living in a "bad neighborhood" to afford SAHMing? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 40 Old 08-18-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Stayseeliz
We don't live in a bad neighborhood but we have a smaller house than we'd like for me to be able to stay at home. I get frustrated when I don't have somewhere to put things but I have to remind myself that I chose this life!! It is hard sometimes though!!
Us too

Our neighborhood is very safe but it's considered "undesirable" because a lot of college students live here. We have been lucky so far (knock on wood). The students on our block seem to go to other houses to party

Our house is actually quite nice and our yard is very nice, it's just not in the "right" area. I don't mind, I can't imagine what we'd do if we had to pay the mortgage to live in a newer subdivision.
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#32 of 40 Old 08-18-2006, 08:41 PM
 
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to all the moms making sacrifices for their families. I think you are awesome.
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#33 of 40 Old 08-19-2006, 10:26 PM
 
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we rent an apartment (a nice one with a fenced in yard) so we can afford to do the sahm thing even though dh is just a bartender...
It might not work for everyone, but it works for us!
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#34 of 40 Old 08-20-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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The neighborhood we're in right now isn't that great, but I wouldn't say it's unsafe. DH may or may not have a promotion coming that would allow us to move in about a year's time, which I would love. But the problem isn't with crime or drugs or anything. People here let their animals roam free, so that the bushes in front of our house have fleas living in them, and our lawn has cat poop in it. I have to drive my children to the park to play outdoors because our yard is so full of little "treasures". : Plus I'm not crazy about our neighbors. They're loud and we frequently have colorful language coming in our windows so our kids can hear. Plus our family is outgrowing our house. But if we had these problems and lived in the suburbs, I'd still want to move.

Anna , partner to Chad geek.gif , mommy to Aidan (10/12/04) and Nate (07/18/06) fencing.gif , and Violet fairy.gif(10/23/07) .

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#35 of 40 Old 08-20-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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Wow...I never thought about us choosing where we live so that I could stay home, but I guess we did and do.

We live in what many call the ghetto. I don't feel like it is. We've lived here for 3 years, and I have loved most things about it: The neighborhood is diverse and "alive" at all hours, our rent has been affordable, we can walk downtown, plus...I can relate to many of the ideas/opinions of josybear.

However, we're leaving this week!! Yippee! I'm so excited. In short, we need a break from people needing rides, telephones, food, etc. from us. I want a little time away from worrying about strangers breaking into the house or just taking up residence on our front porch. Really, more than anything, I'm tired of this very busy street that smells of exhaust. I want my child to be able to run free and breathe deeply. I want laundry to be brought in smelling of sunshine and not nastiness.

So, we started looking around and can't afford rent anywhere else. Even homes in our neighborhood have gone way up. We live on very little and only have one car. I was beginning to feel that we were stuck here.

Then, a family heard of our need (and probably felt sorry for us) and offered to allow us to stay in their renovated barn for 6mths. It's only about 400sq feet, but it's on 10 beautiful acres 20miles north of here. Dh is going to work from home 2 days a week, use the car 2 days a week, and bike in once a week (he already has been biking to work for a few years- only 4-5miles though.) I have no idea what we'll do after our "sabbatical."

I'm looking forward to experiencing a "safe" place to live for a while. One thing I've learned is that everyone's idea of safe is very different. We truly felt safe here most of the time, but others did not feel we were safe. When we were broken into (while at home) many thought we should own a gun. We would never own a gun- for lots of reasons. People watch out for one another. Personally, I don't think I'd be happy in a suburb/subdivision, but I will say that I was at a birth recently with a family my age. They lived in a nice, quiet subdivision...and I was a tad jealous. There are tradeoffs wherever you live. AND there are ways to be creative. Like I said before, if you are part of a community, people take care of one another. We've had homeless people bring US food before. Once a guy insisted on giving me $5 to buy my "baby some milk." I am physically and emotionally tired sometimes, but certainly NOT jaded.

Aspiring midwife-mama to 2 beautiful homebirthed boys ages 3 and 6...
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#36 of 40 Old 08-20-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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I don't currently, but we are thinking of moving to a crappy section of town just so we can be in a house instead of an apartment. I want a yard for me little girl! We can't afford any of the nice houses without me working, but still, I think it is totally worth it.
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#37 of 40 Old 08-22-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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I grew up in Chicago but never lived in the most dangerous areas (never lived in the super expensive areas either). No, I take that back. I did sort of when I lived on my own. There were drug dealers in the area, but the drive-by shootings weren't bad there. I did work in a truly dangerous area (I was a teacher) where we did have daytime shootings. The families in the area were always trying to find a way to move out.

DH and I rented for a long time because we could NOT afford a house in a non-drive-by-shooting area (drugs and gangs are almost everywhere in the city and suburbs so I don't count that). When we wanted to buy a house, we had to buy in the suburbs if we wanted a non-teardown in a place that was safer than anywhere we could afford in the city.

Why does everyone think the suburbs are for the rich? Most areas of Chicago are much more expensive than where we live. My mom is so anti-suburb (so that was my attitude) and it broke her heart that we left. It was a hard decision to make.

If it came down to living in a really dangerous area or daycare, I don't know what I'd do. I would probably try to find a way not to do either, even if that meant living in a really small apartment or moving in with my mom.

Ultimately, I don't think any area is really safe. The only thing I could not live with is a place with a lot of drive-bys-- that is my limit-- because there is no telling where the bullets would go. I'd probably have to move to a different state or even country if it were the only thing I could afford.

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#38 of 40 Old 08-22-2006, 02:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josybear
i WANT to live in a poor area, not only because i'm poor, but because it's living what i believe. social justice issues are right in my face and it's a lot easier to do something about them from here.
This is what my mom thinks too, I think. She isn't living in a bad area now, but she has in the past because she wanted to. She admires her friends who choose to raise their children in dangerous areas because they are learning social justice that way.

I am so different. I went to public schools (granted, they were magnet schools) and I am somewhat mad about the level of education I received. I feel like I was sacrificed for my mom's beliefs. When she started pushing the bad neighborhoods on us to try to get us to stay in the city (the only places we could afford), I just couldn't do it. I knew I couldn't get up every morning and look at the graffiti on the buildings next door. In our own apt., which was a nicer area (I'm not talkin' anything fancy) I was sick of seeing the broken bottles in the street. I was tired of living in a place where it looked like NO ONE CARED. And again, this was in a nicer part of the city, not the ghetto.

I have a sense of peace here in the suburbs that I never had in the city. My mom thinks we live in the country even though we can see the Sears Tower from here. We actually have a YARD. We have flowers, a maple tree, a PEAR tree for goodness sakes. I couldn't live in poverty by choice just to teach my kids a lesson. My DDs will probably be discriminated against anyway in life so they'll have their lessons their own way. I'm raising them to be bilingual. I'm raising them to be thinkers. I don't have to have them live in a place where they fear for their lives just to make a point. Like I said, that's what my mom would want, but no. I can't do it.

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#39 of 40 Old 08-22-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mizelenius
This is what my mom thinks too, I think. She isn't living in a bad area now, but she has in the past because she wanted to. She admires her friends who choose to raise their children in dangerous areas because they are learning social justice that way.

I am so different. I went to public schools (granted, they were magnet schools) and I am somewhat mad about the level of education I received. I feel like I was sacrificed for my mom's beliefs. When she started pushing the bad neighborhoods on us to try to get us to stay in the city (the only places we could afford), I just couldn't do it. I knew I couldn't get up every morning and look at the graffiti on the buildings next door. In our own apt., which was a nicer area (I'm not talkin' anything fancy) I was sick of seeing the broken bottles in the street. I was tired of living in a place where it looked like NO ONE CARED. And again, this was in a nicer part of the city, not the ghetto.

I have a sense of peace here in the suburbs that I never had in the city. My mom thinks we live in the country even though we can see the Sears Tower from here. We actually have a YARD. We have flowers, a maple tree, a PEAR tree for goodness sakes. I couldn't live in poverty by choice just to teach my kids a lesson. My DDs will probably be discriminated against anyway in life so they'll have their lessons their own way. I'm raising them to be bilingual. I'm raising them to be thinkers. I don't have to have them live in a place where they fear for their lives just to make a point. Like I said, that's what my mom would want, but no. I can't do it.
My mother did the opposite - worked three jobs to have us live in a one-bedroom apt. in the 'burbs so my sister and I could go to a "good" school.

We were the poorest kids in town, and only two of a handful of kids of color. It was hell. We didn't want to go outside and play in the manicured parks where it was supposedly safe. We never felt safe, because every experience we had in this "good" neighborhood was negative from the neighbors asking if my mother was the maid to being shunned because we were poor.

Like the PP I WANT to live in a "bad" neighborhood, even if I have a zillion dollars, because I want to be with people who come from the same place I do, and be a part of the solution in MY neighborhood and not hide out in a place that doesn't want me or my family, and good schools be damned, it was the worst education I've received in this state, although the district ranks in the top 10.
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#40 of 40 Old 08-22-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selu
We were the poorest kids in town, and only two of a handful of kids of color. It was hell. We didn't want to go outside and play in the manicured parks where it was supposedly safe. We never felt safe, because every experience we had in this "good" neighborhood was negative from the neighbors asking if my mother was the maid to being shunned because we were poor.
I don't think that will happen here to my girls. The 'burb I live in definitely has some people with money (as does the city I grew up in) but it is mostly working class. All suburbs are far from being equal in terms of diversity.

I see a huge change in the city I grew up in. There is less diversity (economic) as families are being priced out. I was part of a playgroup where most of the moms I knew there talked only about their million dollar homes. They talked about sending their children to what they considered the best schools in neighborhoods where there was a high % of white children. I tried meeting moms in the park but found only daycare groups. There was a good AP group, but that was one of the only place I found fellow SAHMs.

When we picked a suburb to live in, we narrowed it down to 2. One had a cute downtown and high test scores in the school system In the other, we could get more for our money for a house. No real character to the town. But for us, we picked the one with a more diverse school system. In the former, the # of white students was over 80% and a non-existent low-income population. In ours, it's less than 60% white, and 30% low income. That is comparable to the area we rented in in the city. The test scores aren't nearly as high as in the other suburb, but oh well.

As far as sending my kids to a truly BAD school on purpose, no way. When I was a teacher, I worked in a great public school in a very poor area (where 98% of the children lived below the poverty line). I would have no problem sending my kids there. It was safe, it was clean, the parents were involved, and everyone cared. Most importantly, the students knew they were cared about. As teachers, we dreaded when they moved on to the next school . . .the students and parents were treated like 2nd class citizens, the tempatation of gangs and drugs was everywhere, and the resources were sorely lacking. The parents fought (with hunger strikes) to get a better high school built in the area. THEY didn't want their children to go to bad schools, either.

Ultimately, I want an environment where first and foremost, my children are safe (and I mean literally safe from being killed). After that, I want opportunities-- to meet different people, to learn about what they are interested in. Living in the extreme end-- very wealthy or very poor does not offer that diversity. But, I understand we each get to make our own choices for our family, and I certainly respect your decision.

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