The pros and cons of moving to the suburbs

Written by: Lauren Plotkin

The pros and cons of moving from Chicago to the suburbs to raise a family.

Photo credit: vagawi/Flickr

You know that commercial where the guy is like, "I'm never getting married." He gets married. Then he says to his wife, "We're never having kids." And then they have kids. And then he says, "We're never moving to the suburbs." And they obviously move to the suburbs. Yeah, that was kinda me. Not so much the marriage and kids part, but I definitely thought I'd never move to the suburbs. ***Cue all the suburbanites laughing at me in unison.***

My husband and I were the couple that loved living in the city and thought we would stay there even after we had kids. And then we actually had kids. And I realized the other day (while I was sitting in my single family home on a tree lined suburban street, without a single graffiti mark in sight) that I've officially been a suburbanite for six months. I think that qualifies me as an expert on both city and suburban living, right? Okay, maybe not, but I'm still going to talk about the pros and cons of city versus suburban living.

Pro: The so-very-obvious SPACE. More room for your kids to play and more space for aaaallll the stuff that babies come with. When we lived in our two-bedroom condo we had to do a football-player shimmy, one-two step, roll-to-the-side maneuver to get through the front door with our mammoth stroller in the way. I don't miss that. However, more space means more money spent on furniture and more room to collect knick-knacks. Plus, your parents will now want to give you back everything they've been storing for you in their basement.

Con: Food. This is one thing I really miss about the city. World-class dining within steps of where you live. I still haven't found a restaurant I love eating at in the suburbs. :(

Pro: Backyard. This one is especially great when you have a dog. I always enjoyed walking my dog in the city, but after my daughter was born, what was I supposed to do when the dog is about to make a no-no on the carpet but the baby is taking a nap?

Con: Blandness. One of the things you don't realize you'll miss until you don't have it anymore is the people, noise and vibrancy of city life. I wish that my daughter could grow up in a place where there's diversity and culture, but most suburbs don't quite have that.

Pro: Garage parking. If you live in the city, you're lucky if you have one parking spot, but in a two-car household, it's likely that one of you is parking on the street. Garage parking means no more driving around looking for a spot, shoveling your car out of snowmageddon, and no more running in the rain to your car. But even more than that, it means no schlepping a stroller, carseat, diaper bag and groceries through two doors, an elevator and another two doors (or in some cases, two flights of stairs). If that's not #winning, I don't know what is!

So what about you guys? What's keeping you in the city? Or are you dying to move to the 'burbs?

Lauren Plotkin and family


Lauren Plotkin, former Chicago Public School teacher turned blogger, started blogging to document her journey through life, motherhood, and all the craziness in between. She tries to approach life with a sense of humor (and maybe a little bit of wine) and loves sharing her experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly—with her readers. You can find more of Lauren's writing at


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Posted on May 10, 2016 at 11:26 AM