Is it better to raise kids in the East or the West?

Sometimes I don’t know how my husband and I are still married because we are so different in a lot of ways. We were raised on opposite sides of the country in very different homes, and so my type-A personality often clashes with his “it will all work out” worldview.

This was never more evident than during a recent conversation with our 6-year-old daughter. She was upset about not doing well on something and I was telling her that it doesn’t matter if she does things perfectly. Then, I said, “The only thing that matters is that you are . . . ‘ And then my husband piped in and we both finished the sentence at the same time. I said, “Doing your best.” He said, “Happy.”

We had to laugh because that one sentence reflected the core difference in how we were raised and what we prioritize. Since we were married, we have both helped each other see the benefits of both and reached a balance in our lives.

I like to think that our kids are getting the benefit of both of our personalities, making them the perfect mix of ambition and in-the-moment happiness. But the bad thing is that we are getting to the point where we need to make a decision on where to raise our children. I have been lucky enough to live in my childhood hometown on the East Coast for several years, and he would like to live by his family out West.

So here’s the breakdown as I see it:

You can’t beat the schools in the East. There is also a general feeling of individual achievement where people take a lot of pride in a job well done and continued learning. Then again, that always-have-to-be-the-best lifestyle can come at an exhausting pace that can easily throw off life’s priorities.

Out West, life seems to be less hectic, and my children would be surrounded by lots of family and a lot more kids who have the same values they do because there are more members of the LDS church. On the other hand, I think growing up as one of only a few Mormons in my area was a blessing and made me stronger.

Fortunately, I love my family and my husband’s parents, who have always been more like second parents to me than in-laws. And I’m sure in the end, my children will grow up both happy and doing their best wherever we live as long as we give them plenty of love and support at home.

But what do you think – which place would you prefer to raise children – West or East? What are the pros and cons of raising a family in each?

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