Mom vs. Mom: Country Mouse, City Mouse

A question that has plagued moms for generations was raised in a scene from Douglas McGrath’s 2011 film I Don’t Know How She Does It: is it better to raise children in a city, where they are constantly stimulated and have access to a ton of activities and classes, or is it preferable to choose the simple life in the middle of nowhere? Italian actress and mother Fabrizia Sacchi has no doubts, “I choose the center of Rome: Emma [6 years old] goes to a great public school with a garden. I would never want to be so isolated. I’m a city girl, so much so that I even love Milan.” The very city 35-year-old Alessia Falcone ran away from with five children in tow. Preferring the suburb of Arese, Alessia says, “Only my youngest daughter has always lived in the country. And she’s the only one who’s never had a respiratory illness [Milan is notoriously polluted]. You do the math.” But how does one give up the theatre, restaurants and going to the movies? “With five kids? You’ve got to be kidding me!” And you? Where do you fall? While you decide, watch Sarah Jessica’s movie again and pick up a copy of Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz. It really has nothing to do with all of this, but in 2011 it was included in the New York Times’s list of the 100 best books and it will look great in your city apartment’s library.