10 Things Suburban Moms Probably Take for Granted…

10 Things Suburban Moms Probably Take for Granted…

Mom Jeanine
November 9, 2011


10 Things..., Good Question, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards

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Despite my complaints (wait for them, they’re coming), I wouldn’t trade living in the city for anything. I love that my daughter has such easy access to all the city has to offer and raising her in such a diverse environment is really important to me.

That being said, raising a kid in a city seems much harder in a lot of ways than raising children in the suburbs. I’m sure being a suburban mom comes with its own challenges, but as a city mom I feel like suburban moms have it good. They have space, privacy and of course, there’s all that money they’re saving.

The point of this post isn’t to offend or insult suburban moms. Rather, think of it as my way of commiserating with other city moms. And in the process, maybe helping a few suburban moms who may be feeling down about their situation realize it isn’t so bad.

Here are 10 things that make being a city mom hard as hell…

1. Space. And I’m not just talking about apartment space, although that is a problem, too. Everything in the city seems more compact. It’s a breeze to push your double stroller through grocery store doors in the ‘burbs, but it’s darn near impossible to get that rig inside the corner store. Trying to navigate once you’re actually in the store… whole other issue.

2. Not having to carry your stroller up and down stairs. I will admit, this is how I lost all of my baby weight and some. But when I was carrying that 25 pound beast up subway stairs, I honestly thought there couldn’t be anything worse. Even labor paled in comparison.

3. Not having to push your stroller through snow. Strollers, like cars, should come with 4 wheel drive. Just for city moms. Have you ever tried pushing an umbrella stroller over 3 inches of snow? Yes, it’s probably the best arm workout ever, but it’s also like a modern day variation of that whole pushing a rock up a hill torture.

4. Being able to run to a car with your kid when it’s raining. But if instead you have to get yourself, your kid, his/her backpack and your own bag to a bus stop 3 blocks away, the rain is essentially your immortal enemy. I know they make children’s umbrellas, but that requires actually getting your kid to carry his/her own umbrella. Not that easy when the wind keeps blowing it up, or the rain keeps blowing underneath it or your kid is just not in the mood that day.

5. The school situation. I know that some suburbs have bad public schools, but I feel like the situation is even more dire in cities. The classes are too big, the facilities are decrepit, the list goes on. That means private schools are really most parents’ first choice, except that unlike public schools, private schools turn people away. The competition factor plus the tuition makes educating your child in the city pretty much a nightmare.

6. Inviting the grandparents to spend the week (ok, maybe just the weekend) with you. I’d love for my parents to come stay with me for a few days, but that would mean they’d have to sleep (a) on an inflatable mattress or (b) in the bed with my daughter and me. Not. Happening.

7. Being able to take your kid out to eat. Of course, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the city featuring a diverse array of food. Unfortunately, lots of those restaurants look down on diners under the age of 10. They don’t have crayons, they don’t serve milk and they don’t respond well to having to clean up spilled beverages. In general, I feel like eating establishments in the ‘burbs are way more kid-friendly.

8. The money situation. We all have bills, I know. But at least in the suburbs you’re getting something other than location for $1600/month.

9. Privacy! Because we live in such close quarters in NYC, your neighbors basically know what you do every second you’re in your apartment. They know when you’re weaning your baby off the paci–they hear the screaming every night. They know what you ate for dinner–they smell it across the hall. They know when you go on vacation–they stop hearing your child scream in the hallway. In some ways it’s a blessing, to have someone who knows your goings and comings, but it can also be a bit of a curse.

10. Letting your kid be a kid. Toddlers love running around and they deserve to work off some of that steam. In a house, a kid can run around and stomp to their heart’s content, but if my little girl so much as steps too loudly my downstairs neighbors are on the phone with the landlord petitioning for me to get evicted.

City moms, did I miss anything? Suburb moms, what sucks about raising kids in the ‘burbs? Share in the comments.

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  • Jennie
    November 9, 2011

  • It is DEFINITELY easier raising kids in the ‘burbs. Like you, when my kids were young we lived in Brooklyn… The double stroller or stroller + buggy board on the subway stairs was the WORST.

    Also, getting groceries back home (I know, now there is Fresh Direct)

    I don’t think suburban living is actually cheaper. Though you may get more space for your $, you also pretty much NEED 2 cars and if you commute into the city for work (or play) those train tickets and/or parking garages add up quickly. And I’m willing to bet a suburban mom spends considerably more on gas than a city mom does on Metrocards.

    As for restaurants,eh, it may be ok to bring the kids in the ‘burbs, but really, is there anywhere to go?

    I think the public school thing in the city is really a crisis situation, as you say even the “good” schools are overcrowded and offr minimal enrichment… but to be honest, unless there is some kind of massive change in our country’s beliefs about public services & education, the suburbs are quickly following suit…

    As for neighbors knowing your every move, that is one thing I actually miss about city life… They may be in your business, but there also there when there’s an emergency or just for company… that sense of community & neighborliness is much harder to find in the burbs.

  • RC
    November 9, 2011

  • Pretty fair comparison I’d say. My one suggestion to ease a few of the complaints would be babywearing – stick your kid on your back in a mei tai and go anywhere you want! If you start them early, they will put up with it. :) When I had just 1 and then 2 we took the train into the city all the time, and yes, the stroller and stairs was the most annoying part of the trip when I brought one. I do love living out where there is space and privacy as well, but if we win the Mega Millions I dream of buying a brownstone in the Village….

  • cindi
    November 9, 2011

  • wish it was that easy im in a bad neighborhood in a burb of chicago in a 1 b/r apptment above a store basicly have to deal with all the same stuff so city or burb it sucks im moving to the country

  • Marina
    November 9, 2011

  • Yay but then you live in the burbs.

    Yawn.. mall culture, restless kids. Meh, I’ll pass

    P.S. The city has amazing public schools if you advocate hard enough for your children and the education of culture, diversity, street smarts, etc etc.. the list goes on of daily living in a big city… however i do secretly yearn for a car and then realize the tickets, gas and payments are not worth it.

    There are many many kid friendly restaurants in NYC too.

    I liked growing up here and feel a bit elite about it and feel it gives you grit and an edge… which I’m already seeing in my children. Two days in the burbs and I’m so ready to be out.

  • NNN
    November 9, 2011

  • I grew up in Brooklyn and love the city. But now that I have a child I definitely agree suburban life IS easier with a child. Although this post assumes everyone in the suburbs is living in McMansions. Lots of people live in small apartments with no privacy and limited space in the suburbs. The stroller issue is an issue all around I think. My biggest issue with citylife is parking and aforementioned lugging strollers up and down stairs and in snow and rain. Having said that if I had the means I would definitely move to a fancy apartment in the city. But I would probably also try to take cabs and get delivery for groceries and stuff. Until that happens I’m enjoying the conveniences and when the suburbs get too boring I take a train ride into the city.

  • Helen Williams Chaffins
    November 9, 2011

  • Finally a post that doesn’t make me angry or irritated. I agree with all of these except 7. I live in the suburbs just north of San Francisco and we go into the city to eat frequently with our son and daughter. We have been taking them out to eat with us basically since they were born and as long as you expect and teach them to act appropriately in restaurants they will do so. Although my family is from the East Coast so I know that the places in my city are a bit more forgiving than in NYC.