{Parenting} The Ups And Downs Of Raising Kids In An Apartment

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When most of us pictured how we raised a family; when our imaginations wandered in our childhood years it’s likely that we pictured a house in the suburbs with a picket fence. We imagined a lush, verdant lawn, a tree with a threadbare treehouse nestled in the branches, a backyard littered with brightly colored toys and maybe even a trampoline. We imagined a spacious drive with two cars and a garage big enough to accommodate at least one of them. Pretty much the house from The Simpsons. However, when our kids come along, they don’t necessarily wait for us to be ready. In a post-crisis economy there are some couples who simply cannot afford the kind of spacious suburban house they may have grown up in. Likewise there will always be some parents who are not ready to give up the convenience of urban living.
Image by Flickr
There are many reasons why you may want to raise your kids in an apartment. You may not be ready to give up your trendy urban lifestyle in a cool development like Duo Residences. Your income (especially on maternity pay) simply may not be conducive to moving into a larger and more family friendly property. While it may not be the parenthood you imagined in your childhood it can still be every ounce the magical, wonderful and (let’s face it) hectic experience that all parents enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of the ups and downs of raising kids in an apartment…

Your kids will rarely ever be lonely
In an era where we see so many young people walking through major conurbations with their faces buried in some device or other, it’s vital that we raise our kids with social skills. They need to be able to interact with people in the real world as well as the digital realm. The great thing about apartment living is that you rarely ever get the opportunity to be lonely. While you can go weeks in the suburbs without seeing a neighbor, rarely a day goes past in an apartment building that you don’t get the chance to bump into and catch up with your fellow residents. This will get your youngster accustomed to meeting a wide range of different people and feeling comfortable conversing with strangers.

Young kids are never far from your line of sight
It’s a wonderful thing when your baby begins crawling on their own. However, it can quickly become terrifying when you realize the speed (and abandon) with which they can propel themselves. New Moms are forever paranoid that their little ones may crawl out of their sight, down the stairs, out the house and straight into a Baby’s Day Out kind of scenario. The great thing about living in an apartment is that usually your space is all on one floor. This means that there are fewer nooks and crannies in which kids can escape from your view affording you more peace of mind.

You live in constant fear that your neighbors will complain
Raising kids is incredibly difficult to do quietly. They’re little bundles of potential energy and that energy needs to be released. Unfortunately, this energy can’t be released by sitting quietly and reading a book. It usually needs to be run or jumped or screamed out. As a result, moms who live in an apartment live in constant fear that they might get angry neighbors knocking on the door at any moment. Every time the baby cries they fear that someone will call the cops and report them for being a negligent monster. Every time the little one engages in a rambunctious play session in the hall they fear that the stomping and yelling will result in an eviction notice.

Of course, the reality is that most neighbors are patient and understanding and appreciate that kids need an opportunity to be kids.

There’s never enough space!
One of the most frustrating things about raising kids in an apartment is that there’s never enough space. It can feel like life is an endless game of Tetris as you constantly strive to find optimal placed in which to store your belongings and the metric tonne of stuff that’s necessary for raising kids.

This can quickly lead to clutter which is the enemy of mental health for a busy and house proud parent. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can combat this. Going zero waste can take some time but it can also prevent the piling up of garbage that can accumulate in the kitchen. Likewise putting up some handy wall shelves may take some doing but it can free up a great deal of floorspace. Investing in furniture with built-in storage is also essential when living with kids in an apartment.
Image by Flickr

Your kids won’t become couch potatoes because there’s always something to do!
The great thing about living in apartment is that unlike many suburban kids your children will not be tempted to become couch potatoes who spend all of their waking hours with their eyes glued to a screen. There’s always something to do and when you feel a little cabin fevered in your apartment it can be your great excuse to get active with your kids. If your apartment complex has a pool or ping pong ball table this can be a favorite place for your kids to burn off some of their jubilant energy. Likewise if you live in a major conurbation you have access to wonderful galleries, museums and parks.

There’s always somewhere awesome and free to take your kids, while suburban kids spend much of their time wandering aimlessly around malls.

You spend a lot, a lot of time cleaning the kitchen
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but those who raise kids in apartments may not feel a whole lot of love for their compact kitchens. Not only can it be hard to store the cooking utensils and food necessary for raising healthy kids, it can also be a nightmare to keep it clean.

While raising kids in an apartment can have a lot of ups and downs, the same thing can be said of raising your kids… Just about anywhere! While your experience may differ from that of other parents don’t worry, you’re still giving your kids the rich and happy upbringing that they deserve!

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