How do you decide where to raise your kids?

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

Erik Olsen at our sister blog Gadling wrote a post about considerations parents take into account when deciding where to raise their families. Among the things he listed were the quality of schools, safety issues, lifestyle, and expense. There is even a book you can buy that breaks down 100 communites in the U.S. according to affordability and desirability.

I think about this issue all the time. I think about it mostly because I don't really like the city or state in which I am raising my children but I can't move. Why can't I move? Because a) Missouri has laws about the parent with primary custody moving more than 50 miles away without ex-spouse or court permission and ) even if I got permission, my husband has tenure at the university he teaches at. That means job security. Forever. He would have to have a job at an equal institution, with tenure, in and we would have to obtain court permission for us to move. And that is complicated. And even if we did find another university and get permission, it's not like we can just pick a community or a state to live in: Academicians have to go where the jobs are.

The community we live in is safe, small, sort of friendly, and very cost effective. The schools are okay, but not great. My objections to Missouri are that I never got to choose to live there. The job chose us. I have no roots there. I have no family there. I have to travel for a day just to FLY to see my family. The friends we have are also academicians-- and because it's an undesirable place to live for the most part (no culture, no shopping, no restaurants, no activities apart from hiking and drinking), and it is not beautiful, our friends often leave. So, why don't we make friends with the people who were born and raised there? Because in my eleven years of living there, I have found that they have a deep-rooted distrust of academicians specifically and people who have moved there from out of the state in general.

I took my children to Colorado for the first time last week. That is where I was born. That is where I have family. My roots are in the west, and my children had never before driven through the mountains. They were entranced. I wanted to stay there so much I almost cried. But instead, we are heading back to Missouri, and I will raise my children there. But I don't know if I will EVER feel like I really live there.

Where are you raising your children? Why? Do you like it?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.