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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