I was born and reared in the country but left it when I headed off to college back in 2000. I’ve become quite accustomed to town living for the last 18 years. Just over a two weeks ago however, we moved from Newbridge town out to the sticks in Meath and it really takes some getting used to again.
First and foremost I, and the kids, really miss having other kids around. I miss it for my sanity and for their sanity. In the old place I sometimes bemoaned the fact that I had kids knocking on my door looking for Aidan and Sarah to come out to play. A week in to our new life and I’d love to have a few kids knocking to be honest! If I hear ‘I’m bored’ one more time I might just run off up the fields and sit in a ditch on my own for a few hours! Why is it that my two aren’t happy to just play with each other? Is it because one is male and one is female? I don’t think it is because they both have friends who are of a different gender. There’s only a year and a half between them yet they are allergic to going outside and playing together. And even if they do it ends up with herself roaring crying after a minute because Aidan looked at her the wrong way!
Out here in the countryside play dates just don’t happen, they have to be organised. So far I’ve organised one and half way through it I felt like ringing the other mother and asking her if I could borrow her kids for a week! It was mighty altogether. I got stuff done when the kids did what kids are supposed to do and played together. I threw a few strawberries and grapes at them, gave them a sip of Ribena and off they went again. All the while I got stuff done inside without having to referee, give out or wipe up after them.
There are advantages to not have other kids on tap mind you. When it comes to bed time you don’t have to holler like a fishmongers’ wife to get them to come inside and away from their friends. On the whole though, I think I preferred it the old way.
In our new place the closest shop is three miles away and said shop’s stock is limited. Let’s put it this way, if I run out of breadsticks for the kids I won’t be getting them in the local! In our old house we had a shop about 500 metres from our front door. Many times I walked the kids down for an ice-cream or a packet of crisps just so I could keep them happy for a small while. There’s none of that now I can tell you. I rely on my weekly shop a lot more and treats are quite limited, which isn’t a bad thing I guess. Do you know what is bad though? Not having an off licence down the road. My favourite past time is enjoying a cold glass of wine on a Friday and Saturday night as soon as the kids are in bed. Last Friday I got a terrible fright when I realised I forgot the wine in the weekly shop and had to make myself look half presentable and drive in to town for the grape juice as I like to call it when the kids are around!
There’s also no such thing as takeaways being delivered out to the country either. Sometimes, on a whim and after a glass of wine, I get a notion to treat myself to a Chinese but not anymore. Said glass of wine means I can’t drive anywhere and having to drive in for the Chinese takes the good out of it anyway! I’m thinking it will be better for my waistline in the long run so every cloud and all that!
On a positive note, Aidan started big school last week. He’s going to the local school, the same one I went to as a child. He starts at 9.20am and if I left the house at 9.17am I’d still be on time for the bell. If I was still in the town I’d be battling with traffic and parking and the stress of it all so happy days! It’s also means I’m back home at the house in a jiffy to enjoy a few hours of peace without the kids melting my head! So there are some great advantages to living in the country with kids.
From the kids perspective they are deeply disgusted by the smell of silage. They can’t deal with it at all. Being five and three, patience wouldn’t be their strong point, and getting stuck behind tractors in the car is the new thing that drives them insane. They may just get used to it from here on out! I may get used to stocking up on wine too because after moving house with two kids in tow I have zero plans to ever do it again
Are you living in the country with kids? Tell me what you love and hate about it …