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<p>Hello!  I am wondering if you could comment on the city of Bellevue, WA.  My husband just applied to a job there and we live in the midwest, and I've never even been to the state!  I think we would love it because I feel like it is a bit more progressive than where we live, and I saw that there is a Waldorf school (my daughter goes to a Waldorf preK, although we are thinking of homeschooling too, possibly), and I saw that there is quite a bit of yoga around (I teach yoga), but I am wondering if there is a good AP/crunchy mama community?  I live in an area with a great community of attachment parents that get together multiple times a week for playgroups... so I am wondering if there is some sort of either AP/natural mama community?  Also wondering about the birthing community.  I am going through doula training, and also teach prenatal yoga, and hope to be a childbirth educator and would like to have another baby sometime in the future after we would hypothetically move there.  Are there some homebirth midwives around there?  </p>
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<p>Also, if you live there, is there good areas to look into living?  What areas tend to be crunchier?  </p>
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<p>Thank you! </p>
 

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<p>I don't know much about the area, as I live in North Seattle, but I *do* know that there is a big, active attachment parenting group on meetup.com. The name of the group is "Eastside AP" I think. I joined it when I first moved here, before I realized that the Eastside was too far for me to drive (just because I hate to drive, not because it is really super far.)</p>
 

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<p>I don't know about Bellevue specifically, but I know WA state is very mw/homebirth friendly. I love the Westside (I'm originally from Eastern WA) and it seems like it is fairly "crunchy friendly" :) We're planning to move back there in about 6 months so I'll be watching this thread. We'll be living somewhere between Auburn and Bellevue.</p>
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<p>  I actually grew up in Bellevue, WA.  The city has changed over the years from a rather small suburb to a quicly growing bustling city.  I wouldn't exactly describe Bellevue as crunchy per say, but if you are it's certainly accepted and people don't judge too much.  The PNW is generally "anything goes" as far as lifestyle anyway.  You might encounter a few raised eyebrows here and there, but that's about it, IME.  With that said, Bellevue is more conservative than Seattle and there are some pretty uppity areas (Bridle Trails, Somerset, Medina) where the homes are worth millions.  Bill Gates lives in Medina (my mom lives pretty close to him, actually-she rents a room from someone). </p>
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<p>As far as the homebirthing/midwives goes-very common, very accepted.  There are both hospital midwives that work right alongside with OBs and homebirth midwives.  Bellevue is actually right next to Kirkland, which has quite a few options as far as midwives go.  Patients have the option of using a free standing birth center, which is where I had my first two kiddos.  I had my third one at a hospital with an OB who practices with hospital midwives.  It turned out to be a great experience.  Yoga is pretty big here so I'm sure you wouldn't have any issues teaching.  The nice thing about Bellevue is that it's very family friendly and there are tons of people with little kiddos running around so it's quite likely you'll make friends right away.  There are tons of activities for little kiddos/parents to do.  One thing I will caution you is that people can be a little stand-offish at first here compared to the midwest, where I've been told people are *very* friendly.  It's usually just a temporary thing but if you aren't used to it it can feel like people are mean. </p>
 

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<p>its there but its not what you see when you go to the grocery store at least near downtown you can get a " better then " vibe from alot of the folks its also the onley place in the seattle area Ive been asked to cover up nurseing ( two times ) that all being said I lived there for three years and when to scholl in nearby kirkland and the pros totally outway the cons . </p>
 

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<p>chiming in late here. we currently live in bridle trails (in an apartment complex- not one of the huge million zillion dollar houses... so sad, lol). i have to a gree that the "eastside" (the bellevue/ kirkland area) is not the most crunchy area in the state-  but as someone else mentioned it IS here. i meet parents who cd quite often. our apt manager cds, cosleeps, and breastfeeds. our children play together. if you are really looking for a place that's got more of that feeling to it, there are other areas where there's lots of it. most of them are closer to or right on the outskirts of seattle. i lived up north in shoreline for a while and that area was surprisingly crunchy. good luck in making your decision!</p>
 

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<p>I'll echo the other posters- I grew up in and around Bellevue, but have never parented there.  It's probably among the least crunchy places in western Washington, but that being said- it's still in WA, where the crunchy bar is pretty high! You will not have any trouble finding yoga, home schoolers, or AP parents in Bellevue.   Bellevue is more... "Whole Foods and occasional trips to the farmers market" instead of "small local food co-op and weekly CSA pick-up."</p>
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<p>I'd say the neighborhoods in Seattle/north Seattle might be a bit more universally crunchy (in Seattle propper, curb-side composting is the norm- it's awesome!), but if Bellevue is close to work and school, those are awesome benefits.  Besides- what's the point of driving across the bridge everyday just to live in a "greener" neighborhood?    Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>We've lived in Bellevue & Redmond for 6 years and really like the area.  I nursed DD 2.5 years and DS is 13.5 months and still nursing, and I've never had anyone pay much attention.  Seattle is crunchier, but the who region in general is pretty crunchy, so I think it's a matter of comparing degrees of crunchiness, really. I've meet a number of AP people locally and attend a very AP-leaning new mom's group run by a local hospital.  I know a lot of women who've used midwives either in or out of a hospital.</p>
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<p>And if your husband gets the job in Bellevue, honestly, you probably don't want to try to live in Seattle and make him commute across Lake Washington.  That's a horrible commute, very long (time-wise, not distance) and crowded.  I did it for many years and hated it.</p>
 

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<p>I live in a part of Bellevue with multi-million dollar homes, but we rent an old house for very cheap (we are here to basically keep the house from falling down!).  This is not my type of place to live, we are pretty "crunchy" (although I don't like that term).  I personally really do not like the Bellevue area at all. WAY WAY too much money here, really hard to find like-minded friends.   I am glad we are just across the lake from Seattle where there is more diversity.  Bellevue either has mostly chain restaurants and stores or really expensive boutiques and restaurants.  SUV's and fancy sport cars abound here!</p>
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<p>As for opportunities for parenting and children, I don't know.  We are pregnant with our first.  Although, I know being so close to Bastyr College (homeopathic/midwifery college) there are plenty of opportunities for natural birth/health options which is wonderful!</p>
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<p>If we weren't saving so much with our cheap rent (which is very unusual here, cost of living is outrageous here), and if the economy and employment opportunities were better, we would be moving closer to the mountains, hopefully to a small liberal town (which is kind of hard to find in washington, small towns seem to be pretty conservative around here).</p>
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<p>Good luck if you move out here... there are A LOT midwesterners here!</p>
 

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<p>DH and I moved out here in 2006 from Bloomington, IN.  We live in Redmond, not exactly Bellevue, but close.</p>
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<p>I have to say, I really miss the small city feel of Bloomington.  There is *a lot* of money out here.  That can be a negative, but honestly, it means jobs, and a decent economy, even if the cost of living is high.  But do take the cost of living into consideration when evaluating any job offers.</p>
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<p>I *can* give the Waldorf school in Bellevue 2 thumbs up.  I worked there in the after school program for a while.  It's a great place to be a child.  They're so amazing with the kids.  Plus, sending your child there is a great way to connect with other like minded families. </p>
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<p>The Crossroads area is family friendly and less commercial than many other areas.  We are planning on looking  for a rental house in that area next year after we have our baby.</p>
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<p>We still feel a little out of place on the eastside.  We have considered moving to Seattle, but we still prefer not to have the horrible commute.  And it can be truly horrible.  If it happens to snow, even 1/2 an inch, forget about it.  It can take hours to get home.  Even in the rain, things slow down.</p>
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<p>Also, if you have any mood issues surrounding light, seriously consider not moving here.  It is dark by 4pm in the winter.  Many days are dark because of the clouds.  It can be dealt with, but if it's a serious issue with you, it's going to be a problem.</p>
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<p>Still, I would say the entire area is more crunchy than a lot of areas in the midwest. </p>
 

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<p>If your DH gets a job in Bellevue and you decide Bellevue isn't your favorite city, you could live in other close-in communities that seem more your style. I am on the edge of the boonies and my DH currently works in Seattle and takes the bus on days he goes into the office. He worked in Bellevue when we bought the house so the commute wasn't bad then. When DD was littler, I used to go to play areas at the mall in downtown Bellevue and I NIP'd with her until she was 3 years old - and she looks a year older than her actual age. I never had anyone bug me about nursing.</p>
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<p>There is yoga stuff all over this area. If you have a car, you can get anywhere you want. If you use public transportation, as long as you are close to a bus line you should be OK. I personally don't like the "feel" of Bellevue as a place to live, but it's because it reminds me of where I grew up, but bigger. It's a nice city though. If you don't mind a bit of a commute, you have many options besides Bellevue. Staying on the Eastside is easiest for driving because crossing the bridges is a huge PITA due to traffic.</p>
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<p>Not all Bellevue is fancy houses, but even the old ranchers were out of our price range. They have a great modern art museum downtown. Really, moving to this area is more about living in the Seattle metro area, IMO. The Eastside is generally more conservative than Seattle itself, but there are lots of liberal or crunchy people out here even on the Eastside. If you love mountains and water and nature, this is a great place to be.</p>
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<p>Also, lots of homeschoolers here - in Seattle and on the Eastside, even further out.</p>
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<p>Another thing you may consider is how you well you tolerate grayness during winter. Summers here are gorgeous and usually not too hot. We are from MT originally and we love it here.</p>
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<p>Hope this helps you a bit. Good luck with your decision.</p>
 
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