City Dreaming

This post is brought to you by the Social Butterfly Mom’s weekly series “Validate Thy Neighbor” #validatethyneighbor, in which two bloggers choose a topic and write in support of the OPPOSITE of what they believe. Today, Mary Tyler Mom, city dweller dreaming of suburban bliss and I suburban resident is wondering about city living. Please contact the Social Butterfly Mom if you are a blogger and would like to participate:

My entire life has comprised of living in the far south suburbs of Chicago (hence the whole South of I-80 thing). I believe that right now living in the suburbs is the best choice for my family, and I don’t plan on moving any time soon. To be honest, though, I totally see the lure of raising a family in such a wonderful, vibrant, and diverse place like the city of Chicago. Sometimes, I wonder would it would be like to raise my family in the city like my friend, Mary Tyler Mom, who is currently raising her amazing family in the city. Mary Tyler Mom is wondering about suburban life today.

Not long ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and saw the most amazing thing. Mary Tyler Mom said her son was learning about Picasso at school, and so her family hopped in the car to The Art Institute of Chicago in no time flat to check out some original works by the famous Spanish artist. The mere fact that Mary Tyler Mom and her family live mere minutes from Nude Under a Pine Tree got me thinking.

The city of Chicago is a pretty amazing place.

When I saw her post, I was a little jealous. We don’t live too far from the city, but it is still about an hour away, and putting all three kids in the car on that short of notice to head in and see Picasso would not be in the cards. By the time we got there, the museum would have probably been closed.

It’s moments like this, I get why parents choose to raise their families in the city. There are so many amenities and conveniences that city dwelling can provide. Not to mention the access to culture, entertainment, the top hospitals, universities, and museums in the Midwest. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to raise our family in the city.

Living in the city definitely comes with advantages. The culture, entertainment, food, and events are so accessible and take place much more often. Yes, of course there is culture, there are events, and there is great food in the suburbs. But I sometimes I think there is a lot more searching and driving involved when it comes to finding such things. Currently, our favorite family owned farm to table restaurant (The Harvest Room check it out) is about 30 minutes away. I’m sure that if we lived in the city, we would be able to find a restaurant like this much closer to home.

Some of our favorite places to visit like The Shedd Aquarium, The Second City, and The Museum of Science and Industry are all in the city. Being closer to these places would mean more frequent visits, less gas usage, and maybe even seeing these places on weekdays when they aren’t so crowded.

Also, I am almost certain that my family and I would be more apt to walk if we lived in the city. I’m not blaming my laziness on the suburbs (well maybe a little), but in addition to lazy, I am a pretty thrifty person. I am convinced that we would do a lot more walking and a lot less driving if we lived in the city. Let’s face it, there is no way in hell I would pay those prices for parking. I also have a feeling my kids would be a little more versed in the ways of public transit, and have a ball riding the train.

Another advantage to living in the city, for my family, is our church is in the city. While we are there every Sunday, there are tons of activities during the week too. I believe we would be more involved in its ministry and service projects if we didn’t have to make the one hour commute. Weeknight commitments at our church in the city are a no go for us right now.

Chicago is a wonderful city, and I am proud and fortunate to live so close. Raising our family in the city is not possible right now, but I understand why so many families decide to live in the city like Mary Tyler Family.


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