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Kids & The City

Baby boomers and Gen Xers, brace yourselves. Millennials are becoming parents, believe it or not, it is happening. Of course, Millennials are not the first generation to make this transition. But their lifestyle values make them different from generations before.

Millennials are increasingly rebuffing the dream of the white picket fence and big backyard in favour of shorter commutes, rich cultural offerings, and a greater sense of community. They are moving from the suburbs to the city. Their parents’ advice on how to raise a family is certainly valuable, but they need additional help navigating the unique challenges presented by the dense, diverse conditions of the city and the constraints of smaller homes and increasingly, condo living. Before we tackle the challenges raising a family in a condo, let’s acknowledge the benefits of city living: – Tweet This

  1. A shorter commute is correlated with higher life satisfaction, lower stress, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health, and improved social life.
  2. Greater access to cultural offerings increases our emotional intelligence and sense of connectedness.
  3. Healthier: dense living conditions promote walking, which gives people more time to relax and get outside and decreases dependency on vehicles.
  4. Less property maintenance: Although condos come with maintenance fees, condo dwellers save time and often money on home maintenance. That means more time and money to enjoy life!
  5. Lower environmentalimpact: the carbon footprint of someone who lives and works in a dense city is up to 70% lower than that of a suburbanite who commutes long distances and has a big home.

Millennials are increasingly weighing the benefits of condo living against the material and lifestyle costs of leaving the city in search of a large suburban home and backyard to match. With the city’s benefits in mind however, there are still perceived obstacles associated with raising a family there. Limited space and busy streets full of strangers can make new parents weary. Today we debunk these fears and provide solutions for new parents who decide that the city is where they’ll stay.

URBAN SPACING

Babies may be small, but they take up a lot of room and require a lot of stuff. A few mindful adjustments however can help new parents thrive in a condo with their new family addition. – Tweet This

  • Strategic organization / maximize storage space – Take advantage of the ingenious storage tricks available for condo dwellers. Buy beds with storage underneath and waterproof balcony storage for larger items and install racks in your parking garage or storage locker for bikes and seasonal items. For a growing family, take advantage of vertical space with bunk beds and tall cabinets/wardrobes instead of waist height organizers and wall shelving.
  • Purge / buy consciously – Buy only what fits in your place, try to reduce duplicates, and each year give away things that you haven’t used or don’t see yourself using in the future.
  • Use amenities and shared community resources – Instead of trying to fit everything into your personal space, take full advantage of shared space. Host family and friends in the party room, book the guest suites for your in-laws and bring your little ones outside more to take advantage of local trails, parks and your terrace.
  • Upgrade within your community- Instead of catapulting from a one-bedroom downtown to a three-bedroom home in the suburbs, consider the in-between.  Upgrade within your building or other local buildings to a two-bedroom or condo townhome and enjoy continued access to shared amenities, low DIY maintenance and proximity to your established community.

STRANGER DANGER

It can be difficult to comprehend the sense of community that exists in the condo until you experience it. Not only do you get to know your concierge, your floormates and neighbours quickly, but you begin to see familiar faces at the gym, in the parking garage, the pool and terrace and while out walking your dog. Nowhere is this resource of shared space more useful than for new parents.  Log onto any new parent blog and you will see more than a few stories about the postpartum isolation that can occur when mothers and fathers leave work to raise their newborns. The proximity condos offer to other families in similar circumstances, versus the isolation that can occur in suburban environments is a real consideration. The convenience of having amenities in-house in which to host play dates and establish a close support group is unique to the structure and lifestyle of condo living. A lot of condo boards offer services in which they reach out to and arrange groups of like-minded residents. A quick visit to your property management’s office is all it takes to get the ball rolling if your condo does not already have something like this in place.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

As any Millennial knows, there are countless resources available for the preparation, execution and enjoyment of family life in the city. We’ve provided some of our favourite links below to help new families on their journey:

Photo by: http://www.thelistinc.com/