One of the things I love about Sydney is how villagey it is (and yes, I know that's not a real world). The city is big and sprawling, and while I found that overwhelming at first, I quickly learned that it's divided into areas (for example, the northern beaches, the inner west, the eastern suburbs) and each of these is made up of different suburbs. In my experience, people tend to mostly stick to their areas. I sometimes joke that I treat my suburb like an island I can't leave, which has become especially true after having babies.
We've lived in our current neighbourhood for 6 years now, long enough to really put down roots. We know many of our neighbours and have lots of friends close by. If I need a cup of flour, I know who to ask. If I need an emergency babysitter, I have friends nearby who can help. We know many of the local shopkeepers/people who work in the local stores and they always chat to the girls and sometimes give them little treats.
I've always loved and appreciated our suburb (it really is beautiful) but having kids here has made me appreciate it even more. You'll often hear people say that early motherhood can be isolating, but I haven't found that to be true in my experience. If anything, I've made way more friends since becoming a stay at home parent. I think it's because our neighbourhood is like its own little village where you see the same people over and over again. You bump into each other at the park, the cafe, the local playgroups. And over time, you become friends and your kids do too. It's awesome.
Walkability has a lot to do with this, and I'm grateful that where we live is so easy to get around without a car. On the days where I don't need to drive, I don't. Now that Clementine is a bit older, she walks with me and Hazel goes in the pram or a carrier. We stay close to home, visiting the local parks, going for babycinos, and having playdates with our friends.
* p.s. Australians don't really use the word neighbourhood
* p.p.s. If you live in Sydney, this map will make you laugh