Some people make the decision of whether to move to the suburbs or stay in the city when the baby is still in utero.
From the moment of conception, it seems, some folks have their mind made up that they cannot stay in the crowded city a moment longer. It's like the hormones of pregnancy also trigger some visceral anti-city campaign. The house goes on the market at the first trimester screen and the household items are all packed up and ready to go by the 20-week ultrasound.
For others, it's just the opposite. They are holdouts. They wait out in the city until the last possible moment that they just can't bear living in that rented one-bedroom Gold Coast apartment for a moment longer. They love the city. So they decide to throw caution to the wind and head north of Fullerton. It's still the city, right?
Doesn't matter who you are, where you start out, or how you get there. At some point you must decide on whether or not you want to raise your kids in the city or you want a lawn.
For us, the decision to raise our sons in the city was made based on several factors - my husband's commute to work, school and innate preference. As I mentioned before, I love cities and Chicago is no exception. It doesn't quite feel like a city when I'm shlepping the kids to Target, but I'm reminded of city life every day when I try to get to the gym down Lakeshore Drive at 8:30 a.m.
A short commute to work was important to us. As for school, we are lucky enough to be able to send our kids to a school of our choice. We know it's not for everyone, but we found the perfect school for our family, and it fell outside of CPS boundaries. So we're sticking with that.
Plus, there's something for us about living in a metropolis. The variety of people we see, the grittiness of the day-to-day grind, the ability to get most places by walking or public transit. I didn't grow up that way, and while I loved my upbringing in the suburbs of Detroit, I'm excited that my kids will experience something a little different.
But there's the flipside I know - the lack of space, privacy and the expense. Sometimes it's hard to get over the expense side of things. For now, though, the city's where it's at for us.