We live in New York City, in one of the busiest areas, mid-town Manhattan and there are many benefits to living in the city. The kids go, regularly, to museums. I walk 10 minutes to get to and from work. When the kids were babies, I was able to walk home and nurse them at lunch time, or we would meet in the park across the street if the weather was nice. I have a doorman who can accept any deliveries when I am not home. I can shop for my groceries on-line and schedule a delivery whenever I need to. On days where I am working late, I have hundreds of restaurants literally at my finger tips and can order any cuisine to be delivered.
There are also many cons to living in the city. We, the 4 of us, live in a 2 bedroom apartment, approximately 1100 square feet (102.2 square meters). I know in other countries this may seem like a rather large apartment, in fact, my cousin in France lives in smaller apartment than us with 2 boys. But in the US, where everything is bigger, such as the furniture, serving portions and cars, it feels small. Especially when I look at the house that I could buy, for the same price, in the suburbs. We don’t have much space for storage, which is probably not such a bad thing, since it gets me to purge lots of unused items.
The biggest downfall though, in regards to my children, is the lack of outdoor space. Sure, there are quite a few parks and playgrounds within walking distance, as well as the beautiful Central Park, which is either a short cab/bus ride away (or a long walk on a nice day). However, there is no backyard where the kids can play and run while I prepare dinner, or while I clean. So instead, I pop in a movie or turn on some favorite cartoons for the kids to watch while I do those things.
I have some ground rules set regarding TV watching: basically, no TV before 6 pm, and it is off when we start dinner. In the morning, they can watch something while I prepare breakfast, and on school days it’s off at 8am (on weekends, I allow it a little longer while we clean). The only exception to these rules are when there is a sporting event that my husband wants to watch during the weekend day, or if they are really too sick to do much else. (more…)