We live in a mid-size city that we love. We've lived here for about 4.5 years and have a 1.5 year old DS. We love our neighborhood and we've definitely built our life here - favorite restaurants, our gym, playgroups for DS, favorite grocery stores, etc. are all wthin a 2-3 mile radius. We have one car and DH commutes via bike and/or public transit.
The schools aren't great. They're getting better, and there are several good options for elementary school, including a magnet that our neighbors have been happy with and a new charter school that other parents are raving about. Beyond elementary, the prospects are a bit more grim.
We've been thinking about selling our house and moving, because we're outgrowing our house and would like a bit more room. Ideally, we'd stay in our neighborhood, but the idea of moving to the suburbs - well, one suburb in particular - has come into play. The main motivation for doing so is the schools. The schools are fabulous - like, #4 in the state. Great teachers, sports, extra-curriculars. And there are the other traditional suburban benefits, too - more house for the money, bigger yards, lower taxes, safer communities.
On one hand, living in the suburbs just feels like a headache. We'd have to get a second car and DH would have to commute in traffic (currently it takes him less than fifteen minutes by bike). Everything I do as a SAHM is in the city, and I have a hard time picturing myself getting psyched up to come in every day. More time in the car for everyone. Fewer people that we relate to, ideologically.
But then, sometimes I feel like the obvious choice is to move, for DS's sake. Like we're being selfish - the suburb less than ten miles away has such excellent schools, but we're staying in the city to keep our lifestyle and making him deal with less than great schools. I'm sure we'd adjust, and find new routines, right?
How do you decide? Does the quality of the schools trump other factors?