In the Mad Men era, there was little question that dad would be commuting to work.
Lately, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about parenting.
I started thinking about the people who live and work in a city. As soon as they have children, they tend to move their family to the suburbs, so that the children can grow up in a safer environment with supposedly better schools.
The equation goes something like this:
But I think many of the families that subscribe to this equation are ignoring a key factor.
Usually, when a family moves out of the city, at least one of the parents keeps working in the city (if not both). So they spend at least a couple of hours every day - and often more - traveling to and from the city for work.
This means that while the children are attending a better school, and have a yard to play in, they’re probably spending less quality time with their parents.
No matter what, when you work in a different city than where you live, you’re going to be away from home more often. And as I’ve written before, that’s time you’ll never have back.
So a more realistic equation might be:
I don’t know the answer to this; but it’s something certainly worth thinking about.
Can a good school replace the value of seeing his dad or mom less?
Any time we make a decision, there’s a value proposition and an opportunity cost in it; always something gained, and something lost.
You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.
Do people weigh all of the factors enough prior to making the decision to move their families?