Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
I feel like I've been living the suburban family life and I loved my married family life. Yet now I'm single. I want to run back into the city because that's what I know of single life. But I can't, I have my kids of course.
You may not need to abandon the idea of living in the city. Many of us have been trapped in the idea of "growing up moving to the suburbs". A rental apartment in the city is a lot cheaper than a suburban mortgage. Also a rental apartment doesn't have all those ticking financial time bombs of owning a house: You never have to pay for repairs, and you never have to pay to replace old appliances. Yes, there is less space, but think about whether you REALLY need the space.
My kids and I LOVE the city. Our apartment is small, but we go for a lot of walks - no matter what the weather is - and we spend way more time together than we used to. If we have to go somewhere, it's almost always within walking distance, so we get exercise AND we don't have the added expense of a car.
I have my boys on every weekend and holiday, but they spend school time at their mom's suburban house. I have to confess that I would have been worried about moving them away from their schools. That's why I agreed to let her have them for so much of the week - I couldn't afford the suburbs. However, they have both asked if they can live with me full time. They're strong, independent boys, and a stable home life looks good to them, even if it means changing schools.
Sorry to preach on that: Favourite topic.
But who am I? I loved reading, plays, concerts. I don't see myself doing these things now. I feel like I'm 22 years old again right out of college and not knowing what to do next.
If you're in a reasonable-sized city, there are a ton of events you can take your kids to. As long as kids aren't NOT allowed, just take them with you. Even if it's a concert or play that you think they wouldn't be interested in, take them anyhow - even stuff you hate is ALWAYS better live. A lot of festivals have really cheap prices for kids admission.
Also, look for "alternative" sporting events. We've been going to see roller derby. It's not violent like in the movies, and has this great grassroots, alternative vibe: You can honestly feel the love in the room, and it's quite inexpensive.
Your public library is a great place to go. First of all, free books (even graphic novels, if you have a budding comic book geek). There are also some cool things going on there sometimes.
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous