I don’t want to live in the suburbs.

We just had our second child. Our New York apartment, which was tight before, is now completely crowded and chaotic. We don’t want to leave the city because we really, really love it and have lived here for a long time. We can’t afford to move to an apartment that would fit all of us comfortably, we don’t live in an area with good public schools, and we can’t afford to send both of our kids to private school. The thought of moving to the suburbs is too depressing for words, but I don’t know how we can make it work in the city anymore. What should we do?

In the suburbs, people get up in the morning and go to work. They bring their kids to daycare or school. In the evening, they come home and make something insane for dinner like taco shells crumbled on top of defrosted Gardenburgers with a side dish of jarred Kalamata olives because they forgot to go to the grocery store. On the weekends, because babysitters now cost $75 an hour and spend the whole time texting their boyfriends, they all get together at someone’s house and let the kids run around the back yard like wild animals while the moms drink too much Chardonnay, the dads drink too much beer, and everyone takes turns pretending they don’t smoke anymore and sneaks out to the driveway to have half a Marlboro light.

Here’s the difference if you lived in the city: better takeout, and the kids can’t all cram into one person’s apartment. (Unless you’re friends with Gwyneth Paltrow or Sarah Jessica Parker and then you probably could fit into a friend’s apartment.)

Moving to the suburbs is accepting defeat. It’s admitting that you’re not going to be out clubbing until 6 am every weekend, eating a leisurely breakfast with the paper on the sidewalk at that weird Russian restaurant on the corner, and spending weekend afternoons wandering around Barney’s and the Met. But seriously, give it up. You’re not going to be doing that anymore, anyway.

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