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How insane to live outside a frum community for several yrs?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 1:23 am
We just had our 1st kid. We live in a very expensive community that's unsustainable for a family, and we're planning on leaving no matter what. The question is where to go.

We're debating between:

1) moving directly a particular solid frum community that's much more affordable and where we think we'd fit in. (We'd have to stick the kid in day care of some sort. A private nanny isn't financially feasible.)

OR

2) moving to my non-frum hometown until the 1st kid starts kindergarten/1st grade, and then moving to the community in #1. (My parents are willing and able to provide very good child care. However, my hometown has essentially no frum life; just a Chabad that struggles to get a Shabbat minyan.)

We are really uncomfortable with sticking the kid in daycare, and having the grandparents for the care seems much better to us. (I'd love to be a stay at home mom, but financially, it makes the most sense for our family for me to be able to go back to work once my maternity leave is done.)

How insane do you think it'd be for us to live outside a frum community for a few years, if it's in the best interest of the kid not having to be stuck in day care?
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 1:36 am
This is a very interesting question.
How does DH feel about not having an established shul or frum friends?
How do you feel about not having friends or neighbors who can relate to your lifestyle?
How easy/hard will it be for you to find kosher food?
Unless you’re both true introverts won’t this life be depressing?
I wish you hatzlacha in your decision!


Last edited by ExtraCredit on Tue, Nov 17 2020, 1:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 1:37 am
It great for baby, but how do you and DH feel about it?
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amother




Green
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 1:41 am
I can see the attraction of the less expensive neighborhood, but I think it's a mistake. In no particular order:

1. While your parents may be able to provide day care now, there's no guarantee that they will be in the same position in three years. Full time childcare is a huge job, and very few grandparents can do it long term. I hope they are healthy and well, but they might just want to have lives of their own.
2. Your own religious life will suffer without regular minyanim and shiurim. Having a religious peer group is important for adults, not just for children.
3. Who says the religious neighborhood will still be affordable when you finally want to move there?
4. You might be able to pool resources and hire a full-time babysitter together with a few other families, rather than sending your child to day care. (Although plenty of kids do well in day care.)

You're thinking about the short term issues of child care and housing, but not the long term issues of where to live and what kind of lifestyle to have.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:03 am
ExtraCredit wrote:
This is a very interesting question.
#1 How does DH feel about not having an established shul or frum friends?
#2 How do you feel about not having friends or neighbors who can relate to your lifestyle?
#3 How easy/hard will it be for you to find kosher food?
#4 Unless you’re both true introverts won’t this life be depressing?
I wish you hatzlacha in your decision!


[numbers added]

#1 - It's a big negative to him, and to me. He doesn't at all like idea of sending the kid to day care, either. He and I both see it as two not-so-great options.

#2 - Again, it's a big negative. But, so is having the kid in day care.

#3 - It'll be very easy to get kosher meat at Trader Joes, Costco, etc. And the big box grocers in the area will all have plenty of kosher options. There won't be restaurants, but we barely go out anyway.

#4 - We're both fairly introverted, and we've done well by ourselves since March (haven't been to shul since March bc of corona). We enjoy our Shabbats together eating good food and reading interesting d'vrei torahs and hanging out and relaxing. On the other hand, we do very much enjoy our community and our friends, and the idea of not having that in our life for the next few years would be disappointing.

amother [ Green ] wrote:
I can see the attraction of the less expensive neighborhood, but I think it's a mistake. In no particular order:

1. While your parents may be able to provide day care now, there's no guarantee that they will be in the same position in three years. Full time childcare is a huge job, and very few grandparents can do it long term. I hope they are healthy and well, but they might just want to have lives of their own.
2. Your own religious life will suffer without regular minyanim and shiurim. Having a religious peer group is important for adults, not just for children.
3. Who says the religious neighborhood will still be affordable when you finally want to move there?
4. You might be able to pool resources and hire a full-time babysitter together with a few other families, rather than sending your child to day care. (Although plenty of kids do well in day care.)

You're thinking about the short term issues of child care and housing, but not the long term issues of where to live and what kind of lifestyle to have.


#1 - Fair point.

#2 - Yes, we realize that, and it's a negative. I'm not sure if it will "suffer" so much as "stagnate." I don't think we'd start not keeping Shabbat/Kosher, but we just won't grow as Jews.

#3 - True; who knows. Maybe the houses will skyrocket, or maybe we're in a bubble and they'll be another crash soon. Who knows? Not so worried about that. We could buy a house in that neighborhood now and rent it out if that's a concern. Or we could put money that we'd spend on the house into the stock market if we wanted to gamble. Or if we can't afford that neighborhood in 5 years, we could simply choose a different community somewhere else that we can afford and that we like.

#4 - We actually looked into that. There are actually a few "nanny share" options in the frum community we're considering, which are women who operate informal child care things watching a few kids out of their house. This situation didn't appeal to us any more than day care.

Of course we're thinking about the long term issues of where to live and what lifestyle to have! It's a major concern to have to move twice, and to spend 5 years in a non-frum community!

#BestBubby wrote:
It great for baby, but how do you and DH feel about it?


Would it be great for him when he's 3-5? Is he going to lose out on any experiences by not living in a frum community when he's that young? Or are kids too young to remember?
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tichellady




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:04 am
Would not do it. Not worth it. Live somewhere where you want to live. A good daycare will be fine for your child or look into a nanny share
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amother




Vermilion
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:12 am
What about moving to your home town for now, and reevaluating each year? I totally understand not wanting a new baby in daycare, but your three year old might do better with the socialization of a group care setting. And because of COVID, there’s not a lot of community events at the moment anyway.
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amother




Pumpkin
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:14 am
As someone who runs a Chabad in a small town where we can't get a minyan, I want to strongly warn you against moving to a community without religious infrastructure.

The ONLY reason why Chabad couples and their kids stay frum is because they don't view themselves as just living there, but constantly feel the responsibility to be giving and growing Judaism where they live. This constant role of "giver," so to speak, acts as a protection against absorbing the religious negatives of where they live.

Unless you go as a giver, you will not just stagnate, your current religious state will suffer. There is no stagnate. You're going up or you're going down.

We've seen it more than once, and it is terribly sad.

Daycare is only a part of a child's day, and the rest (and arguably most important) is the home. In a community with a Jewish infrastructure, that home will likely be steadfastly Jewish and growing in inspiration. That is priceless IMHO.

If you ever did have to move to a community without that, for your own sake, don't come as community members. Come as shluchim, as givers. Start a Mommy and Me for other Jewish women, of any level of observance, invite other Jews for Shabbos.

Because if you are not actively growing and giving, you cannot expect your Judaism to survive unscathed.
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amother




Green
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:15 am
It seems to me that your big issue is child care. That's never going to get better, because

1. school and work hours are unlikely to match up, unless one of you works in the same school as your kids, and
2. hopefully you'll have more children, and you'll be back to needing full time child care.

You're either going to have to get comfortable with daycare or nanny sharing, or have one of you start earning more, so the other can stay home with the kids. Sometimes, there really are no perfect options.
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ExtraCredit




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 2:17 am
The only negative to the frum community is putting your child in daycare while the non frum community has quite a list of negatives as per your response above.
Certainly seems like #1 is your #1 choice.
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GLUE




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 3:01 am
What is wrong in putting your child in daycare? What are you so scared of?
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amother




Indigo
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 3:11 am
I've never lived near my parents so I never had the luxury of free daycare.
Some of my kids went to daycare from right after my maternity leave was up but I had a few who were able to stay home with me when I had an at home job with flexible hours.

My kids who stayed home with me got so bored that I ended up sending them out for a few hours even though I didn't need to!
Plus, I met new friends through daycare by schmoozing with the other Moms at pick-up time.

Don't be so scared of day care! It's a good thing for everyone.
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amother




Linen
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 3:15 am
amother [ Green ] wrote:
It seems to me that your big issue is child care. That's never going to get better, because

1. school and work hours are unlikely to match up, unless one of you works in the same school as your kids, and
2. hopefully you'll have more children, and you'll be back to needing full time child care.

You're either going to have to get comfortable with daycare or nanny sharing, or have one of you start earning more, so the other can stay home with the kids. Sometimes, there really are no perfect options.

We actually moved to a city with a small frum community and my husband commuted 1 1/2 hours to work to make it possible. Wish we had done it when they were babies but we weren't ready. Think about your kid for a second: will he/she grow up having a normal a world of shabbos mommy/tatty in preschool? Where all the kids your child plays with are shomer shabbat? We moved because a shomer shabbat community we wanted our kids to marry frum. They did.
Can you find a frum community near enough to your parents so they can come to you to babysit?
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 3:48 am
By age 3 you will want your child in a Frum pre school. they start learning so much at that age! You will likely not be happy with non frum pre school. Your parents most likely will not have the stamina to keep up with your child after age 2. Kids dont just stay home til 1st grade.
BTW, I am very MO and I still want my child learning davening and parsha and holidays at age 3.

If I were you, I would choose option 1.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 5:08 am
Really tough situation.
Have you spent Shabbos and Y"T at your parents?
Have you and DH walked through what life would look like on a daily basis in their hometown?
Have you contacted the Chabad there and spoken with them?
Do you like the town?
How far is it from frum community?
What would you do for backup if your parents couldn't watch your child?
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DVOM




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 6:21 am
Why is day care such a bad option? I can understand wanting your child to be with one loving adult until about age 2, but after that you want the stimulation and learning experiences of being with other children. If you want to move to your parents town for a year or two for free child care, go for it. But after that your going to want a Jewish day care for your child. Those three to five years in preschool are full of learning that you don't want to miss out on. Kids learn basic torah stories, all about the holidays, middot, aleph-bais, play skills... Your kid will be very very very behind if he or she enters primary or first grade strait from you parents home.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 6:29 am
For the baby, for sure option 2 is better. Is it insane? Evidently not, since thousands of Chabad shluchim do this on a permanent, not temporary, basis. Is it easy? Almost certainly not, but for you it might be easier, since you'll have your parents close by.

The question is more what you and DH prefer.

We're in Israel, so it's a bit different, but when faced with similar options, we chose #2.
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 6:31 am
You don’t mention it specifically, are you a Baalas Teshuva? If so it’s my understanding that it’s even more important to have the support of a Frum community.

Do you plan on having more children? What will you do for them for child care?
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 6:32 am
DVOM wrote:
Why is day care such a bad option? I can understand wanting your child to be with one loving adult until about age 2, but after that you want the stimulation and learning experiences of being with other children. If you want to move to your parents town for a year or two for free child care, go for it. But after that your going to want a Jewish day care for your child. Those three to five years in preschool are full of learning that you don't want to miss out on. Kids learn basic torah stories, all about the holidays, middot, aleph-bais, play skills... Your kid will be very very very behind if he or she enters primary or first grade strait from you parents home.

I disagree. Alef-bet is easy for parents to teach on their own, and the same goes for holidays. OP herself grew up in that town and she clearly knows her stuff today and didn't suffer too much from living in her hometown as a young child.

Middot are best cultivated at home, and play skills can be gained from interacting with children of different ages and different hashkafas. There's no real need for preschool or even school until the child is 5-6 years old.

Also, assuming OP and her husband have a sibling for their first child before they move back to community 1, her child won't be growing up all alone. Grandparent care for two or three siblings is excellent at teaching everything a young child needs, provided the grandparents are healthy, caring, people.
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DVOM




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Nov 17 2020, 6:35 am
amother [ Aqua ] wrote:
I disagree. Alef-bet is easy for parents to teach on their own, and the same goes for holidays. OP herself grew up in that town and she clearly knows her stuff today and didn't suffer too much from living in her hometown as a young child.

Middot are best cultivated at home, and play skills can be gained from interacting with children of different ages and different hashkafas. There's no real need for preschool or even school until the child is 5-6 years old.

Also, assuming OP and her husband have a sibling for their first child before they move back to community 1, her child won't be growing up all alone. Grandparent care for two or three siblings is excellent at teaching everything a young child needs, provided the grandparents are healthy, caring, people.


OK, difference of opinion. I see value in being with a bunch of other orthodox kids, not just grandparents, parents, siblings.
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