living in a "bad neighborhood" to afford SAHMing? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else live in a "bad" or "less than desirable" neighborhood in order to afford SingAH (as rent and property prices are cheaper in these neighborhoods)?

We bought our house 7 years ago in a not very nice neighborhood... there is crime, lots of dilapidated houses, a public housing project down the street. None of our friends or acquaintances would ever have considered living in this neighborhood.

I'm lucky in that I have a car and can drive the kids and myself to safer areas to go to libraries, playgrounds, etc.

I can't be the only one... anyone else?

We are looking to move to a safer neighborhood, but only recently have even been able to consider it from a financial perspective.

One problem we have had is that, since we want to move out of this house ASAP, we haven't put much money or effort into making repairs, so our house itself is pretty run down, too.

I do love my house, but the immediate vicinity is not safe... there have been drive by shootings, stray bullets in windows, etc.
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#2 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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I am recently a SHAM after working part time outside the home for the past 5 years (before we had children, I always worked full time). If it meant we had to live in an unsafe neighborhood i'd be back to work...full time if necessary, in a heartbeat to provide a save home for my children. We are in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood with no public housing and no apartment complexes. We chose this area with a purpose...a safe, family oriented neighborgood for our children to grow up in. i realize that bad things can happen no matter what type of neighborhood you live in, but the picture you paint (stray bullets : ) Is not something i personally would ever consider. I hope you find a safer place for your family...that place sounds scary. I understand your attachment to your house, but on the bright side, home is where the heart is, and you will come to love your new home as well
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#3 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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I feel insecure in my neighborhood. We live in a trailer in a trailer park in a city that is checkerboard at best (meaning the good neighborhoods are bordered by bad ones). I'm pretty sure I have heard guns fired, but haven't heard of any STUFF as a result of them... I know we've had plenty of theft and stuff and there are some hooligans that try to start things with the residents. It's very upsetting to me... and YES, we live here to afford SAHMing! However, we're moving to another state soon for a better job for DH and lower cost of living and MUCH lower housing costs! We're VERY excited about it!!!

Good luck in getting into a better place sooner than later!

IntactaLactavist, HomeBirthin' Baby Wearin' Co-sleepin' Homeschoolin', City girl gone Country Livin' SAH(HSing)M

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#4 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies .
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#5 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 10:57 PM
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Our neighborhood isn't as nice as I'd like, but it's pretty safe and not really bad, just not as nice as I'd like.

I have chosen to live here because it's in a very good school district.
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#6 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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At times we've lived in borderline neighborhoods but never in the thick of it all. We now live in a economically diverse suburb. I think if there was a high chance that a stray bullet might come into our house or backyard I would consider finding a way to earn a bit more to move to a safer neighborhood. (maybe clean houses for a morning or two a week or offices at night)

I don't, however, think that area income levels alone are enough to justify a move to a particular area. There are problems at every level and it's unwise to assume that living in middle class (or higher) neighborhood alone will keep kids safe. I go to a SAHM group weekly- one woman lives in the richest suburb and another in one of the worst areas in the city. We were talking one day when the city mom commented that it was the kids from the upscale side that were coming in regularly to buy from the kids in the city. Point is, parents need to be aware no matter where they're living.

I think it's hard to ignore larger social problems if you do live in a rough area. It can provide moments for teaching compassion but can also help provide awareness at an early age that could keep them from getting scammed later on in life. You can use these moments to teach social action, justice, and charity. You also can use these experiences to teach your children about how to make better choices to have a healthy and rewarding life.

I hope it works out for you. Trust your instincts and listen to your kids' feelings. That should be enough to guide you.
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#7 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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we rent a not so nice duplex because the rent is cheap. keeping me at home is one of the reasons.
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#8 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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I grew up in a not-so-nice and not-so-safe neighborhood. There were plenty of project housing and other low income housing. The schools were garbage, there was no place to play because the playground were awful and dangerous and usually littered with crack vials and not a day went by when you didn't hear sirens, fighting or something else that made you scared. As such, if I had to choose betweeen a safe neighborhood for my family where my children could go out and play and get sunshine, have access to decent libraries and pools and playgrounds, etc and working full-time, I'd have to opt for working full time. I couldn't get out of the neighborhood I grew up in fast enough and I have no intention of ever ever going back. Children, in my opinion, all children deserve to feel safe and free. If I can give that to my child, I would be very happy. I want to be a SAHM very badly. I figure if I work hard now while ds is relatively young, I would have put myself in a financial position to start my own business to make enough money to live in a better neighborhood.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#9 of 40 Old 08-12-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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I am in a borderline neighborhood. This thread caught my eye because just two nights ago there was a car break-in in my neighborhood (my "neighborhood" is just one street).

This is the reason I cannot (or will not) homeschool. When my kids go to elementary school, I am going to return to work so we can move a neighborhood where I feel my children are safe.

So, I'm biding my time for now....
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#10 of 40 Old 08-13-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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Thankfully this isn't the worst part of town, definitely not the best either. Our neighborhood is fairly diverse middle to low income. heck our rent is only $350 a month. I've never feared for my saftely, we live near a college but it's a babtist college

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#11 of 40 Old 08-13-2006, 03:39 AM
 
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I guess that's pretty accurate for us. We wanted to move from an apartment to a house the only place remotely affordable is in a neighborhood I wouldn't think of buying. Not sure if its really dangerous per se but certainly not as nice as our apt neighborhood.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#12 of 40 Old 08-13-2006, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in NYC where really nowhere is 100% safe. Right now my goal is to move to a house that is not near housing projects or auto repair shops (we've got both near us).

I do feel that by SAHMing and running a really tight ship, we have been able to save a lot for the next step. If I had been working, I doubt we'd have the savings we do, since so much of myincome would have gone to work-related expenses, and childcare/ tuition.
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#13 of 40 Old 08-13-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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We do. We rent a duplex...the building itself is fine, it's actually really new (2001), but it's in a weird part of town. There is a HUGE abandoned apartment building around the corner, and a large percentage of our area seem to be transient. There is a lot of new construction multi-family dwellings, surrounded by a lot of older, run down homes. You find a lot of petty theft, car break-ins, but no really major crime. Most of our neghbors have had their cars broken into---the neighbors who shared a wall with us, had their truck broken into, a few days after we moved in! We've been lucky! It REALLY bothered me at first, but I got over it Now I just find my neighbors interesting And I made sure that I got renter's insurance
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#14 of 40 Old 08-13-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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Nowhere is completely safe....well maybe except for where we live No honestly, we live in a VERY quiet country town, there is no "bad neighborhood" here, however there is a disturbingly high number of registered sex offenders here and in the next town over. We lived in an upper-middle class neighborhood before and I was approached on a few occasions by policemen asking me if I knew anything about the latest break-in. The neighborhood dh and I lived in before we were married and had children was getting bad- and that was in 2003-2004, and its horrible now. Shootings, homicides, you name it and its happened over there. We're glad to be out, even though we do miss the $375 rent. However I still feel strongly enough about being a SAHM that even if it meant living in a bad neighborhood I would still stay home.
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#15 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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we live in the heart of the ghetto. two houses down there was a drive-by. a teenage kid got shot. he lived. about 1/3 of the houses are boarded up and the kids are all raggedy and unsupervised.
but our house cost less than a used car. and we like it here. and we're staying.
2 years ago we bought this big, drafty house so we could fill it with friends and have acrowded, happy house. so far it's worked out. we didn't mean to have kids, and we'll move before it's time for ds to start school, but for now it's ok. we've never had trouble with anyone. i think mostly you only get trouble if you go looking for it. we take care of our property, have an alarm system, and mostly keep to ourselves. we're friends with nearby families & aren't enemies with nearby gangsters, bikers & dealers, so we are left alone.
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. plus i'm not some hypocrite spouting my opinions from the nice, safe suburbs.
and the bus service is good.
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#16 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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plus i'm not some hypocrite spouting my opinions from the nice, safe suburbs.
I apologize if i am misinterpreting the wording of your post, but are you saying that those of us who live in 'the nice, safe suburbs" shouldn't have opinons about save vs unsafe neighborhoods?

I have never lived in the "ghetto" but I grew up in an area immedieately bordered (as in 2 streets over) by some very rough neighborhoods...all public housing, biker gangs, drug dealers, pimps. There is no way on God's green earth that I'd put my children in an area where guns were being fired and children were being shot. In my old neighborhood, no one got much trouble unless, as you mentioned, they were involved with shady people. but what if your child was hit in the crossfire? I realize that bad things happen everywhere, and shootings can happen in the most affluent neighborhoods, and just because you don't see the dealer on the corner, doesn't mean the lawyer in the house next store doesn't have a few grams of coccaine in his house. I am not naive. I don't think it's fair for you to say that anyone who doesn't live in a poor neighborhood shouldn't have an opinion.
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#17 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 08:47 AM
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I think we need to be careful to understand that there are times when one of us feels a conviction to, say, live in a troubled area to bring light to that place or to understand the injustice that fuels violence.

We can honor that person without feeling insulted or judged because it isn't what is speaking to our own hearts.

I have no leading to live in the ghetto, but I honor her choice to be in that place.
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#18 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eastcoastmomof2
I apologize if i am misinterpreting the wording of your post, but are you saying that those of us who live in 'the nice, safe suburbs" shouldn't have opinons about save vs unsafe neighborhoods?

I have never lived in the "ghetto" but I grew up in an area immedieately bordered (as in 2 streets over) by some very rough neighborhoods...all public housing, biker gangs, drug dealers, pimps. There is no way on God's green earth that I'd put my children in an area where guns were being fired and children were being shot. In my old neighborhood, no one got much trouble unless, as you mentioned, they were involved with shady people. but what if your child was hit in the crossfire? I realize that bad things happen everywhere, and shootings can happen in the most affluent neighborhoods, and just because you don't see the dealer on the corner, doesn't mean the lawyer in the house next store doesn't have a few grams of coccaine in his house. I am not naive. I don't think it's fair for you to say that anyone who doesn't live in a poor neighborhood shouldn't have an opinion.
i'm sorry, i worded that completley wrong. what i meant is that i would feel like a hypocrite if i lived in a suburb but had the opinions i do about poverty, politics, etc. i think everyone should make the choice about where they live, based on their values and comfort levels.
so i guess you could say that i choose to live where i do because most of the people here aren't given a choice.
also housing is very, very cheap and dh is a full time student, so living here prevents debt.
again, i'm sorry for not choosing better words.
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#19 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by josybear
i'm sorry, i worded that completley wrong. what i meant is that i would feel like a hypocrite if i lived in a suburb but had the opinions i do about poverty, politics, etc. i think everyone should make the choice about where they live, based on their values and comfort levels.
so i guess you could say that i choose to live where i do because most of the people here aren't given a choice.
also housing is very, very cheap and dh is a full time student, so living here prevents debt.
again, i'm sorry for not choosing better words.
So much is in the wording :-)

I understand what you are saying. I apologize if i "jumped" on your post.
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#20 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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We live in a less desirable area, right now we're not even owning our own home, we're living in with my in-laws, I can't work here yet because I moved here from Europe, to America, and I am awaiting my working visa.
So I am a stay at home because I want to be, but also, I really don't have a choice to work right now.
Before my son, I lived here too, and never thought of it as a "bad" neighborhood, we have had someone being shot after a arguement, and some idiot who shot at someone in a car because they were fighting and the bullets went through the door of my BIL's shop. Thankfullu no one got hurt.

Do I like that I live here? Heck no, I can't wait to move, but right now, its either this, or move somewhere where this happeneds every night.
We live on a decent street, where we hardly have any problems, its just the surrounding area's that are not so great.

I feel like a bad mother, trust me, and my husband works his butt off for us, and is working up to something, so we can move away in about a year.

I hope no one thinks here, that I am happy I put my son in a area that isn't great, there are many nights I cry myself to sleep because I want everything perfect for my son.
But I can't continue beating myself up either.

I just need to accept that this is all we can afford right now, and that soon we'll have a chance on something better.
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#21 of 40 Old 08-14-2006, 07:40 PM
 
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we were EXTREMELY lucky to have bought our home in early 2000, when the prices were extremely low. this i believe was pure luck with a touch of financial-savvy from my husband. no one could have predicted that our home would nearly double its' value in less than 5yrs providing us with over $90K in equity.

the house we chose, one of the 1st 2 we looked at, we far from perfect, but the neighborhood was decent and it had a much nicer yard than the others. the ghetto is almost out of walking distance, and while i've seen my share of drug deals right in front of my home (once while i was standing there facing the st, watering plants), and the convenience stores are robbed at gunpoint on a regular basis, to my knowledge there have been no shootings since we've lived here. with the exception of speeding cars, i feel VERY safe here. stray bullets, i dont think i could tolerate; "bad neighborhood", as long as you try to get to know your neighbors, an are cautious, would not bother me terribly. that often also means the availability of public transportation and most likely stores within walking distances.
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#22 of 40 Old 08-15-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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I have. And while it was really stressful at times, it was worth it.

Can you relocate to another part of the country where your money goes farther? Or are there citizens group that you can be a part of to help bring more safety and police action to your hood?
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#23 of 40 Old 08-15-2006, 09:26 AM
 
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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!!

Stacey reading.gif Happy wife to Rick coolshine.gif ,homeschooling Mama to Jacob, Noel, Joanna jumpers.gif  and a sweet stork-girl.gif due in the Spring!
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#24 of 40 Old 08-15-2006, 09:42 AM
 
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we rent so I can be a SAHM. dd wasn't "planned" and we decided to stay in our tiny 1br so money wouldn't be as tight. we recently moved and "upgraded" to a 2br apartment. we're in a small city and even the nicest area has apartments and duplexes so we went with the cheapest we could find yet still being in the "nicest" areas (good schools, low crime)

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#25 of 40 Old 08-15-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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We live in a pretty crappy part of town to be able to afford a smaller house to rent and still be close to my S/O's work as well as to keep me home with our son. I'm not dodging drugs or bullets or anything but it's not a great neighborhood by far. We're staying here long enough to save money to buy a house and until I finish school. I'd love to live in a better neighborhood but I'd kill my family if I was in a one bedroom apartment so we took a step down to get a small house with two bedrooms which costs the same as our old one bedroom apartment.
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#26 of 40 Old 08-15-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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For me the safety of my children would come first. But thats easy for me to say when I live in a town of under 1,000 and never lock my doors. I think you need to do whats best for your family and what you can live with.
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#27 of 40 Old 08-16-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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We live in a "bad neighborhood" in so much as most people say they would never send their kids to the public schools here because they are horrible academically and there's daily fights, police being called, etc. Ironically I went to high school in this neighborhood ten years ago and people were saying the same things then. I feel like I got a good education and was really blessed by the diversity of the school where I learned a lot about life and living with people who weren't just out of the same cookie cutter mold.

When we bought our house we bought it based on my husband's income even though our real estate agent really pressured us to use both of our incomes and buy a bigger house in a "better" school district in a farther out suburb. I have so many friends who say they regret that they "can't" stay at home like me, but then again they bought quarter of a million dollar houses in the suburbs and drive new cars and eat out all of the time.

Our neighborhood is relatively safe (no stray bullets, just occasional stolen cars or drug busts) and most of this is not coming from people in the actual neighborhood, but bordering neighborhoods. My neighbors while they are not super social really watch out for one another. I think being a stay-at-home mom involves making sacrifices in most cases, not just of your job, but of your "dream house" or neighborhood. I taught in a high school in one of these "dream neighborhoods" about 45 minutes from where we live and believe me it was not the perfect little town that everyone thought it was and the parents who thought their kids were safe hardly knew all of the junk they were into. The most important thing is that you are comfortable in the decisions that you've made and not feeling hopelessly stuck in a dangerous situation.

My dd is only 8 months old so we haven't made decisions about school yet, but I am very happy to be living in a real place with real people and honestly it is highly unlikely that we would ever own a quarter of a million dollar house even if I went back to work or my husband got a big raise. In that way I understand what a previous poster said about social justice. I want my kids to grow up and have experiences that are teachable moments. I want them to be safe, but not sheltered. I want them to see the world around them for what it is and then feel moved to do something to make it better... Ok....stepping down from my soapbox now
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#28 of 40 Old 08-16-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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When DS was a baby, we were in a really rotten place. A man was shot by our mailbox, and my neighbor had a man break into her sons bedroom in the middle of the night-only about 20 feet from our house. Our car was routinely broken into, and I did not feel safe walking from my front door to the dumpster alone.

We live in a small town now, and other than the obnoxiously high number of sex offenders in the area, its very safe. Either way, I still do not let my kids play out in the yard with out me or DH.

Depending on where DH ends up choosing to go for his doctorate, there is a chance we may end up in a rotten neighborhood again. I'm seriously considering going back to work if this is the case, because I don't want to go back to that. Its hard enough to think about going back to a smaller house or condo, let alone to a place that isn't safe for me or my children. (I think I'd even feel safer in a bad neighbor hood if I were working & kids were in daycare than being home alone all day in a bad neighborhood.)

I'm not sure what we are going to do, I just keep hoping it works out.
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#29 of 40 Old 08-17-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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Our house/neighborhood would probably be nicer if I was working, but it isn't bad or unsafe or anything.

There are certainly nicer neighborhoods, but we might also live in one of those if dh and I had pursued careers that were more financially rewarding rather than wanting to strengthen communities/families. There will always be bigger nicer houses...not really sure we want one.

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#30 of 40 Old 08-17-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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like some of the pp's we also live in a not quite so desirable area in order for me to SAH. we also firmly believe in staying in an urban area, although we'd never choose the most dangerous parts of town. i just wanted to chime in. dh and i lived in an urban service learning house in college in the "dangerous" part of town. from that experience i learned perspective...what some people think is "dangerous" is really not...i could be a lot worse. so we picked a not perfect area that is relatively safe for our family to expose our daughter to the world. we were both raised in pretty cushy upper middle class areas, and i, especially, ended up very sheltered, very dilusional, and really unaware of what was happening in the world. i don't want that for my daughter. of course i'll make sure she's safe, but i won't put her in a place where she won't know how a very large part of the country lives. just my two cents we're moving there this weekend (from another not great neighborhood), so its really been on my mind!

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