Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Suburbs vrs Urban Living

One of the things I planned on focusing on with this blog is the challenges and benefits from living in a one room loft in downtown with a baby and two (part time) kids.  I've mentioned before that bedtime is more than challenging with no doors to keep the noise out of the baby's room while he's sleeping.  I've almost killed Tony just because he sneezed on more occasions than I'd like to admit.  And then there's the challenge of bedtime when Nick and Izzy are here -- we don't want Miles to wake them up several times a night.

But I've also mentioned some of the benefits.  Miles LOVES walking around downtown daily to see the sights, listen to the noises of the city, and meet up with his friends.
Seriously, could he be any happier?!

Or fall asleep.
If he's sleepy there's nothing like a walk to knock him right out

I can't tell you how many people in Dallas are in love with this baby.  Everywhere we go people know him by name.  Any time I walk into Starbucks all the workers there stop to say hi to Miles and comment on how big he's getting.  Miles loves going to Einstein Bagels to see his friends there who love to hold him while I finish my lunch.

However, there is another benefit that I didn't even realize until reading this article.  Moving to the suburbs for your kids? Think again

Basically this article explains how living in the suburbs actually uses more of our natural resources and why living in a 'dense community' is better for the environment as a whole.  It states that "smaller spaces require less energy to heat and cool. Smaller spaces take up less land, leaving room for more homes -- and maybe even some forests and farmland. Smaller spaces also require us to limit the amount of "stuff" we accumulate, which in turn limits the amount of waste we produce."

That last one is definitely true for our living situation.  We have to be so picky about what we buy for the kids and for ourselves.  Everything has to either fold away nicely or store well.  Otherwise we can't purchase it, there's just no room.

But I think my favorite benefit that's listed in this article is the "exposure to a variety of people, sensory stimulation, and self-reliance" and the fact that dense communities "provide innumerable cultural and social opportunities, those which suburban parents usually drive their children to cities to enjoy."  Not that you can't find these benefits in the suburbs, but the opportunities are much greater in urban living.  And Tony and I have definitely talked about this before -- there's so much more diversity when we walk around downtown and we love being able to expose the kids to that diversity and teach them how acceptable it is to just be yourself.

I don't know how long we will stay in our loft downtown, but we all hope that it will be for a long time.  There are many things we both miss about living in a large house, sneezing freely and a back yard are on the top of that list.  But for now muffled sneezes and the water fountain at the downtown park will just have to do!

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