) didn't even have grass on their lawns... it required too much water to maintain. 



Albuquerque is really spread out... there is public transportation but I can't verify how reliable it is. I rode my bike in Santa Fe all over the place, but as a main means to getting around I would imagine it kind of difficult. I think it depends on where in the city you end up and how close to resources you are. However, most people I came across very much depended on their cars. 


Hope this helps some. smile.gif


Eman'smom's Avatar Eman'smom 02:33 PM 03-21-2011

I personally wouldn't be a 1 car family in ABQ, it can be done I know families that do it, but really what that means is the person without a car stays home. 


I highly recommend a visit.  We are east coast transplants and there are certainly things we love about being here, but to say it's a total change of lifestyle is an understatement.


A garden, we have one but it's really just a hobby of Dh's, we can't grow enough to be anything more than fun KWIM?

mama_ness's Avatar mama_ness 01:12 PM 03-22-2011

thank you both for your replies! 


we are definitely open to purchasing a second car when we get there. but my husband's very old, rackety jeep isn't really worth moving so i was hoping to just go without. and he would like to get more into biking anyway! 


we will certainly visit. smile.gif portland and albuquerque are our top 2 potential moves right now. and they are both very far away (2-3 days away driving) so we are saving our vacation days and money for a trip to each sometime in the next 3 years.  





riomidwife's Avatar riomidwife 04:38 PM 03-25-2011

Albuquerque is in the middle of a huge desert. You can grow food, many people do, but it is an adjustment. There is no "soil" here like you have in the midwest -- and there is no water!

Portland has a long growing season, and lots more water. Also has a lot of midwives, like ABQ. There are a number of areas in NM that could use midwives, but they're not the first places people think of when they think NM. Grants, for example.

elmh23's Avatar elmh23 04:58 PM 03-25-2011

One car- well, it depends on who would have the car.  My dh rides his bike most of the spring and fall (or does when he's not in graduate school.)  Now with graduate school, I take him to work and then he takes the bus down to the university.  It CAN be done, but it is much more difficult and when we were 1 car and he took it to work, I went crazy cause public transportation isn't all that reliable nor does it go anywhere I want to.


Gardening isn't my domain.  Last year was my first garden and all that succeeded was sunflowers, lol.  My cucumbers were doing well until my dog ate them.  But, I do know some folks who can succeed at it.  A friend from church has a massive garden and does a lot of freezing/canning with what she has left over, but she's an exception I think.


Enjoy your visit when you come, but keep in mind it is an adjustment.  I've been here since childhood and it's still somewhat of an adjustment (the NM way is just different.)

Eyelet's Avatar Eyelet 09:46 AM 03-26-2011

Another thought to just throw out there... A good friend of mine is in the same predicament as you. She's studying to become a CPM and wants to move to a legal state once she becomes certified. She's currently in IL now.


She's seriously considering Wisconsin. *Lots* of CPM's are there. They're regulated and have a strong central association.  There's affordable housing, a long growing season, and homeschooling is easy.


Feel free to ignore if not interested, but I thought I'd just mention it. smile.gif

Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 06:58 PM 03-26-2011

NM is definitely midwife and homeschooling friendly.  I am in Rio Rancho, which is about halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  We love it here; it's peaceful and calm.  Nice people, good food, pretty scenery, mild weather, low traffic, and great schools.  We have been here for 3 years now, and even though my DH works in ABQ.,  I don't know the city well enough to recommend areas or how the bus system runs.  We do have a train, The Rail Runner, that goes from Santa Fe down to Belen, and I know a lot of people up here take it to commute in either direction.  I'm actually transferring to UNM next semester and most of my classes will be at the ABQ. campus, so I'm sure I'll learn more about the city then.  As it is now, I spend more time in Santa Fe (and Rio Rancho, of course) than down that way. 


Best of luck exploring your options and deciding on a new place to live. 


 oh, and I killed my tomato plants in like a month; however, that included going out of town for a week and not watering them... it gets super sunny, and so I'm guessing gardens need more water and special care due to the clay/sandy dirt vs. good growing soil.  But I know there are people who do grow veggies and such successfully. 

mama_ness's Avatar mama_ness 02:14 PM 03-27-2011

thanks thanks thanks everyone!


wisconsin (madison) was definitely on our list but i am married to someone whose profession is pretty dependent on public hiring/funding so i doubt we will move to wisconsin given the current political climate there. if they have a new governor in 3 years, we will put it back on our list!


also, i am kinda done with looooong winters. :)

ambersrose's Avatar ambersrose 09:43 PM 03-29-2011

I love New Mexico and Albuquerque but it is not for everyone.  I moved to New Mexico in 2000 from Southern California and now I think of New Mexico as my home.  If you appreciate the beauty of the desert and want to live around a diverse mix of people and cultures then it is a wonderful place to live.  Where you live in Albuquerque will be the determining factor as to if you need a second car or not.  Public transportation is decent but not top notch IMO.  I know a lot of one car homeschooling families who do just fine.  The homeschooling community here is very large which I love and the amount of homebirthing moms is high.  Gardening is not impossible here.  I have had a mid-sized garden every year.  Drip irrigation helps alot and we do have a "rainy season" when we get afternoon thunder storms almost everyday in mid to late summer.   It sounds like you would fit in just great if this is where you chose to move to.  Feel free to message me with any specific questions about the city or homeschooling community here. :)

indigolilybear's Avatar indigolilybear 07:29 PM 04-08-2011

We are also former SoCalifornian's who have also lived in SW CO.  We used to HS and are UC'ers though we birthed them all in CA.  :) 


People have answered your questions re: HS and HB.  I agree with what they said.


We LOVE NM and Albuquerque. (and we have lived a LOT of places)...IMHO, it's the perfect weather (4 seasons but mild and dry....but you can have snow for excitement)...but no driving on snow which I HATED.  I love the big skies, dry air and beautiful scenery.  Somehow it's a good fit for us, but some people don't like it and I can understand why. 


IMO, the N. Valley (which is where we live) is best for gardening and stuff...the soil is near the river so it's not as bad.  We do have to ammend soil but we have great crops but you do need to mulch a lot.  There are also areas south that are cheaper and are also somewhat agricultural.  We live near the 25/40 interchange and have chickens, turkeys and dogs.  MY husband LOVES the irrigation ditches....we can irrigate each summer...which is amazing in the middle of a city. It's something we looked for in a house. THe ditch runs behind our house, buffers us from behind neighbors and is also a nice path to walk along....super cool.


DH and I agree that it's great to be able to ski like he does in the winter at the Sandia's and drive home to a snowless road in town in one day.  I like that since ABQ is the "big" town around here, we have so many great programs for the kids like UNM has a music prep school with Suzuki and all kinds of music lessons on Sat.  Along with museums, some international things, that kind of stuff but w/o big city traffic and crowds.  Granted, I miss things in Socal like abundant international foods, more ethnic diversity and such but given the price you pay, I think ABQ gives you more bang for your buck.  Lots of hot springs around, hiking etc.  ANd a major airport so we can see family when we need to in a reasonable fashion.  (we used to live off the grid and it was torture getting back to CA if we wanted/needed to.)


HTH, you sound like a good fit IMO>

mamayogibear's Avatar mamayogibear 05:33 PM 02-25-2012

So... I'm wondering about Taos. I've been there a few times but never stayed more than a week or two. I spent a week in an earth ship and loved it, I camped in the county for a week then staeyed with friends for a week. But this was all before kids and I'm not quite sure I got the whole zietgeist of the community but it seemed really crunchy and down to earth. There is an excellent helath food store and the UNM there has courses on biotecture and sustainable living which is really popular in the earthship community, it is also one of the few real colleges that offer degrees in holistic health and yoga. Anyways I have always dreamed of living there, maybe that might be an ideal community for you.