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Should I bring my baby up in Stockwell?

(13 Posts)
PippasLondon Thu 16-Feb-12 16:32:30

Hi - I'd be so grateful for mums views on whether my family should move flat or not. (sorry the following is a bit rambley - sleep deprived)

The context: we moved from Waterloo to Stockwell when I was pregnant - it was a rushed move - originally we'd hoped to stay near Waterloo but what you get for your money is so rubbish we ended up coming here because we found a big flat with a lovely communal garden. I knew the area was a bit dodgy but NOT HAVING HAD A CHILD I didn't realise quite how important a factor this might be. I have lots of mum friends and groups in Waterloo, I just figured I'd get the bus there a lot. BUT then my lovely daughter was born!! And suddenly I found it difficult to get out so I tried looking around the local area for things - I've met a few nice mums but most groups/activities/cafes/amenities are either a 10 min bus ride (Waterloo/Clapham) or minimum 20 min walk (Brixton/Vauxhall/Kennington) - I'm finding this quite tiring and I'm worried that as she gets older (she's 4 months now) this will be more of an issue. Also, the area is also much much rougher, now that I'm living here, and desolate than anticipated. I don't drive and I just feel trapped, isolated and pretty depressed. The idea of bringing her up round here makes me sad. On the upside, our flat is lovely, the planes to heathrow (another unanticipated factor) do wind me up a bit but I've learnt to live with them, and we've done the place up nicely so its very us.

My question is the following: my boyfriend has suggested renting our flat out and renting somewhere in the area I like (Borough) where I have lots of mum friends and groups I know, plus close to the nursery and primary school I like. Our flat is very lettable - nice street and great for young professionals (WITH BIKES). We could easily afford a decent 2 bed perhaps with money to spare and I'm scoping out flats in a really nice square, also with a lovely communal garden, - v close to lots of amenities - both baby related (next to the primary school I like ditto nursery, baby groups and mum friends) and not (nice pubs, culture, the river). The issue is the flats are smaller and not decorated as nice as our flat. You don't get much for your money in central london! They're not awful - one decent sized living room and bedroom, one medium bedroom, then titchy kitchen and bathroom - but our flat here is really spacious and beautiful.

I just don't know what to do - should we move to a less nice, smaller flat in the area I love, or stay where we are, get the bus a lot (and perhaps learn how to drive!) - any advice v gratefully recieved, this is really doing my head in

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 16-Feb-12 16:35:12

Seriously move and don't look back.

ThreeNine Thu 16-Feb-12 17:57:35

I would move.

Levantine Thu 16-Feb-12 18:07:29

Move. Being close to a nursery you like is a big deal. Babies and small children don't need space really

TheCokeMachine Thu 16-Feb-12 19:39:44

Baby will not care about the size of your flat or how nice the decor is, but will get vibes if you are unhappy.

As a fellow Londoner I say sod the square ft and move back to where you are happy - I'd rather live in a smaller place and be close to my friends and family - you need to be close to home and not lugging a buggy about on public transport.

mumblechum1 Thu 16-Feb-12 19:41:21

Move. Try to build up a bit of savings, though, to cover void periods in your current flat.

BsshBossh Sat 18-Feb-12 08:36:50

Defintely move to a place where you know there are better play groups, nurseries, baby activities as these will be your life line.

PippasLondon Mon 20-Feb-12 03:16:59

thanks for the comments - its been such a difficult thing to consider moving, we had a lot of help buying this place from family - it was supposed to be our first 'family' home so everyone was so kind and supportive - I've let a lot of people down and put my partner through a lot of stress. We've not really told anyone we're planning to move yet (although it is the right decision) and I fear I will be judged harshly for doing this. Its good to hear what strangers who are mums think as its a really confusing time.

rrreow Mon 20-Feb-12 14:51:57

Move. I live in central London myself and location is so much more important than space (in my experience). Also owning property in London, whether you're living there or not, is a great investment, so don't feel bad about that.

EdithWeston Mon 20-Feb-12 15:03:04

I have lived in London and know how strange it can be, how very different areas can be cheek by jowl, and how it throws up weird barriers to moving around even quite locally.

Only you can tell if your current feelings of isolation will be eased by moving, and if that's a long or short term fix (if key members of your friendship group decide to move themselves, you could be back to square one even in a different place). Renting may well be a way to give you more options, and you needn't be looking for a forever family home at this stage.

And in the mean time, is there anything else you can do to break the isolation where you are now? Can you find groups and activities locally, or get the bus in the other direction towards CJ (ie Nappy Valley) where there are many, many things geared up for parents and babies? If SouthWest magazine is still going, it would be worth having a dekko - they had really good listings of what's on.

Monkicmo Thu 30-Oct-14 13:00:56

Hi, so is 3.5 years later... what decision did you make? And are you glad you made it?

I'm in a similar position, looking to move to Stockwell with my husband whilst half way through pregnancy and wondering if things have changed much.. From having an online search there is only one main baby play group that seems to come up in the area, at Tate library. There does appear to be alot more in the surrounding areas as previously found. So maybe things haven't changed too much? All other groups etc seem to be nurseries.
Larkhall park is the nearest park, what are people's opinions of it for children? I know Battersea park is wonderful and isn't that far away but need to think more local.

Any thoughts and insights and lessons learned etc would be greatly appreciated.

Polyethyl Thu 30-Oct-14 13:11:52

There is an excellent play group near the skate board park, between Stockwell and Brixton.

I live in Brixton and love being so close to the superb Brockwell Park. I don't know the parks in Stockwell. I do think that if you are raising a toddler in a London flat you really do need to be near a park that you like.

There is Vauxhall park, which has a good play area, next to the Tea House Theatre. Do you like Vauxhall? I don't. I've seen too many drunk night clubbers staggering about in the mornings there.

Lambethmum Sat 01-Nov-14 22:11:24

There's lots to do in the area - try looking at the local blogs like Little Lambeth for inspiration? Oasis Nature Park is very nice, and I think the pp was referring to Stockwell Childrens Centre which has groups etc every day. You can walk to Oval, Brixton or Clapham very easily. Myatts Fields Park is v good for children; Slade Gardens has a good playground for toddlers; Kennington and Papas Parks too.

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