We all want more, we want the best for our kids. Defining the best can be problematic.

For the past month of so I’ve been actively house hunting. My husband wants a change of neighborhood, a larger lawn , and I would like a smaller house. We live in a neighborhood where we can walk to shopping, we would like to move to another neighborhood where we can also walk to shopping. We will not move into the hills, nor will we move further from the children’s school. The homes we are looking for are priced about the same as the one we will be selling, this is a lateral move. We are looking forward to an unchanged budget.

My kids are in a K-8 school, Jane will be entering the 6th grade in the fall, and Alexander will enter the 4th grade. It’s a good school. Like any school it is imperfect, it’s not inexpensive, but it is not expensive by Los Angeles private school standards.

We were a public school family. Alexander went to an SRLDP program instead of a private kindergarten. It was a wonderful choice for him. He thrived in an academic setting, and we both loved the shortness of the day. Unfortunately our public school was not a match for us, and we moved the kids to the private school they currently attend.

While house hunting I realized that a significant portion of our budget is going to tuition expenses. I love that we can give our children a great education, it’s my job as their mother to provide them with every opportunity, what they do with it is up to them. I don’t often feel burdened by the tuition, it’s enough money to change our lifestyle, but I’m grateful that we have it to spend.

While driving through Beverly Hills a few weeks ago, I realized that we could afford a small house on the south end of town. We could afford Beverly Hills and we could send our children to public school. Case closed. Right? I’ve looked online, and driven past a number of homes in the pocket of Beverly Hills that we could afford to live in, and then the real epiphany came.

We moved into this neighborhood so that we could be with families like ourselves. Our children have access to everything, in part because we live in Los Angeles, and in part because everyone we know is in Sports, TV or Film production. Our children will struggle with excess, why add more? We’ve chosen a part of Los Angeles where children grow up a little slower, and this is good. I like that my kids wear a uniform to school each day. Today was a free dress day, and it reinforced for me that we have made the right decision.

I remember growing up in Manhattan Beach, and how it had the best schools in the country, but still we went to private school. I know how you plan for one thing, and end up with another. I don’t want to be house poor and find out that the Beverly Hills School District isn’t a match.

So we won’t be looking at homes in Beverly Hills, not in the next ten years at least. Sometimes wanting more for your family looks like you’re being modest, but in reality you’re reaching for the stars.

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