By Lara Ben-Avraham, Carmel Parent

‘BK’ - or ‘Before Kids’ as my husband and I have coined it - and when we first met, we lived in Melbourne. Life was good, we both had successful careers, social lives and busy schedules. 

Fast forward five years later and we found ourselves in Sydney with two children under three trying to make sense of our lives. Yes, we could have made it work if we both worked full time and threw money at our problems but, for us, that just didn’t make any sense.

I suppose in some ways the decision to move to Perth was easier for us, as neither of us has any family close by and Dov (my husband) had spent some of his childhood in Perth.

The move has been transformative in so many ways for us. We have time to breathe, exercise, cycle the kids to school and explore WA. The traffic is minimal, parking is free and there is space to park and get your pram out of the car! Housing is affordable and close by to schools and day care. My round trip can be done in under 15 mins!

It’s not just these things that make our life so much easier but a real sense of community. Our air conditioning broke on a hot summer’s day and, 20 minutes later, my friends had dropped round fans. I had an operation last year and meals were delivered for my family.

The community is small which means everyone understands that we all have a place to play to ensure it remains strong. My friends are religious, reform and from all walks of life, because we have a mutual understanding that it’s okay to be different.

And last but not least, Carmel, our beautiful Jewish Day School - with half the school fees of Eastern States Jewish day schools, but double the love. I often remarked last year when my son was in Kindy that each time I dropped him to school I felt like someone was giving me a hug. The school continues to amaze me with its strong identity of building independent, responsible, caring and inquisitive children. It’s a really special place where I have seen my son develop in leaps and bounds in so many ways, not just academically.

So, to summarise, ‘AK’ (‘After kids’) may not ever be the same but, with a little more time, a lot less stress and traffic, we are finding our way in our beautiful city.