NYC Is Kicking My Mommy Butt

Strolling Fia and Wayne (in bottom basket) home. A mere 50-pounds in total. Good times.

No doubt about it: working moms have it tough. But I think I have solved the riddle as to why NYC is kicking my SAH-freelance mommy butt.

Now don’t get me wrong: most of my friends are working moms and they have their own unique set of challenges. However, I’ve noticed in telling them we’re moving to LA I get the same confused look. I explain that city living is really hard with a baby. They look a bit puzzled. Here’s why:

They aren’t home all day dealing with how to entertain their toddler in an apartment. They aren’t figuring out how to schlep their babies—stroller and all—on the subway (Most don’t have elevators, and as the NYT just wrote, the ones that do are always broken.).  They aren’t carting the babes around all day to playdates and playgroups in torrential rains or 10-foot snow drifts. Their babies are either in daycare (which, for those who are, they probably schlep them there, so they understand to some extent) or with nannies, who are doing the schlepping. Granted, most probably do these types of strenuous activities on the weekends, but most also have their husbands with them, or vice versa. It’s not the same as doing it 5+ days a week on your own.

I watch the forecast and panic the night before if it’s not going to be outdoor weather. Staying cramped in an apartment isn’t a feasible option for us. So no matter how you spin it, city living means strolling somewhere. It usually means you live in a place without a yard. For most of us it means subway or bus, no car. And with all of that comes busy sidewalks and treacherous traffic speeding by on every corner. In short: it is constant work.

This isn’t a debate about which is harder. This is about an internal debate I kept having with myself until I figured out my conundrum. I have always loved NYC, and particularly Brooklyn. I vowed to never leave. To raise our children here no matter what. And it does have amazing perks. Perhaps when the babies are school age, and in a classroom most days, we’ll come back.

But for right now, I feel like backpedaling (and apologizing to those whom I probably offended over the years) on my past statements: that suburbs are horrid; that cookie cutter subdivisions and minivans should be banned. While I’m not there yet, (technically our address is LA proper, and I’ll drive a four door car), I now “get” what I never “got” before. Life is simply easier as a SAHM outside of the city. Or at least I hope so. I know there will be other challenges. I can’t run to the corner store at 11 pm, or grab a cup of amazing coffee (Cafe Grumpy) 13 seconds away. And maybe I’ll land in LA and find it just as hard. But I don’t think so.

As sad as I am about leaving my mom friends, they are fleeing to the suburbs come spring. They can’t take it either.

As moms, whether we love the city or not, it comes down to what is best for our families. For me right now, that means making life simpler and easier. So au revoir New York.  I can’t say I’ll miss you. At least not immediately.  I promise though not to forget you’re still here. And I know you’ll welcome us back anytime.

Add a Comment
Back To Fearless Feisty Mama
  1. by Heather

    On October 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Taking a stroller on the subway IS a nightmare. Mason commutes with me into the city every day and we have to use the Ergo because carrying the stroller up and down 5 sets of stairs is not something I’m cut out for every day!