Where Do You See Yourself Raising Children?

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.

Now, it’s your turn. Where do you see yourself raising kids? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Be sure to swing by Kelly and Shaheen’s posts, too!

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7 thoughts on “Where Do You See Yourself Raising Children?

  1. Fariha

    My husband and I had no plans of moving from the city, but when he got a job out in Lisle, we moved to Wheaton. I never thought I’d be that mom that raises her kids in the suburbs. I loved growing up in the city, but now that we’re in Wheaton with a 6 month old, we realize how much we love it here. There are so many stores, cute shops, restaurants, and parks nearby. And the schools are great as well. The people are so friendly too. The houses are expensive, but we’re hoping to save up enough and move out of our apartment when our family grows. You should check out Wheaton 🙂

    By the way, I found your blog through Shaheen’s. Looking forward to following some more Chicago mom bloggers now that I’m a mom! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Fariha | http://blog.farihawajid.com

    Reply
  2. jillian

    Every time I go downtown I miss the city SO much — especially seeing my friends who still live downtown and eating good food! But then we come home to the burbs (naperville!) and I LOVE the space. We have huge yard for Vi to run around in and lots of space indoors too. I also love having a driveway and garage and not worrying about where to park and how to get places. And the burbs are pretty amazing in terms of things to do with kids — there is ALWAYS something to do to keep your kids entertained. I personally love Naperville’s libraries, riverwalk, Morton Arboretum, biking around our neighborhood, and of course the parks. good luck with your decision! and always remember even if you decide to move out of the city you can still visit!! I think Vi has gone downtown more this summer than I ever did growing up 🙂 good thing her mom and dad miss good food and are willing to drive an hour for it! xo jillian

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  3. Rachel

    I work in NYC but live in the suburbs of NJ for this reason! I’m not having kids anytime soon, but when we do, I want to raise them not in a city.

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  4. Biki

    Welllll, I don’t have kids so this isn’t a question I’ll be asking myself anytime soon ( ; I will say that I live in Berlin and because of the relatively low cost of living-compared to other cities like LDN- Berlin does have its benefits. The city is also very children friendly, there are children cafes eeeverywhere ( :

    Reply
  5. Laura

    This is such a great post and thanks for sharing it with us! Personally for me I wouldn’t really want to raise children in the city, I really love the green suburbs and smaller places with a village feel.

    Not having children just yet however it’s so important to think about as we are thinking of a move.

    Thanks for sharing, it’s sparked some thoughts that’s for sure.

    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

    Reply
  6. Kim

    My family immigrated from Vietnam to Connecticut because first most, they had the extraordinary opportunity to and secondly, they heard Connecticut had great schools! My fiancé and I will struggle to choose a place to settle down that’s elsewhere from Connecticut since we’ve lived here our entire lives. But it’ll certainly be an adventure deciding! Who knows where we’ll end up! I hope you guys find something well suited for your family!

    Kim
    simplylovebirds.com

    Reply

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