“Where did so-and-so move?” I asked my hip, single sister who lives in a posh little apartment near the heart of Austin.
“Oh, you know, those McMansions in the suburbs,” she joked with that undertone of distaste that I distinctly remember having myself not too many years ago…
Ugh. The tragedy of having to move to the “cookie cutter” homes in the expansive suburbs. What a sorry and uncultured existence those people with children must lead. They can’t even walk to a coffee shop, they’re surrounded by strip malls, and those poor people must always be in their cars since they’re so far away from anything fun. ~ Me, Age 25
Flash forward five years…
“Hey, those McMansions in the suburbs aren’t that bad!” I teased.
“I’m too old to care about living anywhere ‘trendy’ or close to the city. They have underperforming school districts, and we can’t afford private school, ESPECIALLY with how much a house half the size of my ‘McMansion’ costs there. And even then, that house would be, like 50 years old and probably have gold velvet wallpaper. I will take my ‘cookie cutter’ brick home on a quiet street, my HOA fees, and my strip malls. Plus, I don’t have to drive more than 10 minutes to get anywhere. Target is only 5 minutes from here, and that’s all I need,” I continued.
And then I realized I’ve fully become immersed in Suburban Culture. I am now one of them. Oh, how my 25 year old self weeps.
Oh, how my 30 year old self doesn’t care.
Life in the suburbs is good. We are blessed to live in a spacious, safe, beautiful home. We may not be able to walk to a coffee shop, but we can walk to the elementary school (an excellent one) that Kendall will attend (too soon!), a pool and 3 parks. They are luxuries I try hard not to take for granted.
Would I love to live in a downtown loft and take public transportation everywhere? Sure! Except, well, I’m not even sure that’s a reality in Dallas, and that’s just not the most practical situation for a family with young children and large dogs. Not to say people don’t do it, and don’t love it, but *for us* it’s not worth the trouble and the expense.
Scott and I often talk about what we’ll do when the kids all move out. How we’ll sell half our stuff and move into that hip downtown loft we dreamed of before we had kids. We’ll get our fun, urban existence eventually, but we’re okay with giving it up for now.
Basically, I’m living my worst nightmare from my 20s. I fought it hard, but it turns out kids really do change you and the way you live. I can think of worse fates than moving into a “boring McMansion in the cookie cutter burbs.”
Now, I realize not everyone with kids feels this way about the ‘burbs. What about you? Have you changed your views on how you live since having kids?
Kendall is 3 years and nearly 9 months and Leyna is 13 months old