So pretty much everyone I’ve met since moving north has had the same reaction to us leaving London. Mainly that London is of course a terrible place to bring up a family and we were right to leave before the kids were eaten by urban foxes. At the risk of being thrown out of Yorkshire for good I’d like to point out that London is in fact a brilliant place to bring up kids. Here are just 10 reasons why.
1. I lived in London for 12 years – for 10 of those years I had no idea who my neighbours were, this was very embarrassing when I got locked out of the flat in my pants. Once I had children I got to know nearly everyone on my street, this led to an even more embarrassing situation when I was locked out of the flat in my pants.
2. You are only ever a bus ride away from some of the best museums and art galleries in the world. As it’s too expensive to put the kids in nursery and go back to work you can visit them when they are at their least busy.
3. There are parents of all types in London so you can pick and choose who to hang out with. Don’t like the ladies in your NCT? Meet some new ones on the bus.
4. You can learn interesting parenting tips from around the globe. A Mexican lady told me to rub tomato in my daughters scalp to help her hair grow. Interesting.
5. Breastfeeding is easier in the big smoke. I’m sorry but it is, the support networks are amazing and there are lots of people from different countries who are not as embarrassed about getting them out as we Brits are.
6. If you head to the right part of town you can find some great bargains in the charity shops.
7. Lots of London mums are of the older variety (like me). Since moving I have been the oldest mum at all the playgroups I’ve been to.
8. The public transport system in London is brilliant when you don’t have to use it for commuting. I only appreciate this now – any London based mums who disagree should try catching one of the 2 buses a day which serve the village I live in now.
9. When you’re trying to push a pram through the busy streets of London you discover parts of London you never knew existed. My own personal discoveries include the baby room at John Lewis (a haven on Oxford St) and the pet spa at Harrods where you can watch a dog have a haircut.
10. You can spot famous people at the park. I’ve seen: the fit guy from Miranda (fit), James McAvoy (small but fit), Matthew from Downton Abbey (not bad), Noel Fielding wearing a cape (weird but fit) and Les Dennis (small, weird and not at all fit). Not sure why this list is entirely male but there you go.