I'm a "big city" kind of gal: I've lived in NYC and in Dallas.
And while the first reigns superior for celebrity sightings, chic
shopping and serious, no-fuss, no-muss attitude, the latter is
loved for the abundance of southern charm, warm and welcoming
temperatures and unbeatable barbecue.
Neither compares to Chicago, a city made famous for housing one
of the world's largest and first Ferris wheels, a marvelous museum
scene, the greatest lakefront allure and of course, deep-dish
pizza. But what you may not know - or realize just yet
- is that living in this Midwestern city is like dwelling on a
kiddie-proofed playground, 24-7. Parks galore, music and movement
classes to boot and sweet, adorable boutiques icing every urban
outlet all make raising a baby in Chicago easy, efficient, and of
Here, other Chicago parents reveal the bright side-and
less-than-glamorous moments too-of baby-rearing in the Windy City,
stroller and diaper bag in tow (at all times).
"Our Lakeview apartment was walking distance to the lakefront,
which was a fabulous feature. What wasn't so grand? The
rent-included parking spot was actually too small for our mid-size
car. It was impossible to open the back door wide enough to get my
son's infant car seat out of the car, and unpacking groceries was a
-Sasha Diskin, mom to Jordie
"Living in Lincoln Park, we have the luxury of so many worldly,
amazing city attractions at our fingertips. One morning, we plopped
the babes in the stroller and started at the zoo at 9. We then hit
up the (Notebaert) Nature Museum by 10:30, stopped by the landmark
and local favorite RJ Grunts for lunch at noon. And we still had
time for a quick swim at the Eastbank Club downtown-all before
naptime! That's a tall order of incredible greatness, which is
impossible to accomplish if you're living in the 'burbs, yet easy
to handle if you're city dwelling."
-Ashley Netzky, mom to Brody and Landon
"In the mood for Italian? The sky of family-friendly restaurants
is the limit. Have a hankering for hot dogs? Again, your options
are enormous. Regardless of the neighborhood you live in or time of
the day, we always find great, yummy places to eat that are warm
and open to our babies. Most have children's menus or will make
items to accommodate kids' tastes, without any complaint."
-Vanessa Ladin, mom to Bryce and Quinn
"New moms often experience cabin fever: that feeling of being
stuck inside all the time, simply to feed the baby, change diapers,
do laundry and sleeptrain. But in Chicago, leaving the house is
super appealing, thanks to so many affordable-make that
free-outlets to enjoy. The Lincoln Park Zoo is always free, and
even hosts song-hour on certain mornings; many museums have free
kid days or special programs for little ones. And every local
bookstore has a free, scheduled story time. It's a great way for
new moms to meet other new moms, too."
-Ericka Thacker, mom to Braedyn and Judah
"My daughter, Uma, thinks our entire Rogers Park condominium
building is her house. The plus side is that she feels very
connected to her dozen neighbors, who she knows by name and loves
to greet. The downside is that we'll never live in a house nearly
that large, nor that full of fun people to chat with, so she'll
likely be bored."
-Jodi Navta, mom to Uma
"Everyone knows that Chicago is cold a lot of the year. So it
goes without saying that walking-whether to the park or just to get
the mail-is tough to bear, especially with a baby. As a result,
there were plenty of times this past winter that my wife, Stefani,
wouldn't make it outside our front door. That's rough on Mom, and
in turn, the baby too."
-Todd Coslow, dad to Peyton and Tyler
"While I'm spoiled by the 7-Eleven at one end of my block and
the CVS 24-hour pharmacy at the other corner-which make for quick
and simple diaper and milk runs when I'm in a bind-I don't exactly
adore living at the top of a third-floor walkup. Sure, I've become
a first-class schlepper, not to mention that scaling 50-something
stairs at least three times a day helped to take off the baby
weight. But I can also admit to being envious of my suburban
friends, who just pull up to their front door and grace right
through it. No sweat, no stress."
-Pam Rosenberg, mom to Samantha
See more of Robin's stories here.
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