Pick Wisely When Relocating With Kids or You Might Regret It

Relocating with kids

The Man and I are talking marriage. That’s the good news. The bad news? Every detail is up for debate. I want a wedding. He doesn’t. He wants to buy a house first. I could care less, so long as we eventually get one. I want us to live right here in D.C. He wants us to move where he is in Delaware. And so wages on the Battle of the Long-Distance Relationship Between Two Spoiled Only Children.

The one compromise is living in Philadelphia. It’s not ideal for me and he’s not thrilled about it either (even though he was born and bred there). Still, moving to the City of Brotherly Love requires him, me, and the tween daughter we each have to start over rather than joining the others’ lives already in progress. But lately, we’ve been rethinking even that decision. Philly is having a hard time with its crime rate. And this recent incident on the city bus has us both shook.


In case you haven’t heard — or you don’t feel like clicking the link — a group of gunmen opened fire on the crowded Septa vehicle after one passenger criticized another for spanking her out-of-control toddler. The child’s mother was offended, made a phone call, and next thing riders knew, the bus and all the innocent folks on it were being rained on by some 13 shots.

That is disconcerting for two major reasons: one, because it’s a completely, totally random and vigilante way to respond to something so minor. I’m sure the woman in question did more than enough to let her fellow passenger know they were out of line by questioning her mothering skills and if I know my Philly girls — and between family, friends, and going to school in the area, I sure enough do — the combination of her mouth and her attitude probably could’ve qualified as an assault weapon in and of itself.

But secondly, I am notorious for checking other folks’ children for bad behavior, which means this shootout could’ve easily been sparked by yours truly. (It wasn’t me, just in case you’re wondering. I say it could’ve been.) Now, if I even had the inkling that my input could result in gunfire, I’d like to think that I’d have enough intuition to zip my lips, park my rear, and save my commentary until I got home. But this news story has inspired me to try to turn over a new leaf and let wild children roam free without me overstepping my boundaries as a concerned member of the community.

As the girls get older — they’ll celebrate their 13th and 14th birthdays in October — and ostensibly more independent, I think we’re just piling on more worry by living in a city where folks break out in bouts of rogue, OK Corral-style justice-seeking. My Tween Princess is anxious to be able to ride the bus by herself and his already is, so I can’t imagine feeling secure knowing they’re out and about doing their own thing when stuff like this can happen. Problem is, me and my mini-Harris are city girls and I know we won’t be happy living in the crux of nowhere like the suburbs or Delaware (no offense).

I think the biggest asset of living in the Nation’s Capital are the options for everyone to enjoy and take advantage of. My child is into all things creative from dance and music to art and fashion, so there’s plenty for her to tap into here. My soon-to-be bonus daughter loves reading and animals and science, also interests that can be cultivated here. The case to me is clear.

But he’s looking at it like an accountant and the cost of living in D.C, although chump change compared to New York, which was my first choice, isn’t anything to sniff at. He crunched some numbers, furrowed his brow, and told me, in so many words, that one or both of us may have to hit a pole in order to bring in the gross bottomline we need to live comfortably as a newly conjoined family of four in the District of Columbia.

Still, I’d rather brave tough financial times than be forced to become an expert bullet-dodger in Philly. Compromise schompromise.

How did you agree on where to live and raise your family when you got married?

Image via vasile23/Flickr

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