It hit me as I was schlepping groceries up the 3 stories to my Ukrainian Village duplex, one arm gripping the overflowing bag of food, the other hand grasping my two years old’s hand, keys in my mouth and beads of sweat dripping down my forehead. “Is it worth it?”
I am a mother of two young kids. I am Marketing Director for Critical Mass, a digital agency downtown. My husband and I each moved to Chicago after college, met in a Lincoln Ave bar, and have been living in Chicago—soaking up all the city has to offer—for nearly 15 years…and now we’re at a crossroads. With our second child approaching school age, do we stay or do we go?
For parents of two young kids, the question of staying in the city or moving to the suburbs is usually a no-brainer: you pack it up and you get the hell out of dodge…so why do I still repeat the words I said when I was downing shots at the Gin Mill in my twenties? “When it comes to the suburbs, you’ll have to drag me outta here kicking and screaming.”
This blog is a defense of our choice to stay and raise kids in the city. It’s about why we put up with traffic and congestion, cramped quarters and flights of stairs rather than sprawling homes and spacious yards. Why there may be less grass living in downtown Chicago, yet on this side of the picket fence, it’s greener, the life is richer, the palette more diverse, and the inconveniences ultimately worth it.
While I am a mother, I wouldn’t call “Kicking and Screaming” a “mom blog.” Rather it’s an ode to this beautiful city, that attracts me like a magnet, that gives me inspiration daily, that serves as the backdrop for our family narrative. It’s not about the kids, but about the opportunity the city affords to teach them about life: in all its beauty, diversity, culture and connections.
You’re welcome to share in our journey!