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To want to move back to london with a baby

(62 Posts)
sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:24:05

I miss london. Moved out a year ago to a commuter small town because we had a baby and wanted to afford some space and garden. But I really miss london. I go back to work soon so will be there a bit but is that the same? Maybe it will help.
I'm just a bit bored out here. I go to groups and do love the countryside (nt card has been used a lot) and that has def helped but I just find where we live a bit soulless and depressing sad I miss where I live and the buzz and I think there is tons to do in london with a baby.
What's it like living in london with a baby? Am I mad to even consider it? DH I don't think would go for it so not sure y I'm even posting this or thinking about it! What about when they are older? Those who have chosen to stay whats it like? How do you manage for space? Where do u live in london? Those who moved out any regrets? And if so did they fade? Maybe where we have chosen is just not quite right.

nickEcave Thu 13-Nov-14 13:36:30

Can you afford to move back to London? We live in Zone 3 and house prices have gone up 20% in the past 18 months. We have a decent income but can only afford a small terrace in our area but want to stay round here as we're both from London and all our family is local. You have to accept that you won't have a nice big garden and will be sharing public space with lots of different people but I agree that there is huge amounts of stuff (and lots of it free) to do with children in London - we can be out all weekend doing stuff and only spend money on travel.

Anotheronesoon Thu 13-Nov-14 13:38:49

I have a two year old and a seven month old in London ( well, zone four) and love it! So much to do and so child friendly! I can get my double buggy in shops and even the tube isn't bad- always someone to help. My eldest loves trips in to south bank or getting a boat down the river or going to the museums! We live in a four bed house with a small but adequate garden on a very quiet street in South London. It's not fancy so not ridiculously priced. We can walk to two different high streets and can be out of the m25 in 25 min. Love it would thoroughly recommend - one disadvantage though is high cost of childcare

sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:39:54

We could just about. That's another thing I'm thinking - we may never be able to come back if we don't have a foot on ladder now. We would have around 600k - though this does not go far anymore in london sad

whois Thu 13-Nov-14 13:41:01

Guess that's thr key question - can you afford to buy something which is big enough and near schools which you like, in a nice area and a reasonable commute to work?

My sister has three children in london, but they have a house and a garden and a bedroom each and live in a nice leafy party of zone 2 nappy valley with good schools. They love living in london.

She might not be so happy in a 6th floor flat with no outside space and in catchment for a rough school!

whois Thu 13-Nov-14 13:42:00

You could get a 3 bed terrace somewhere like leyton for £600k.

Agree that you need to move back ASAP or it will become even further out of reach!

sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:42:51

Anotheronesoon how much is a cm there?
And have u thought further ahead to schools?
Part of the reason we moved was the school issue but now I think primaries are pretty good in various spots so no need to move out then and there are decent state secondaries too. Where we are now is pretty average schools wise. I guess slightly smaller class sizes and a bit more local feel.

pinkdelight Thu 13-Nov-14 13:43:34

We almost moved out of London when I was pregnant first time but we just couldn't do it and moved to the very edges instead, in Croydon. Have edged back in over the last few years and am now in SE19, which is far enough out for me. I'm already fantasising about having a flat in town when the kids are grown up. So if I were you I would absolutely move back and make the most of it. Especially if you're going to be working here. The parents I know who have left and have longish commutes have gradually found jobs out of London and made their lives where they live. They are pretty happy with it, so you may be too. But it sounds like you still want to be here and I don't blame you.

Karoleann Thu 13-Nov-14 13:44:21

I really enjoyed london with two small children, I found getting around with a buggy very easy and loved having lots of things to do. As they grew up it just got so much more difficult, our garden was too small, we spent hours stuck in traffic to go to play dates/activities and I didn't enjoy doing the London stuff during the school holidays as it was so busy.
Then there were the schools.............

We have no friends left in the area we moved out of (central london zone 2), they've all moved out themselves.

I think you've just probably moved out too soon. I'd wait and see how things are when you're back at work. Otherwise, could you rent out your current house and rent something in London for 6 months or so?

sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:47:10

How on earth do I bring this up with DH? He knows I get a bit down sometimes about living here but I don't voice it much as I thought i needed to give it time. Is a year enough time to still not really be feeling where we've moved to? He seems to love it here but then he goes into london every day.

LadyRabbit Thu 13-Nov-14 13:47:44

OP, I often think how lucky I was to go through the newborn stage in Central London; I never felt isolated, people popped in all the time, 24hour shops meant we never ran out of anything. Don't have to drive anywhere, lots of things to do for free and London is a pretty baby friendly city. I've never had any funny comments BF'ing and I've done it loads of different places.
I can see why lots of people move out of town when their kids arrived - a lot of our friends did this upon the birth of their first kid and went to Bucks or Herts and I really miss them - but what they gained in space they lost in awful commutes, having to drive everywhere and feeling a bit cut off. It's swings and roundabouts, and I went through a phase of wanting to leave London for a bit (for all the space and slower pace of life reasons) but I'm really glad we stayed.

nickEcave Thu 13-Nov-14 13:50:02

In our area of South London there are tonnes of good primaries but Secondary is a complete lottery. If you can't afford £800K to buy in catchment for an excellent state secondary or lie about being religious then you take pot-luck. There are kids on my street travelling for an hour on 2 buses to schools the other side of the borough because that was where they could get a place. I think I've accepted that it will be a lottery and none of the secondaries are terrible but if getting into an EXCELLENT secondary is important to you then you'll really need to think about where in London you move to.

Bowlersarm Thu 13-Nov-14 13:54:30

Karoleann has said what I was going to say. I think your timing is wrong.

We loved loved loved living in London when the DC were babies, toddlers, small children. We all had an absolute ball and wouldn't have lived anywhere else.

Couldn't wait to leave when eldest was 7.

Could you rent somewhere back in town?

writtenguarantee Thu 13-Nov-14 13:56:03

There are a lot of people in London with kids, I am one of them. It has it's ups and downs, but I wouldn't want to move out on account of the commute.
Overall I really like it.

Cost is a problem.

sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:56:28

I think we moved too soon as well. I think I was just worried about meeting new people before baby came along but now I can see that it's not hard to meet people when u have a baby!
I think excellent secondary is important to me but primary not so much. And there does seem to be plenty great primaries in london.
Maybe I'm just being selfish wanting to go back as we thought it would be better for children outside of london. But now I'm thinking it can be done, though I'm not quite sure we have enough money to be near the great secondaries. But such a long time away!
I've even got to know more people out here and yet....I miss my old place. I wonder if it would be the same going back with ds. Renting might be an option...I just don't know if DH would even consider it so need to find a way to come to terms with being out here.

sandrunner Thu 13-Nov-14 13:59:36

We r in crouch end. I get sad even thinking about it...
Ally pally, priory park, waterlow park, parkland walk, hampstead Heath, the woods, great vibrant high st, muswell hill high street, regents park and the canal, finsbury park, all the cultural stuff. The food! Uh could go on and on. I just took it all for granted.

writtenguarantee Thu 13-Nov-14 13:59:55

Apparently, inner city schools are now outperforming suburban ones, so hopefully you can find a good school.

Girlwhowearsglasses Thu 13-Nov-14 14:02:09

I found London with a baby great. I honestly think I would have felt trapped and isolated and maybe even had PND if we hadn't been right in the thick of it. And before that I thought I was a country girl.

So many groups, and now they are older school can take them to museums for free, and so can we...

magichandles Thu 13-Nov-14 14:15:41

I have 5 and 3 year olds and a 1 month old baby and I'm really glad to still be in London - we're in South London in Zone 3 and my eldest has just started at a primary I'm really pleased with - there has been a lot of primary expansion where we are in recent years so it isn't that hard to get into an ok school these days.

Secondaries are much more of a worry so we're putting off moving for a few years to decide whether we want (and can afford) to move within London for secondary, or whether we will want to move out by then.

massagegirl Thu 13-Nov-14 14:18:13

We are just outside london (surrey) and I love having the best of both worlds. Lots going on nearby but can be in the centre walking on south bank in half an hour. It took us a long time to choose this area!

highpavilion Thu 13-Nov-14 14:25:24

I've got a primary aged child in London and life here has been great both when he was a baby and when he's older. I grew up here as well so I tend to take the convenience for granted, but when visiting friends in small towns/villages I'm always glad to return to the tube and the huge number of events and opportunities. I know a lot of families move out but I too would find it soulless and depressing to live in those sorts of areas.

Claybury Thu 13-Nov-14 14:27:08

We moved 100 miles out with our 3 primary aged DC's 10 years ago. I found it hard, met very few people and didn't like those I met anyway. Lasted two years then moved back ( luckily DH's job meant this made sense ) and I'm SO glad we did. The area you describe is great for families - the downsides which upset DH more than me are traffic, lack of parking, etc and we have had issues with one teenager with drugs (some teens party hard here ) but who is to say what he would have been like elsewhere. Both my teens are very happy here, love school.
I think you know where you would be happiest. Good luck talking to your DH !

dinkystinky Thu 13-Nov-14 14:31:37

You moved from a real nappy valley area out to the London surrounds for more space - lots of people do it but equally lots of people move to those places too because they are a good place to bring up small children for all the reasons you listed above that you miss OP. I live in London, zone 2 NW - I've had 3 babies here and have found having babies in London, toddlers in London, small kids in London and now primary school kids in London great. But I have friends who used to live in London with their kids who have moved out to Kent/Bucks/Oxfordshire etc who hated London with babies/kids - its all about finding out what works for your family, as a family. See how it goes when you go back to work and how the commute goes - if you're still feeling like this 3 months after returning to work, then speak to DH.

OnlyLovers Thu 13-Nov-14 14:32:15

I think you need to just be very honest with your DH. You do sound as though you know in your heart what would make you happier; and happy parents tend to make for happy kids.

Hedgehogging Thu 13-Nov-14 14:40:13

No experience with a baby, but I have experience as a baby. My family lived there from a when I was a few months old to age 6 and I have the most magical memories of it! Parks, playgrounds, museums, musicals, fireworks, bonfire night, snow, the tube, double decker buses, the crunch of my dad's shoes as we walked on the pavement to the park, and the best chocolate ice cream in the world (IMH 4 year old O) at a kiosk in Battersea Park IIRC grin.

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