I am a self-proclaimed, big-time, big city girl.
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia - quite a metropolis in my opinion. It's not like it's New York City or anything, but it's definitely a big city. And, we live in the heart of downtown. In a high-rise condo. There is a grocery store, two coffee shops, three restaurants, a post office, a bank, a liquor store, a travel agency, a salon and a doggie-accessory shop (I'm serious) just in the bottom storey of our building alone. We can go downstairs and quite literally eat at one of a zillion restaurants. I don't have to leave the footprint of four city blocks for anything; it's all right here. This is city living at it's finest and we've absolutely loved living here.
But something's changed. Now we have a kid.
Suddenly, out of the blue, I find myself thinking about a house, a yard and small-town lifestyle. I used to scoff at my friends, tried and true city folk, when they started having babies and were struck with this very same notion. And here it is, happening to me. Today, during Maya's nap, I guiltily started searching online for the most-livable towns in British Columbia, researching school districts, crime rates and family statistics. I actually started imagining a life in one of these small towns, hours and hours away from the city I've lovingly called home for these past 6 years.
D wouldn't have to work nearly as hard or as long to support us; the cost of living and the housing prices would be way cheaper than what we're paying now, and therefore we'd have more time to spend as a family. We could easily trade in our two bedroom brownstone for a 6 bedroom house on acreage for half the price. I could send Maya outside to play in the yard, rather than take her to the public park. The sound of traffic and sirens would be replaced with birds and crickets. We'd know our neighbours. We'd be able to see the stars at night. I can't believe I'm typing this, I can't even believe I'm thinking this, but it's all starting to sound so...appealing.
That's not to say that city living doesn't offer some advantages when it comes to raising a kid. We've got a great community centre only one block away. We don't need a car; in fact, we don't even own one, and there is an elementary school just across the street. There are a million great places to take a kid in the city - the aquarium, the planetarium, the library, different neighbourhoods and streets to explore. And as far as amenities, it really doesn't get more convenient. Vancouver is such an awesome city.
So this is all kind of a conundrum. I am really confused. And I need your help.
What would YOU do? Comments, advice, words of wisdom - totally appreciated.