I’ve noticed a few bloggers getting into rants. I’ve always lacked something to contribute to the discussion. Until now. Yup, I’ve decided it’s time for a rant. This one is dedicated to the contributors to the urban sprawl, to the parents with multiple playrooms and swing sets.
First, I want to be clear, I have no problem with playrooms and swing sets. Hey, if we had the excess space, we would have them too. What I do have a problem with is people judging me for not having the same. For not wanting my child to grow up in an oversized house that has to be cleaned every two days, for being happy living in an apartment (OK, not completely happy, but if we moved to my ideal it would be to a house of the same size, in the same area, maybe with a patch of grass, so not that different), for questioning my choices and how they affect my child. Here are the things people say that really irk me!
So, when are you moving to the suburbs?
When I got pregnant I had a few people ask me if I was going to move out of the city. Like having children in an inner city apartment was not an option. I didn’t get it. Since having little miss I have found a spectacular support network locally, and feel like I live in a community. In fact, some of my suburban friends look upon what I have with envy. Moreover, I feel that living where I do meant that I wasn’t living in isolation after my caesarean, when driving was restricted. In fact, I could walk two doors down and get a coffee and have some social interaction while I struggled with this new parent thing. Living in the city has made me feel more connected – and with like-minded people – without that I think I would have found being a new parent very, very difficult.
Don’t you want her to have a backyard?
This is hard. Of course I do. Of course I would like my child to run around in the backyard. I am not, however, willing to compromise on where we live for a patch of grass. A child does not need a patch of grass in order to feel complete. Where you live is so much more than that. Sure, if you spend all your time at your house, that patch of grass is pretty important. We spend very little time at home. We are out walking along the beach, exploring the local playgrounds, going on playdates, feeding the ducks at the lake that is literally across the road from our apartment. So, perhaps concern yourself within your own “patch” before attacking mine.
Your place isn’t big enough for three people
This is one of the most naïve statements. How much room do three people need? People in Japan and New York live in smaller spaces than ours. I’ve seen families of our size living in bigger spaces than us. And you know what the difference is? They just have more stuff. We have our own bedrooms, we have a toybox in the bedroom and one (tasteful basket that goes with the furniture – my next rant might be on compromising your home’s style for children) in the living room. We have room for the pram, our clothes, our shoes, our dishes, our stuff! In short, we don’t need any more space. Sure, if we move, we might look for something with another bedroom. But the idea that we need a whole wing of the house to retreat to is a bit ridiculous. I want to see my family, not hide from them!
What is interesting to me is that the moment you have children, people seem to expect you to confirm to the “norm”, or to do things the way they do it. They don’t seem to understand that perhaps you want something a little different for your child.
I grew up in the suburbs. We had the grassy area with the play equipment. We had woods to explore in and made cubby houses. It was wonderful and I loved it, and I think it’s great for kids. However, while my daughter might not get those things, she’s getting other things that I didn’t, such as: living across the road from a lake and a playground, being a 10-minute tram ride away from countless weekend activities like museums, art galleries and aquariums, living a two-minute walk from the beach, enjoying a café culture with other kids. It really is amazing what living in a city has to offer. Do I think my way is best? Absolutely not. But it’s what’s best for me. If you’re not inclined to make the most of what’s around you, city living is not for you. My point is that we, as parents, need to stop judging each other’s choices, and start supporting each other a little more. Come over my way, and I’ll treat you to a babycino and a taste of my inner city lifestyle!
Note: Accompanying image is not my husband being a fashion-tragic. It was all I could find on my image database!
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