When Are You Supposed to Move to the Suburbs?


Four years ago, my husband and I decided to sell our townhouse in the Brewery District and move somewhere with a yard. We debated on and on: do we move to the suburbs? Which suburb? We weren’t going to have kids anytime soon, so should we worry about school districts? How much more would taxes be?

We ended up finding a cute, small-ish house in the city. We spent our first few years here doing project after project: renovating the kitchen, adding landscaping to the backyard, updating the closets. We spent so much time making it ours knowing that this house was THE ONE for us. Great location by restaurants. Friends living down the street. We couldn’t think of a reason we’d ever leave.

And then I had a baby.
I can’t stop dwelling on when the right time is to move to the suburbs, or if we ever should. I keep coming back to the same pros/cons.

Pros and Cons

Pro: I love our house. I will likely never love a house again as much as I love this one.

Con: Our house has three bedrooms. We use the extra bedroom as a master bedroom pt. 2 (i.e. it’s where I keep all of my clothes.) If we have another baby, he/she will have to share it with me.

Pro: The Short North is ten minutes away, Bridge Park is fifteen minutes away. We’re smack dab in the middle of some of our favorite places.

Con: We’ve decided we won’t be going out to dinner as a family again until our son is at least five.

Pro: We have a lot of school options here. Public, private, magnet…

Con: Growing up, I went to a suburban high school and always imagined those types of Friday night football games for my family.

Pro: I don’t need a formal living room or formal dining room or any random rooms that are somewhat inherent in suburban houses.

Con: My son runs in circles around the kitchen-and-living-room loop on our first floor. One of these days he is going to trip and fall and poke his eye out on the arm of our living room chairs because there are some sharp turns. I want him to have space to get his energy out.

Pro: We have friends nearby. We love walking to the restaurants at the end of our street. We’ll never have this kind of accessibility in the suburbs where things are farther apart.

Con: Businesses come and go. My beloved gym that was a short walk away closed at the beginning of the year. Our friends could move away. The brunch spot we visited every Sunday shut down unexpectedly. Should I be making this type of decision based on things I can’t control?

Is there something I’m missing? Will I wake up one day and it will suddenly be clear?

I try and challenge myself to live in the here and now. I’m not pregnant so why am I stressed about how much space another kid would need? We have a long time before anyone starts kindergarten so why am I thinking at all about schools?

I suppose I’m not any closer to answering when the right time will be to move to the suburbs. Maybe, like most things, it’s one of those things that you know when you know.

And maybe I’m not there quite yet.

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Sarah is a new mom to 6-month-old Henry. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013 and moved to Columbus to pursue a career in retail. She currently works at the Victoria’s Secret PINK Home Office. She lives in Clintonville with her husband, son, and dog who very much misses his days as an only child. Outside of work and family she enjoys reserving books at the library and then forgetting to pick them up (but somehow still reads a few books a month), exploring Clintonville by foot and bike, and oversharing on Instagram stories (add her at @Sarah_Kaechele). She enjoyed traveling prior to becoming a mom and is hoping to get the hang of it again sometime in the next five years.