It’s funny how things really do happen in what seems like inevitable stages and like dominos, everyone seems to progress together. I used to think it was peer pressure and ever defiant, I’d march to the tune of my own drum, but I’m realizing that it’s more like a natural progression. You get married, you have kids, and the stage it feels like we’re entering, you move to the suburbs. I used to be allergic to the suburbs, but recently, I’ve found myself wanting a more quiet life with more space, nature and a break from the bustle of the city. While we still take advantage of city living, we aren’t hitting up the hot new bars and restaurants every weekend and our activities usually involve kid-friendly venues – more often the children’s museum or zoo over the MET, and we usually get out of the city on weekends anyway. I like the change of scenery of leaving the city but it’s a huge hassle to constantly be packing up and driving and unpacking only to do it all over. If we add another kid to the equation, I don’t know that we’ll be able to go back and forth as frequently or have the energy too. It’s a lot with one.
Then there’s the space factor. Everyone warned us kids have a lot of crap and it’s already taking over our apartment. We have been giving up our space to make more room for his stuff but there are only so many pairs of shoes I’m willing to part with. And when we go to visit our parents in the burbs or go out to the country, I watch James and Dakota run around and have the time of their lives and see the benefits it would have for them. With schools on the horizon, it feels like a good time to think about these things.
But then there’s the commute. Would it eat into my time with James and time at work? Would it make my already demanding job harder? What about after work events and all that? Do I want to be a train ride rather than a cab ride away if there were an emergency? Would I want to switch gears and work from home and would that even be feasible?
Are we ready to own a home and deal with all the responsibilities that come with it? Being able to call a super every time the toilet clogs or we need a lightbulb changed is nice. As is the convenience of having everything at our finger tips – food, diapers, shopping, whatever we need/want. Then there’s the inconvenience of having to shlep it around. At least in the burbs we could pack our car up with supplies and not have to run out every two days.
The school are in theory more affordable but then there are home and other expenses like getting a second car, home insurance, property taxes, etc. Still, the price tag of preschool in the city is pretty shocking and about six times what it costs in the burbs. But with the house costs, it does even out? But then you get space in return.
But the commute…
Does this back and forth mean we’re not ready? But we’re going to need new space/we do now — could we make it until we have another kid? Can we deal with another move in the city, and how much longer can we stay in the city? But then the suburbs feel so permanent and there will be years of carpools, burbs, and all that? It feels like time and a lot of our friends have made the move, but then it’s permanent and there we’ll be and there’s no turning back for maybe the rest of our lives or at least while James is in school. How do we know where that one place is that we want to settle and hopefully not get sick of for the rest of our lives. Just typing that out makes me nervous.
Most of all: Are we ready? Are we ready to say goodbye to this chapter of our lives and hello to a new one?
People who have moved to the burbs: How did you know it was the right time? Do you love it? Is it worth it? If you work in the city, how do you deal with the commute and seeing the kids and everything? Is owning a house with a lawn and a toilet you have to plunge yourself and things you have to fix yourself when they break and all that as big of a headache as it sounds? Do you miss the city?