Why Moving to the Suburbs was Right for Our Family
It may have taken me a whole year to admit this, but I actually really like it here.
We bought our home in Downers Grove last summer, and as a swan-song-like effort to soak up every last minute of city life, we didn’t even move in for a whole month.
But we’ve finally hit our groove here. If I would have been more open to the idea of the ‘burb life, we probably would have hit it even earlier.
What We Love about Our Life in the Burbs
It’s Crazy Cheap
Of course, we anticipated things like the $12.00 drinks would go away when we left the city, but Lee & I actually high five when we get our dinner bills. We LAUGH sometimes.
But it’s not only restaurants. Groceries, gas, hair cuts, furniture, home decor. We don’t have to limit our shopping to wherever we can walk to or where has convenient parking (hint: everywhere here has convenient parking!) And because our choices aren’t limited, our money is just going further & that’s been pretty cool.
Pride in Ownership
We went from a 1-bedroom apartment to a 4-bedroom house, & with all this extra space, home projects have all of a sudden become one of my favorite creative outlets.
Our tiny place in Chicago was so limiting, there is only so much you can do with a 1-bedroom. But here, I obsess over picking new light fixtures, hunting for a kitchen island, and finding the perfect couch for my living room.
Every room is an opportunity to be creative. And since I don’t have a lease renewal letter to sign every year, the sense of permanence has allowed me to take my time and make smarter design choices that I will love long-term.
Our Social Calendar
One of my biggest critiques of the burbs was how boring it would be compared to the city. And honestly at first, it kind of was. We didn’t know anyone and I didn’t really “get” how the social scene worked here.
In the city, fun is just there. Street festivals, concerts, the beach. Pick what you want to do, and just go.
The burbs are much more “make your own fun” than the city. So I joined a few local social groups just to get out of the house, and immediately I realized what was different: the point was to actually hang out with people at these activities, haha. It was weird, I was used to “fun” meaning going to a street festival and basically only talking to my husband. But really quickly I was making friends, and the activities we were at were definitely less important.
Everyone in the burbs seems to be in this group or that, wine clubs or book clubs or bunco groups. There actually is SO MUCH going on here, I now have an activity on my calendar at least twice a week.
Quality of Life
I always thought having a baby in the city sounded fun, but now that I have a baby, I’m like: HOW.
First of all, the reality is we probably couldn’t afford a much bigger place. And, at the time we were parking 3 BLOCKS AWAY.
I have so many questions like:
- Where would my stroller go?
- How would I store the clothes & toys he already grew out of?
- If I had to run an errand, would I even want to move him from the Mamaroo to the stroller, walk him in the stroller for 3 blocks, then move him from the stroller to the car seat? (That was a Newbie Mom question! The answer is no, I would not do all that. I would Amazon Prime that shit and never see the light of day again).
- How could we quietly watch Netflix at night in such a small space?!
Of course I would figure these things out. But honestly, I don’t have to because in the suburbs, life is just easier. We have a garage, we have a yard, we have a bigger home, we don’t really need to be making concessions or work-arounds for all the inconveniences that the city presents.
BELIEVE ME: this is not an easy post to write!
I actually feel like a traitor a little bit, because I LOVED my city life and I LOVED my small little apartment which was totally enough for us.
Still, I go to the city often for real estate. And when I’m helping people purchase their cool condos, I can’t help but let myself think, “Yeah, this is the good life.” But then I go home and finally admit to myself, “Actually, this is pretty great, too!”