Deciding Where to Raise Your Child as a SMBC

When I decided I wanted to be a single mom, I knew another big decision I would have to make would be where I wanted to raise my child. Where would I get the most support? Where would he feel like he has a family outside of just him and I? Where did I really picture us building lasting happy memories? It was a hard decision, but in my heart, I knew the answer: I needed to move out of Boston, the city I have called home for 12+ years.

If you’ve been following my journey, you know I come from a small, but tight-knit family. My mom, sister, and I are very close. This is a relationship we have wanted to keep that way since our Dad passed away from cancer 10 years ago. We have aunts, uncles and cousins, but our extended family ended up very spread out across the country, so holidays and special celebrations really just end up being us. And since I am so close to my sister, I knew I needed to move closer to her and my nieces. 

With all that said, I have some exciting news! I'm officially under contract on a house in New York! I still can’t believe it’s actually true, but I found the perfect little house for my son and I. And the best part is, it’s a 5 minute drive from my sister, brother-in-law and nieces.

I originally wasn’t going to really start house hunting until the spring after he was born, but I’ve been looking at listings since June, and being very particular about the area and amount I felt comfortable spending - I had not seen anything that was right over the last 3 months. Houses were either too big, not the right neighborhood, needed too much work, had insanely high taxes, or didn’t have child friendly yards.

Well 2 weeks ago a new listing came up and I texted my sister and jokingly said “I found my house!” She went to see it the next day for me. Now she has been very particular about the houses we have looked at and does not sugarcoat things. She easily points out what's wrong with it or why it wouldn’t work. So when she told me she really liked this house for me and the location was great, I knew I had to take a chance and make an offer.

I was SHOCKED when the sellers accepted my first offer. I was expecting them to come back and counter, especially in this market, and was ready to give up the house because I didn’t want to go over my budget. After my offer was accepted, I went down and saw it. (How crazy am I to make an offer on a house without even seeing it?! Luckily, I trust my sister and she knows my taste well) 

It’s a small 1920’s white house, with a big fenced-in yard - perfect for a growing boy to get his energy out in! The current owners did a lot of work updating so I feel comfortable moving in knowing I won’t have to tackle any big projects or expenses as a single mom. It’s also in a very family friendly neighborhood with tree lined streets perfect for walking and biking. While I have loved living in my condo in Boston, and it’s definitely DOABLE with a baby, I know it’s not going to be a long term lifestyle for me.

The plan is to stay in Boston until the end of the school year. He’ll be about 6 months when we relocate to New York. This will give me time to adjust to motherhood in my current comfort zone before throwing a big new change in. 

The idea of moving states is terrifying and exciting at the same time. I guess I thought when I moved to Boston at 26, this is where I would set my roots down. And I have in so many ways. I’ve maintained and made so many friendships that played such a big part in my life. I’ve worked at a school that has supported me and helped me grow as an educator. But I think we all hit points in our life where we have gotten everything we can out of a place. That’s how I feel about my time in Boston. I’ve written before about how much my life has changed here since the pandemic. And now that my life is changing and motherhood is my priority, I want to do what’s best for my baby. Moving will be stressful, and hard. But I know that I will be giving him the best life I can with this change. He will be close to his cousins, they will even go to the same elementary school. He’ll have a town we can set down roots in and get to know people without the constant turnover of city life. He’ll have a mom who has people she can rely on in tough times. To give her a break when she’s about to have a breakdown. To share life’s happy moments with and make countless family memories. I’m so excited for this next chapter!