Where to Live as a Single Parent
If you’re a single parent, you probably want to know what cities provide the best quality of life for raising your children solo. The latest best places for single parents list was recently published. While the cost of living in some cities was somewhat inviting, most of us would probably never want to visit, let alone move there. Want to learn how to find the best city to live as a single parent?
Access to Other Single Parents is Key
Often the approaches that examine the cost of living in a location, fail to acknowledge certain components, many of which single parents probably want. For example, if you are a single parent (mother or father), and are looking to one day remarry or find a partner, the chances of meeting someone out in the middle of nowhere, is probably pretty slim.
While daily expenses may be lower, access to successful singles of the opposite sex is important. If you’re living in an affordable area, but there are limited options in terms of prospective partners, you’ll remain single. If you really don’t care about meeting someone again, this won’t be an issue for you. If you think you might, ensure this is a consideration.
Available Job Opportunities
So many times as a single parent we move to a location to either be close to family, or because we feel it would be “easier” to manage all our obligations. Before doing so, research the job market and ensure the economy isn’t based on one or two industries. If the economy turns south, you’ll be left with minimal employment options.
Look for a city with emerging markets, and a breadth of industries. Investigate past and current online job postings to understand the local demand. If there are only specific types of jobs being marketed, it may not be the best for long-term economic stability.
One trend to follow that’s always a bit interesting is how much Venture Capital funding has been invested within companies in the area. If it is very minimal to nothing—find out why. You want to live in an area where innovation is important. A thriving market has a mix of established companies, and entrepreneurs. The business climate should one that offers flexible career mobility.
Live Amongst Higher Educated Populations
Even if as a single parent you have limited education, one important component to growing socially, psychologically, and emotionally, is by challenging ourselves through ongoing learning. You can’t do that if those around you don’t share the same desire for personal growth. By surrounding yourself with others who value education, this encourages you to do the same.
Let’s be frank, as a single parent, it’s highly likely you don’t want an additional person to support. You want someone to contribute to your financial security, not take away from it. There is a direct correlation between educational attainment and income level.
Strong Public Education System
To further elaborate on the education within a community, examine all the public school information in terms of test scores, rankings, and college preparedness. If you have children elementary or middle school age, you can find a lot of information through the local P.T.A. and other parents. If you don’t know anyone in the area, head to the public library, and hit the children’s section. There are usually always parents more than willing to share important information about the local schools.
For those with high school age children, be sure to review the graduation percentages, as well as how many of those students went on to college. You can often locate the specific universities graduates will attend in the local newspapers. This will give you a benchmark of where the student education quality resides.
There are many students from large public high schools that actually end up getting into just as competitive university programs as those enrolled in private high schools. Find out what kind of support the high schools offer in terms of the college application process.
Proximity to a Large University
While many single parents may wonder why this should be a consideration, living next to an academic institution has many perks. Universities are full smart young people—perfect for tutoring your children at a fraction of the cost.
College students are also great options for after school part-time or weekend babysitting. Their varied school schedules are perfect for parents who have odd work hours. Additionally, because universities obviously employ a large number of professors, many of these academics have children. Therefore, typically the public schools in the local vicinity will be quite good, as education itself is a key influencer within those families. Someone who values education wouldn’t accept a position in an area where the educational options aren’t available.
Thriving Cultural Component
Even if you aren’t particularly interested into going to art exhibits, concerts or shows, having access to them in your city is important. Any city that incorporates the arts into its community offerings means it values self-expression to some degree. As a single parent, you want that!
Access to different cultural views, visions, and entertainment through the arts exposes people to different lenses in which to view the world. This is a great value to have, not only for your children, but yourself. The arts provide us with supplemental learning and personal growth.
Live Where You Feel Alive
If someone asked you where you wanted to live, you might respond with Paris or Italy, however, the reality is at this phase of your life, this may not be a feasible option. Nonetheless, where one lives truly impacts them in so many ways. While it’s important to take all factors into consideration—it’s crucial the location is in a place in which you feel you have the capacity to grow and thrive. If you are miserable everyday because you live isolated in small town with horrible weather, your children will know you aren’t happy.
Being the best single parent often means our child’s emotional, social, and psychological stability resides fully in our hands. That’s a very tall order. Choosing a city to live is about building a well-rounded life, not only for your children, but for yourself as well!
Choosing a city to live is about building a well-rounded life, not only for your children, but for yourself as well!
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