The Other Side: Are The Burbs Really Better?1

Posted by Deirdre // 12-02-2013


Welcome back to the grind! Now that the holiday season is in full swing, we’re either loving where we are (the cool holiday shops with local handmade amazing treasures! the lights on the street!) or hating it (the SEVEN HOUR drive upstate! peace and quiet anywhere else!). So here’s a taste of what it’s really like to actually live elsewhere–not just for a weekend or holiday–from someone who knows. Michele found Bklyn or Beyond when searching for Brooklyn family blogs. You know why? She’s moving here from the suburbs of Connecticut. I know many of you are considering the ‘burbs and as we know there are pros and cons to any place (see above and pretty much the entire history of this blog). Michele will be doing a regular column called The Other Side, looking at the not-always-pleasant aspects of life in the suburbs; the things you don’t think about when you have starry-eyed dreams of your kids running in a yard and an end to alternate side of the street parking. Here’s her first post!

Your yard full of leaves needs to be addressed. Your furnace needs to be serviced. Your car is in the shop, and you need to use a rental. You have to drive to get a simple gallon of milk; in fact some days you practically live in the car. Your driveway needs shoveling. Mice in the attic again? Time to call the exterminator and wait for the bill. You’re fatter than you were in the city. It’s boring. Your commute is insane—and expensive. Your property taxes are much, much higher. Wait—more yard work and house repairs. Your roof has to be replaced (over $10,000!) so you start digging into your savings. You often stop and ask yourself, “Is this really better?”

Welcome to the suburbs.

Look at all that SPACE!

Look at all that SPACE!

Hi, my name is Michele. I’m a mom of three: Mason, 6, Hannah, 4, and Ethan, 2. I’m also a city girl, yet here I am in the suburbs. I ask myself daily, how did we end up here? Why did we leave our beloved city living and move to the suburbs? It had to be that positive pregnancy test. In April of 2006, my husband Jason and I found out we were expecting our first. At that time we were living in Beacon Hill in the heart of Boston. We never consciously wanted to leave the city (maybe find a better apartment that wasn’t in the basement) but when Jason got his old job back in White Plains, NY, we decided it was the best time to make The Move. We ended up packing up when I was 5 months pregnant and heading to the suburbs of Connecticut. After renting in downtown Greenwich for a while, we thought it wasn’t so bad. There were still things to do, and it was walkable. But then, after we bought our first house (because a child needs a lot of space and a yard, ya know?) a little further out in Fairfield County, it hit us.

Get us out of here! Read More…


The United States of Attitude – Which State Matches Your Personality?16

Posted by Deirdre // 11-07-2013


This is totally ICMYI, because it’s from 10 days ago or so. I have a “stack” (digitally, of course) of things I’ve been meaning to post but was actually busy doing some paid work (yay!). I’ll try to get a bunch of it out, in case you rely solely on this blog for all of your relevant internet content.

This find from Time Magazine was fun and cool but I would not want to choose a place to live based on my current attitude. A friend of mine from high school who is now a hard core Yogi-Buddist-off-the-grid kind of guy, posted something on Facebook the other day (okay, I guess he’s not completely off the grid) about some sort of cosmic alignment that will cause major upheaval in our states of mind, and not in a good way. I hope I can attribute my total crap mood of the past few days to the stars.

I guess I'm naturally creative and relaxed, aka awesome

I guess I’m naturally creative and relaxed, aka awesome

That said, this “mood map” of the U.S., which has a neat little test you can take to find out where you belong based on the type of person you are. Now, it doesn’t account for honesty, and I did find it hard to answer based on reality versus who I want to be. But I took the test a few days ago (in a relatively good mood) and I guess the person I want to be belongs in California! Read More…


Moving With Kids1

Posted by Deirdre // 09-18-2013

The "blue truck" was one of the ways we got our boys excited for the move (at 2 and 4)

The “blue truck” was one of the ways we got our then 2 and 4 year old boys excited for the move

There are constantly questions on the listserve about this subject, and right now there’s been some back and forth about moving companies, so I thought I’d share this post from a blog called Raising Dick and Jane. Half of it is sponsored by a moving company, Corrigan, but the blogger, Mary interviews the company and asks really good questions, so it’s not all just advertising blather.

Like, “What services that you offer do you find beneficial especially for families with young children who are moving”?

Our move representatives usually carry activity books with them to give out to kids. These neat books help kids to prepare for their move with coloring pages, mazes, and games, all designed to help get kids excited about their move and the adventures awaiting them at their new home…

Corrigan also has its own blog, Handle With Care in which her guest post appears, along with others on the subject that seem super helpful, like what you should be doing leading up to your move, week by week. Incidentally, Mary and her family live in Detroit! Maybe I’ll ask her to do a guest post to feed my obsession on that funky city. And thanks to Scarlet from Family Focus Blog for the tip via twitter.

Anyone have any good moving tips, or moving fails they want to share?