To do: File this post under “Things to share with your best mama buddies IMMEDIATELY.” Why? The yin to my blogging motherhood yang (Hey-yo Kel!) and I are ecstatic to now officially be a trifecta. We’re so excited that the fabulous Shaheen from Lows to Luxe is joining our motherhood series!
For those who may not know her, Shaheen is the coolest person. She’s a blogger and dentist, based in Chicago, who also happens to be absolutely hysterical. I’ve known her for a few years now, and literally every time we get together I laugh. She’s the kind of down-to-earth friend who you can chat with about anything, and always provides an honest point of view about things, so I have no doubt that her posts will add so much to this series. She’s also a new mom to Zain, who is such a cutie and is 5 months this week. (Let me go ahead and state the obvious: Yes, he and Josephine are destined to date.)
How cool is it that this series is going to now have three different perspectives on topics? Since starting this back in May, I’ve loved reading Kelly’s take on things (and your thoughts in the comments, too!) and am so excited to have Shaheen as a part of this moving forward.
Psst – If you’re new here, be sure to check out a few favorites from the series thus far: How did you know you were ready to have kids? |How many kids do you hope to have? | Tips for traveling with kids | Doug’s dad survival guide | How did you choose your children’s names? | What have you learned from your kids? | Three funny moments with Grace and Jo
Ok, now for today’s topic! Where do you see yourself raising children? This is actually a hot topic for Doug and I right now, because we’ve been thinking a lot about moving. Remember this post? We’ve since paused the home buying search until we can figure out exactly where we want to go. The more we looked, the more apparent it became that we needed time to figure out that key factor. Walk before you run, ya know?
The truth is that, while we love Chicago, we never envisioned our family living here indefinitely.
While there are elements that are great — parks on seemingly every corner, endless restaurant and activity options, the lakefront, some of our favorite people on earth — there are others that are becoming just plain annoying. Things like driving circles around our block to find a parking spot, lugging bags of groceries in hand while also trying to manage two kids (literally the worst), or sitting an hour in traffic to go the equivalent of 5 miles. The city is starting to feel like more of a hassle than what it used to be: an adventurous hustle.
Then there’s the whole money factor. I won’t go down that rabbit hole right now, but I’ll tell you that when I look at how much we spend on rent in the city vs. what we could get elsewhere, it makes me want to pack up yesterday. I know, I know…it’s all about location. But the price of it can be tough to swallow.
Which is so funny, because all these things were never deal breakers prior; they were just a part of the city that you dealt with and embraced. Having kids definitely turned it all on it’s head for us. I can’t pin-point a moment when it all changed…it’s just slowly becoming overwhelming.
It’s all about perspective, I suppose. So, there you have it. We don’t see ourselves raising kids in the city, though we’re going to no doubt miss it when the time comes to leave. (Having heart palpitations just thinking about it!)
Where, then, do we want to go? That’s the golden question!
We are not totally sure yet.
Right now we’re just…figuring it out. Exploring areas. Thinking about timing. Taking our time. After all, there are so many factors to think about in any move, much less one that is uprooting your whole family, and really lifestyle, with leaving the city in mind.
So, I think the best way to answer that question sans providing you with a defined location, which I really can’t do right now, is to tell you how I envision Grace and Josephine growing up.
I see them learning how to ride bikes on streets that are lined with trees, not cars. I see summer nights having dinner in a big backyard, surrounded by hanging bistro lights, music playing, and family. I see winters bundling up to sled down hills, falls raking leaves into piles to jump in, and springs listening to nothing but the thunder roll in while cozied up with some good books. I see a house – not big, something modest – but one that’s ours to grow with. I see the girls walking down the street, hand in hand, to catch the school bus.