Being a parent, and therefore responsible for humans other than yourself, is difficult no matter where you reside. But in New York City, parenthood comes with its own set of challenges (and, yes, benefits).
[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post was published in May 2017. It is being presented again in case you missed it.]
Here are the 12 things that set New York City parents apart:
1. We know that at some point during every conversation with a fellow New York City parent, talk will turn to whether or not to stay in the city or move to the suburbs.
2. The amount of energy we put into friendships with fellow parents directly correlates to how likely we—or they—are to stay in the city.
3. We curse the MTA every time we have to fold a stroller while getting onto a bus with a screaming toddler, a baby, and a massive diaper bag. (Whoever came up with that rule is clearly not a parent. Or is an octopus with multiple limbs.)
4. We all at some point during the kindergarten/middle school/high school application process become convinced that we're out of our minds for living here.
5. Our favorite day of the year is the first day of warm weather after a cold winter—in other words, the first playground day and the end of stir-crazy season. (Second favorite: First day of school! Ah, freedom!)
6. We come to accept sand boxes as a necessary playspace, no matter how skeeved out we once were by them.
7. We all try, and fail, to not check on Streeteasy how much our kids' friends' parents paid for their apartments.
8. Every once in a while, we go to the High Line/an amazing park/museum/food destination with our kids in tow and are reminded of why we do live here. (But we don't do it too often because, well, crowds. See also: number 3.)
9. We spend much of our time looking longingly at all the cool new bars and restaurants popping up in our neighborhood and reminisce about a time we could actually go to them all. Oh, and boozy brunch—remember that?
10. At some point, we all implement the one toy in, one toy out rule. And at least try to stick to it.
11. We know more about the models of strollers and bunk beds than our friends in the suburbs know about cars. Plus, the bottoms of our strollers are holding more than the trunk of our friends' vehicles.
12. Our apartments will never feel big enough, but they probably are. And every once in a while it dawns on us that, small apartment and all, this is home.
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