Lifestyling with no experience and young kids?

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8 years 3 weeks ago #37668 by Thinkingaboutit
I grew up on a small orchard but have lived in cities since I left home at 18. My partner grew up in a smallish town and ditto above. Essentially we are townies.

The orchard I grew up on was so wonderful for me. I'm so glad I didn't grow up in a city. Now that I have kids of my own I would really love them to have the freedom and space I had as a child. We are looking at buying in the Wairarapa, with me staying at home with the kids (currently age 3 and another to be born in September) and my partner working, possibly with a commute to Wellington.

There are a number of things that worry me:

- isolation for me and the kids. I'm currently a stay-at-home mum in Wellington, and I tend to get quite depressed if I don't leave the house and do stuff out and about. But on a block I'll need to be doing things on the land during the day and there won't be as many amenities - but possibly we can do a lot of the things on the property I would normally go out to do - i.e. play ground trips, walks in parks, outdoorsy stuff.

- how much can you get done on a block when looking after young children by yourself? I suspect there are some things that would just never get done. If anything. My mother worked so hard. She was incredible. I don't know if I could manage like she did. Of course I remember her when we kids bigger than mine though.

- my own father struggled with working full time and keeping up the orchard after-hours, even though my mother was at home full-time and worked very, very hard. It caused A LOT of stress and carnage. And his commute was only 20 minutes.

I think my main worry is we will bite off more than we can chew and it will just cause a whole lot of stress. This is essentially what happened to my father. But I would still love to have room for my children to hide away, keep chickens, grow stuff, etc. We wouldn't be trying to run a business like my parents were, maybe just bring back some costs.

That's it really.

Thanks!

Louisa

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487638 by eelcat
Hi and welcome to LSB. We don't have young children anymore (we're on to the next generation of littlies now) but we both work in Wellington and live in Martinborough and so commute every day. Yes we get up early, and work when we get home but our eyes are on the bigger picture. We have been doing this since 2008 and yes (as oldies) we get tired but it is worth it. Would love to have done it when my kids were younger.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487642 by max2
I have been living permanently in rural NZ for nearly 6 years now, and had it as a 2nd home for 14 years.

I came here with some fairly strong views as to how I thought we would be living and being self sufficient as possible etc which is pretty far removed from how we live. I became a stay at home/farm person after leaving outside paid employment March 2013.

Our Daughter is 16 now. She has a life she could not have had living where we were in Aussie. We came for the lifestyle and we have it. Its hard work and generally I love it except during the wet and mud and then I could and do curse coming here. No doubt as we all do. My kiwi born Hubby certainly does. [:0][;)]

If you feel you need outside stimulation, and access to broadband and all that computers bring into our lives isn't going to fulfill your desire, then think seriously about what will ''row your boat'' to be rurally happy and satisfied.

do you have the option of being able to purchase a weekender or bach and dabble with it?

The only thing that has really disappointed me is that when we stayed in NZ we travelled extensively with a young bub to visit a lot of family and since we have moved permanently, we haven't seen any one of them.

it certainly divides people up. the aussies still come over though. :D

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487648 by LongRidge
Our children were 1 and 3 when we moved here nearly 22 years ago, but we were both from lifestyle property experience.
Many LSBers do not stay LSBing for very long. The average is about 4 years. There are many disadvantages, but if you like working with plants and animals then that is a good start. You can make a small fortune off an LSB .... but you've got to start with a big fortune, especially if you want to move when you want to rather than waiting until LSBing is in fashion as it was 8 or 10 years ago.
It helps if you can understand how each kind of animal thinks and will act, as male animals of any kind tend to be dangerous (yes, even roosters).
If you think that you will regret not trying it, then most certainly give it a go. But agree with the OH that as soon as one of you wants off the place and back into town then the other will not disagree with that decision.

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487660 by mc2631
The positives out way the negatives but there are good times and bad times but I would say we are overall 90% happier with the lifestyle we chose I don't really think we could have kept living in Sydney we moved over with 2 aged 6 and 9 now have 3 and one on the way as for raising children there is no comparison to town/city life

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487663 by muri
As I see it, only you can answer your questions
How much you put in is based on how much you want to put in
I set up a large garden and plant nursery before my second was born. Sold herbs to the local organic shop, ran a mail order business for plants and held seminars and workshops on the property as well, all single parenting while the father lived overseas
The kids were part of this regime, their play area was the garden, we converted the front lawn to plants for the children who grow monster sunflowers and built huts amongst them and dressed them up, All the neighbours used to come and play at our place as it was so interesting for them
we had no tv. cell phones and similar time wasters werent around
The days were long, but action packed.
Life is what you make of it as well as where you seek your fulfilments from

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487668 by stephclark
my thoughts are that you do what you can .. you have littlies, so don't expect to be able to run a commercial venture if OH is working off site..
just start small.. get your vegs in.. give the children a little patch of there own to grown what they want..( as Muri suggests )..
of course you can manage with small children..
as for isolation.. there are the neighbours and rural communitys tend to be tighter knit than urban.. you will be surprised .. you wont be 'stuck' in the house alone for long..

way back when, all the stay at home mums would congregate at one or the others houses.. get stuck into what ever needed doing around the place and all the kids were look after together.. brilliant..

remember you don't actually have to do anything with a lifestyle block.. if you feel you can not manage stock.. graze it out.. just enjoy the freedom and quiet..

I was always one of those that had to shop and café and eat in lovely restaurants and frequent the latest night spots..weekly or I felt I would go mad.. ( I am a Jaffa afterall :) )
I haven't done that in years and actually now resent having to go to the local 4 square.. I love the lsb and don't want to be away from it any longer than I need to be..

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487671 by Hawkspur
How good are you at making yourself get out to meet people? How well do you manage your depression now? That you are able to talk freely about it, and are considering it in your plans sounds like you do have a good handle on it.

We recently moved onto our land but my OH works in town, and because I work from home, isolation is an issue for me, but I manage my depression with planning and with help. I know what triggers low mood for me, and know what to do to prepare before doing these things. I have a written plan of what indicators are that my mood is lower, and what to do and who to tell to address this. I also see a health care person at least monthly to check how things are, and make sure I have regular meetings with friends.
It sounds fairly serious and involved, but depression can be fatal, and it can be very easy for things to get worse quickly: even if you are not badly depressed now, a few triggers can drag you down.

Play groups and other regular meetings could be very useful way to ensure you get to know your new community and have contacts. I find physical exercise is so much easier to do out here than in town, which is very helpful with depression.
How much do you want to do this? Will living rurally help you feel happier? For me, being outside seeing the stars, hearing birdsong and seeing other wildlife, working on the garden and walking through bush makes a huge positive contribution to my health.

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487674 by reggit
You can get blocks close to amenities and even towns/cities, but you will pay more as they are sought after for the very reasons you have gone over...

The biggest factor I think you need to consider, from what you have said, is your own ability to make connections. Some people live smack dab in the middle of built up areas and are lonely/never get out. Some live in the middle of nowhere and have enough contact because they make the effort. Plenty of people enjoy their own company...others need to be around people all the time.

If you have small kids, a good school community would be your lifeline I imagine, and some communities are more friendly than others.

It's good though that you are being honest in thinking about this stuff, because isolation can be a real issue - but I do tend to think that isolation is very much a personal construct rather than a geographical one. In most cases for LSBers in NZ we are close enough to other people to not be alone unless we choose to be so.

If you are prone to depression, wherever you are based, you do need to develop your ability to build relationships, even if they are just cuppa and chat or shopkeeper gossips to keep you going - and that's speaking from experience [}:)][;)] town or country, makes no difference.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487678 by thevarneys
Can be done with small kids, invest in a macpac or frontier cruiser backpack so you can carry one if necessary. The kids ends up not needing toys as much - mine loved their train tracks and dolls, most of their other play was outside with plants and animals, and making huts!
Ditto also with what everyone has said about isolation - small rural communities tend to be more friendly, and you know about 50% of everyone you see :D . Find a playcentre - they are great for socialisation for mother and child.
It takes time and money to make progress on a small block, especially when you have small kids and OH is working off site. But if you make small goals each year, you can get things done.
Good luck with whatever you decide :)

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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8 years 3 weeks ago #487817 by Stikkibeek
And check out Women's institute. They are generally speaking a pretty good bunch and organise good local get togethers. Here's the link for Wairarapa www.wi.org.nz/Site/Locations/Wairarapa.aspx

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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