Where Do You See Yourself Raising Children?

Oct 25, 2017

where do you want to raise your kids

On me – Sweater | Jeans | Bracelet

On Zain – Pajamas (These organic pj’s are our favorite! The two piece sets are so cute and soft. hHe’s wearing 6-12 months for reference, ha!)

Also, Can you even handle the faces this kid makes?


Guys, I’m really excited for something a little new around here today! I’m joining in on my girlfriends Kelly and Emily’s motherhood series and couldn’t be happier. I have looked up to these girls and their mastering of being bosses at work and mom’s at home for so long! If you are not familiar, Kelly and her husband Mitch (have you seen his posts? They are amazing!) have an adorable daughter Emma who just turned 1 a few months ago! Emily and her husband Doug have two sweet girls, Gracie who is 2 and Josephine who is Zain’s age. Their girls are seriously adorable and it’s amazing that Gracie looks so much like Emily and Jo is a baby Doug! Both Kelly and Emily have provided so much support for me during these past five months no matter what time of day or night I have called or text them. It’s honestly meant the world to me and has really taught me how raising a child really does take a village. Following along with their series thus far has been really insightful so I was over the moon to join in today and I think there is so much we can learn from each other and you all. 

So, on to today’s topic which is very fitting since it’s something that Trevor and I have been discussing at length lately. If you had asked me this question 5 years ago, my immediate answer would be ‘In Louisville, specifically Cherokee Park, with lots of space’

As much as I still love that idea and the city of Louisville, Chicago living has become the norm for us. Despite Trevor growing up in a very small town (I mean small!) and me in Louisville, we have spent the past 7 years in Chicago and much of our relationship and marriage. We have a solid group of friends here we love and adore, endless options for Zain and now a job that Trevor genuinely loves. (More on my job next week so stay tuned!)

However, with every great opportunity and perk Chicago offers comes a downside. The cost of living (although nothing compared to NYC and San Fran) is significantly higher than our other option of Louisville, the crime although isolated still does keep me up at night and the dreaded traffic. I read somewhere that every hour of your commute takes away years of your life and I fully believe that now.

While we considered all of these things before, Zain’s arrival has forced us to revisit the topic again. Trying to figure out what is best for him and our family is still a riddle we haven’t solved and I would be lying if I said it didn’t give me a sense of anxiety. There is this constant feeling that we aren’t quite ‘settled’ and therefore don’t plan that far into the future. We haven’t purchased a home yet and although we look all the time, something is always holding us back. At first it was ‘Wait till Trevor starts work and let’s make sure he doesn’t hate his job’ then when he loved his job it was ‘Maybe we’ll move back to Louisville so let’s wait a bit’ and now we’re back to ‘We could never move, let’s find a place’

See where the anxiety is coming from?

While city living wasn’t initially were Trevor or I ever saw ourselves raising a family, it’s quickly become a reality. I mean, we’re already living that life and it’s wonderful. I know as he gets older and we potentially have more children (if that’s an option and right for our family) things will become more challenging. The city offers little space, can be a pain to maneuver and is so costly! Our biggest concern right now is schools. Living in Chicago and sending our children to private school is out of the question so finding a home we love in a desirable neighborhood with a good zoned school is the ultimate goal. If we can comfortably make that happen I think we’re sold. Question is, is that possible? I think, yes. It will just take us time and patience to find. 

Most people now ask me when we’re moving to the suburbs. I think part of that is because we have a child but the other is that my brother lives up north. Although we love where he lives and so many of our other friends, we quickly realized the Chicago suburbs are not for us. As beautiful and spacious as they are, it’s not what we love about Chicago. if we ended up desiring more space and that slower pace of life we would rather move home to Louisville. Most suburbs aren’t a quick commute to the city and would ultimately put us even farther away from our family in Kentucky.

I still tell my mom all the time, ‘I could move back to Louisville’ and she, like most of my friends really question that statement. As much as I can picture life back home with Trevor and Zain, I’m not sure it would fulfill us like Chicago does. However, anyone that has children will tell you how crucial it is to live close to family. It’s so nice to have my brother and sister in law in the suburbs but with Chicago traffic a trip to the burbs takes an hour each way so it’s not exactly an easy stop. My mom currently comes and stays with us for about a week each month and didn’t leave for almost two months after Zain was born. We legitimately couldn’t have and still can’t survive without her and having her closer would make a world of difference. Not only to help out when we’re in a pinch but because it’s so wonderful to watch her relationship grow with Zain. Moving back to Louisville not only puts up down the street from my parents but so much closer to Trevor’s. A three hour drive is much for feasible for them than seven and I want Zain to see his grandparents as much as possible, not to mention his other cousins! 

See our dilemma? We honestly go back and forth all the time. I realize this seems like one big stream of consciousness but that’s exactly how I feel anytime I think about it. For now, we are happy as can be in the city and if that happens to be our forever I’m excited about it and if it isn’t, I’m okay with that too. I’m trying to take each day as it comes and give Zain every ounce of love I can. I know wherever we raise him the most important thing is having people around us that love and care for him and we are lucky enough to say we have that in both places!


At the end of the day, what factor made the decision for you all? 


Remember to swing by Kelly and Emily’s blog’s to read their pieces too! 



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  1. […] dad. Oh, and the facial expressions. (DYING.) Anyway, be sure to read Emily’s post as well as Shaheen’s, as they’re both amazing moms and answering the same question […]

  2. […] sure to swing by Kelly and Shaheen’s posts, […]

  3. Jillian Lewis says:

    I love this post! My boyfriend and I currently live in DC but I’m originally from Louisville. i don’t want to be here more than maybe a couple more years as we’re thinking about kids and want to be closer to home. It would be tricky to move with my firm back to Lou (not impossible, but it would require some finagling) so my next option is Chicago – a way closer drive for family and friends. Plus I love Chicago, but we would likely be in the ‘burbs. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is trying to navigate these tough decisions!

  4. Lily Park East says:

    This post is perfect, these are all of my thoughts exactly!! I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one! You will figure it out, one day at a time! xx

  5. Eric Buchner says:

    You’ll know when the time is right! From our experience, moving back “home” isn’t the same as you always think it will be. Maybe that would be different for y’all since we live in a small town and Louisville has so much going on. But from my experience it’s hard to leave a place that you’re happy. Like y’all we loved Louisville and that’s where we started our lives together (Chicago for you). We thought moving back home would be fantastic right away…and it’s been a huge adjustment for us. It certainly is nice to have lot’s of family help with kids and I don’t know what it’s like without that help so I can’t put myself in your shoes exactly. But again, it was really hard for us to leave a place we grew to be so happy with.

    • This is so nice to hear! I have always been a little scared that moving back home wouldn’t be as easy as I imagined and I totally get what you are saying. As much as I want to believe it’s the easy answer I’m not totally confident we would be happy there. By the way, your twins are adorable and I seriously don’t know how you guys do it. I can barely keep up with Zain!

      • Eric Buchner says:

        Thanks they are a handful but lots of fun now that they’re a little older! Congratulations to you and Trevor again with little Zain. Best wishes and enjoy Chicago!

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Shaheen! I’ve been a reader of your blog for a little over a year. I’m from Chicago but live and work in LA. Your blog gives me the perfect daily dose of style and home <3

    With that being said, I grew up in Winnetka. While I don't have kids of my own yet, I would raise my kids in the nort shore/ northern suburbs in a heartbeat. It was such an idyllic childhood that I wouldn't trade for anything. However, it doesn't come without its challenges. My parents (and most of my friends' parents) commuted to the city. The train is nice, but that hour plus commute in the dead of winter can be brutal. No matter what, I don't think you can make a bad decision. My heart melts a little every time I think of my tree lined neighborhood in good ole Winnetka.

    • Aww hi Karen! Thank you so much for those sweet words and reading 🙂 Ahhh, yes some of our friends live there and it is so gorgeous! I think if we had more family here in the suburbs that would be our immediate choice but moving north just puts up further from my husband’s family and I’m so hesitant to to that. Totally agree with you on the commute. My brother lives in Northbrook and a lot of their friends do that train ride and like it so who knows. Hopefully we’ll figure it out sooner than later! Hope you’re enjoying LA!

  7. Kiley Morgan says:

    My fiancé and I are in the same boat! We have lived in Chicago for 6 years and are questioning whether it’s really the place for us. We’re both finally in jobs we like, but we still don’t make enough to afford the lifestyle we envision for ourselves (children, house, travel, etc.) and neither of our families are close by. Even if we did compromise and live in a condo in the suburbs, property taxes in Illinois are ridiculous. We’ve thrown around the idea of moving back to our respective hometowns (Columbus, OH or Kansas City) but neither of us are really sold. We started researching cities near where our families live (like Louisville!) but I do worry that it won’t fulfill us in the same way that Chicago does.

    To make a long story even longer, we’re hoping once we start a family it will make our priorities clearer, but I know that might not be the case! Thank you for sharing, I appreciate knowing that we aren’t the only ones on the struggle bus with this!

    • Same boat exactly! I will say Louisville is such a great city which is what keeps it on the list for us. I’m really hoping we feel strongly one way or another soon and when we do I’ll be sure to share. It’s nice to hear people’s perspective that have done it before and I agree with you, I wish Chicago wasn’t so expensive :/

  8. E Wood says:

    I recently started reading your blog and was drawn to this post because it is a topic that has come up time and time again in my family. I felt equally intrigued when I saw that you are also originally from Louisville – which, is its own beast with the struggle of “moving back” as it seems that whether it’s 1 or 20 years later, everyone always seem to do.
    In the past 4 years we have lived in San Diego, North Carolina, and now Boston and it wasn’t until repeated visits to Louisville this summer after living in Boston that we finally put the battle of whether to move back to rest. While the idea may always linger to move back (because of the exact financial and familial reasons you mention), we ultimately feel that Louisville could not provide us with the social and cultural fulfillment that a more robust city can.
    Louisville is so lovely to fantasize about – we could afford a mansion compared to here and San Diego, the local food scene is delicious and growing, the pace of life is manageable, and family is never further than 15 minutes away. BUT, what we ultimately chalked it up to be in our repeated ramblings about this exact topic is that life is simply “easy”.. and as attractive as that may be, after mastering the “challenges” of city living, it’s a way of daily life that we ultimately decided to let go of if we wanted to end each day feeling fulfilled.
    We have just made the plan to move back out west to San Diego after another year in Boston and despite the equally high cost of living, we’re excited for all the new things our family will get to experience and learn together while still only being a quick flight away from family support. I hope you are able to find a place and a plan where you feel confident in setting those roots. We know the unsettle of always waiting for the “next time in life” to come around. Always remember.. Louisville will always be there 🙂

  9. Jackie Cobb says:

    Totally get it, Shaheen. I had a baby about 6 months after you and we’re now in the process of moving back to Louisville. We’ve lived in DC for 6 years and have loved it. But, have decided for the reasons of family and cost of living to move back. While we wrestled with the decision, now that we’ve made it, we are incredibly excited to move back to Louisville. DC is always a quick flight away and many of our friends likely will wrestle with this same choice in time, so we can visit them wherever they land. Hope you guys can find the right solution for you all!