Since I was laid off in December, the second question after how is the job search going, is (drum roll, please) have you thought about relocating?
Sure, I have thought about it but I have dismissed the notion. Why?
Because I think that New York City is an incredible place to be a single mom and raise your child.
Clearly, I am not completely delusional so I will acknowledge the obvious downside to New York City.
Yes, it’s crowded, it’s competitive, it’s expensive and unless you are a gazillionaire or lucky to be living in a rent-stabilized apartment, you will live a small sized apartment. Sure, I would like to have a two bedroom apartment but unless I win the lottery, I don’t think upgrading is in our future.
But the advantages and benefits of living in New York City outweigh the above drawbacks.
Here are 10 Reasons why New York City is a most excellent place (yes, a reference to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) for single moms.
- You don’t need a car - Every destination in the five boroughs can be reached by subway, taxi or town car. Imagine, I spend a $225 month for the subway versus suburbanites who spend $600+ in gas, insurance and car payments. If you really need to head out to IKEA, a day trip or just a few hours to run some errands, zipcar.com was designed expressly for city dwellers.
- Everything you need is within a 20-block radius - Every New Yorkers is 5-15 minutes from a supermarket, drugstores, banks and most major big box retailers. Personally, I can easily walk to my daughter’s school, doctor, pediatrician, dentist, supermarket, drugstore, bookstore, and ice cream store without breaking a sweat.
- Delivery Service – Again who needs a car, when all the supermarkets, Bed Bath and Beyond, IKEA and other big box stores deliver directly to your door.
- Museums – My daughter and I go to a museum at least once a month. My daughter has been visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art since she was four. I did not go to the Met or MOMA until I was 25. My daughter can identify Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas. I had never heard of those artists until I went to Europe during college.
- Parks and Playgrounds – Suburbanites have their backyard but I am within 10 blocks of 3 playgrounds and odds are we run into one of my daughter’s friends. Playdate issue, solved.
- Built -in Maintenance Help – I am lucky enough to live in a full-service building. That means, there is a doorman here to accept all my packages. Best of all, when something goes awry in my apartment, I can just put in a service request and it will be taken care of. Last month, my daughter and her friends stuck a pencil in the toilet. No need to call a plumber. Just ask and a maintenance person will come up and take apart the toilet to find the offending item. Over the years, they have replaced a bathroom doorknob installed a smoke alarm, unclogged my sinks and installed a dishwasher.
- No yard to mow, shrubs to trim … – Enough said
- Celebrity Sightings – I love New York for the number of celebrities who walk amongst us. Just in the last month, I have seen Lauren Hutton, Susan Sarandon, Jon Stewart (at the Central Park Zoo), Bruce Springteen, Tim Robbins (riding his bicycle up 6th Avenue), Anna Wintour and Christy Turlington. And if you go to certain downtown parks, odds are you will run into at least one celebrity with their child. My lovely daughter had the pleasant experience of playing at the park with Sarah Jessica Parker’s son when she was three. (Yes, she was nice and said my daughter was cute, alas no playdates were had, darn!)
- Diversity – For better or worse, I like the diversity of the city. Sure, having to explain why some guy is dressed in women’s clothes and some wacko with a parrot is walking around with a parrot on his head can make for an interesting conversation, it does provides color to my daughter’s life you will not experience anywhere else.
- Community - I feel that there truly is a community of single moms (single moms who adopt and older single moms, to boot) in the city so much so that I don’t feel out of place and most of all neither does my daughter. Her well-being and self-esteem is so important to me. Being able to see other children with single moms or have two mommies or two daddies shows her she is not different.
For you suburbanites, don’t get me wrong and don’t be offended. I still love the suburbs, I grew up there and love being there when I visit family and sometimes, I even it miss it but I just can’t see myself living there at this juncture of my life.
Now, if I was married….. Nah, just kidding
Living and Thriving in New York City as a Single Mom. That's me.