Have a laugh on me

We're not all in the same boat, some of us struggle to even get in the boat!

Where is the best place to bring up kids?


Have you ever wondered if you are bringing your children up in the right place?

I was born and bred in NZ on a cattle/sheep farm in the North Island, it was one of a few places just 20 minutes from the beach that regularly got snow.

See, I've always loved taking beautiful photos!

See, I’ve always loved taking beautiful photos! This is a photo of a photo, hence quality.

This weekend I drove my three angels to visit my parents at their small block of land in semi-rural Queensland.

The road trip was bloody horrific, included a two-hour long symphony of screeching from No.3, bumper-to-bumper traffic and some celebrity spotting.

Terri and Bindi Urwin parked their HUGE SUV nose-to-nose with our smaller SUV at a roadside pit stop, and I have to say I was a little star struck.

I really wanted to do a paparazzi and take a photo of them, but then I thought Terri had been through enough.

She really is a natural beauty and didn’t leave the car, instead she was fiddling with her phone.

A much shorter than I thought Bindi emerged from the SUV with a boy, (gotta be a story here, says the journo in me).

Anyway, we got to my parents just before the sun was setting and the kids leaped out of the car and down to the swings under a gorgeous old tree.

A beautiful tree, and there I am taking the photo and waving!

Isn’t it just stunning! Spot my shadow waving to the kids!

During our stay I got to thinking about how special it is to grow up in the country.

I felt sad that my kids don’t have the space to roam that I did, that they were growing up so completely different to how I, and my husband, did.

The things you learn and get to do on a farm are so different from those who don’t, eg I was ‘driving’ at just 12-years-old!

We lived 40 minutes from the nearest shop so very rarely went to town and when we did we had to wear ‘town clothes’ and then take them off as soon as we got home again.

A cream-covered finger bun was a TOTAL treat, and a chocolate bar, holy shit, talk about hitting the jackpot!

Love my awesome overalls! Mum and I feeding the cattle... me driving with a very steep cliff not far away!

Check out my overalls, this is mum and I feeding out the cattle… I’m driving with a very steep cliff not far away!

As parents we have many decisions to make about how we bring our children up, what we teach them, and how much we expose them to.

I suppose I should be grateful that it’s just a short tip to my parents and that within two hours my kids can run amok with cows, bats, kangaroos, frogs, parrots and snakes!

True story. When we were there, sadly, my dad showed us a dead bat caught up in barbed-wire fence.

He also had a green snake trapped in his BBQ, which the Husband had to put out of its misery.

And every time we visit my dad makes sure there is hay to feed the cows, which our kids ADORE doing.

Check out No.2 telling No.3 about the cows!!!

Check out No.2 telling No.3 about the cows!!!

Each time I spend a few days with my parents I have moments when I wish my children could be brought up on a farm.

But then there are so many reasons why they shouldn’t – and why I love that we live on the Gold Coast.

I’m torn.

You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl!

Do you feel at peace with where you are raising your children?

Another link up with Jess from Essentially Jess and her IBOT team


Author: Have A Laugh On Me

I'm a mum to three, write from home and I rarely cook, craft or clean but admire those who do. I try to live by the mantra that there's no point in worrying about something that might not happen! Be warned this is not a fluffy, sweet mummy blog, rather a place where you can cringe, laugh and be shocked at my brutally honest take on my life.

44 thoughts on “Where is the best place to bring up kids?

  1. Home towns are special, aren’t they? πŸ™‚

  2. I go through this about every six months. I would love a return to the country, letting the kids run feral like I did. But then I remember the realities of farm life and the conveniences of city living. It doesn’t make it any easier though. Unfortunately my parents sold the farm and followed me to the city, so there are no return visits for us. Sometimes I am sad that only Gilbert got to see the farm, and he was just a baby the last time we visited.
    Kirsty and I had been talking about a holiday cabin by the sea, but part of me is leaning towards a shack in the bush!

    • You are right it’s no picnic living on the land, being at the mercy of mother nature, mechanical failures etc. And I do love that I’m just minutes away from whatever I need. In saying that sometimes I crave isolation.

  3. I think the best place to bring up the kids is wherever mum and dad are! I think as long as kids have a happy childhood, they’ll grow up loving where they grew up, if that makes sense? I love that I grew up on the Gold Coast and have great memories of weekend trips to the beach, which we now get to give to Nick. But on our visit to NZ I could see how wonderful it would be for kids to grow up in certain areas there. There would have been a lot of benefits to raising Nick in the US too, but also lots of concerns and worries, far more than here in Aus, as you know! You guys have a great house in a great neighbourhood. They will have wonderful memories of their “home” when they’re older. And it makes the trips to the farm that much more special, because it’s something they don’t get to see every day. xo

  4. I posted about something similar today on IBOT!
    We’re torn too.
    I don’t think we’d make it in the bush, as much as My Man likes to think we could. It’s not for everyone.
    We’re nature lovers at heart however, so to find that balance, we packed up, sold and moved to greener pastures…
    A leafier part of town.
    Now our we all have out yard and our trees and everyone is much happier.
    Your environment has a big role to play in your happiness. Well it did for us.
    I loved today’s post. X

    • You are right the bush/land isn’t for everyone, and it’s much harsher over here than it is in NZ. I enjoyed reading about your change of pastures. Thanks for visiting and I look forward to reading more from you ! Emily πŸ™‚

  5. I too grew up on a farm, and now realise how fortunate I was- that my afternoons were spent feeding orphaned lambs, or rounding up cows. So nice that your children can experience this at their grandparents. Love that you saw the Irwins- they are such wonderful inspirations.

  6. Having been brought up in Sydney all my life, I don’t know anything different. This also makes me a city chic and apart from feeding the cows, the thought of dead bats and green snakes does not entice me.
    I know and love many friends that were brought up in the country. There is something so real and honest about them, which is why I am drawn to them I guess. With that said, I have just as many friends with the same traits that grew up in cities.
    I actually think it is more about how you bring them up – with respect, honesty and love.
    Your kids are very lucky to see both sides – best of both world’s and all that πŸ™‚
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    • I think if you’re bought up on the land you see a different side to the world and what it offers, this is not to say it’s better, just different from those who have never seen a lamb being born, or die, or be sent off in a big truck. And I agree that it’s how, not where you bring someone up that matters, but I do believe it does give someone a different perception of life depending on where that is. x

  7. I have always been a town girl but would have loved to have been a rural girl – I am sure I am more suited to rural than town !!! Having said that I love living on the Gold Coast too – I just wish it was like it was about 15 yrs ago !!!!! Stop growing !!!!
    We used to get quite a few snakes where we lived in South Africa – and A always killed them because to us the only good snake is a dead snake – his brother who used to collect them never agreed with us !!!
    It’s great that your children get to experience both – I am sure they will really appreciate it as they grow up.
    Have the best day !
    #IBOT visitor

    • My dad’s attitude to snakes is the same as yours, in fact he said those exact words last weekend, and he was very put out when I disagreed. I don’t want my kids to think such thoughts at an early age, treat all creatures with respect is what I want to teach them. I know what you mean about the GC, we love it here also and I don’t think I could go back to rural living. Thanks for visiting x

  8. I feel very blessed to give my children so many worlds in which to grow. We have our home in Suburban Canberra which has the benefits of a city without pollution and with heaps of open spaces and trees, plus we have my parents farm only an hour a way which they visit often for fresher air, rain water, cows, horses and space to run PLUS we have my in-laws on the coast for a world of sun, surf and sand. Oh, and not to mention my “American family” who live in beautiful Pennsylvania. They will always have a home in that gorgeous part of the USA if they/we choose. Yes. I feel very good about where my kids are being raised. I also feel extremely grateful.
    Love your photos
    From another girl who was taken from the country, but the country never taken from the girl.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  9. My husband grew up on a cane farm up north; I grew up on the northside of Brisbane. We occasionally thought about doing a tree change when the kids were small, but now they’re 18 & 16 we’re glad we stayed as there are so many more opportunities for them here. Besides, I ❀ the Redlands!!!!!

  10. How beaut. I think you have the best of both worlds – farm visits where the kids get the experience without all the hard work (??) says the city kid – and the gorgeous beaches and surrounds of the Gold Coast. Must be all those beautiful childhood memories you keep close to your heart making it hard. Congrats on the Sunshine Award passed on from Musing Mahem – well deserved xx

    • Thanks for congrats Pip, quite unexpected but much appreciated was the Sunshine Award from Musing Mayhem. And you are totally right that I have beaches and GC surrounds and rural land so close! And yes farming is a hard slog for sure. Thanks for visiting and commenting! Emily

  11. I love where we live, close enough to the beach to wander whenever we feel like. But, as much as I like our house, I’m working on getting my hands on an acreage block just around the corner. Hubby and I have it on our wishlist, and I think one day (hopefully soon) it will be ours.
    Your kids are so lucky to have their grandparents place to retreat to xx

    • Acreage is my dream true, but since having our 3rd it’s looking less likely, which is a bit heartbreaking but we’ll just have to make do with where we are for now. And I don’t waste money on lotto tickets so I can’t rely on that πŸ™‚

  12. What a blessing that your kids can have the best of both worlds. I’m well and truly a suburban girl, and love that we are raising our kids in a very quiet, pretty part of suburbia. Our little suburb always reminds me of my childhood – still quiet enough that kids play regularly on the streets, everyone walks to school (primary school at least), the ice-cream truck comes around once a fortnight, and the neighbours all look out for each other (though most of my immediate neighbours are elderly). I’m pretty content!

    • You know what Julie, our little suburb is the same, very quiet, ice cream truck, caring neighbours, but if I’m honest I’d like to like on a bigger block of land, and have a bigger house to accommodate our little surprise 3rd child! x

  13. I always thought I will get married with someone who has a farm and raised my children on that farm… I don’t know where that come from because I was raised in suburbia. Didn’t turn up like this at the end but I admire how the kids raised on a farm have more responsibilities and are so involved into helping on the farm… They also can run wild in the nature. But, at the end of the day, I do love living in the city…

    • You’re right, are a kid I did have heaps more responsibility than mine do, collecting eggs, feeding and running the dogs, feeding lambs, helping to mow lawns etc – but I loved it. However, I also love the lifestyle my kids have, beach close by, mountains 20 minutes away and my parents just 2 hours away. And they say home is where the heart is!

  14. I love where we live and we moved here to have children. The beach, beautiful forests and open minds. I sometimes wish we didn’t live in an 80s brick house but that’s more about my taste than it not being a good place for kids. X

  15. I love the thought of the simpler life in the country but I know that, in reality, I am too dependent on the comforts of urban life. We have seriously considered making a tree change several times but, for us, giving the kids access to the specialists they need in town, overrides our desire for an escape to the country. At least you can still go back there and give your kids a taste of the life you once had – they are very luck y to have those experiences!

    • Yes I can imagine how hard it would be being rural and having to travel much more for specialists etc. I don’t think my hubby could ever go back to the land, like me he was born and breed on it, but is very content where we are, as am I, it’s just every now and then I think, ‘imagine if”

  16. What an amazing part of the world you grew up in! You look dead sexy driving that jeep!
    I’m kinda happy where we’re raising our boys but I am desperate to have them experience other parts of the world.
    And I also think that where I grew up would be great too. So many decisions…

    • Ha ha, nothing sexier than head to toes overalls Grace!!!! I too wish we had the means to travel with our kids and expose them to the cool parts of the world, hopefully we will be able to when they’re older xx

  17. Happy with where i’m bringing up mine…..On the beaches of Sydney. I often wonder how I got so lucky to marry a local. I think you have the best of both worlds with a farm being 2 hours up the road. And I reckon you must be a nice person if you didn’t take a shot of Bindi. Says alot about you and your ethics.

    • You are very lucky indeed Carolyn, my hubby and I lived in Manly before we moved to QLD to build, have kids and be closer to my parents. I try to be a nice person most of time, thankfully I have to work at being a bitch and it’s all too hard for me to do that! πŸ˜‰

  18. I grew up in the inner west of Sydney and the inner city is the only place for me. The bush freaks me out with all the spiders and snakes and bugs. I really am a precious city chick. I really appreciate that I can raise Ned here in the centre of Sydney. We don’t have a back yard but we are five minutes walk from the Harbour and we love exploring all the back streets around The Rocks or hanging out on Observatory Hill. We have museums, the aquarium, wild life parks that are easy walking distance away.

    On the other hand I love that Ned gets to spend time in the Blue Mountains at my parent’s place where he can explore the bush (with his grandparents!).

    Sounds like you have the best of both worlds too.

    Great photo by the way.


    • I do love Sydney, I lived in Chippendale for nearly 2 years, then Manly and worked in Penrith! There is so much to do there and it’s cool Ned can go bush at your parents. While I love the land, in NZ the worst bugs you get are spiders, and that’s about it.
      Thanks for stopping by again xx
      BTW, I can’t remember the diquis password etc I made so can’t comment on your posts, but I always have something to say, I’ll sort my shit out soon, make up another email so I can!!

  19. Wow that first photo is amazing – how lucky that you got to grow up with beach and snow (i did as well and feel blessed)

    I think you are doing quite well being able to take the kids to the rural life when you want. That tree with the swings is awesome – love it!

  20. This is a great post and I totally relate. We live in NYC, which, as you can well imagine, is a rarefied environment (that’s putting it politely). My husband is a theater actor, so we are here to stay. But I really worry about my daughter. But a) we really don’t have a choice and b) I just try to remember that she will be loved and that that’s the most important thing (plus, we take her to the park a lot, even in the winter).

    • You know I adore NY and it does have so much, parks, beaches, culture, community and I bet your daughter will just adore her upbringing. And to have a dad as a theater actor, how exciting that must! I lived just out of NYC and loved it but haven’t been back in 14 or so years, but I can’t wait to. x

  21. I grew up on a small property and I love going home. My kids get thebest of both worlds because we live close enough to go home for the weekend but in a bigger town so more access to things.

  22. I would love to raise my girls in the country as well. Not that I grew up in the country, Mr Awesome did though and I got out enough to know there is some amazing about living rurally. Mind you I am sure that living on the Gold Coast is giving your kids plenty of opportunity. I often worry about the quality of the education in schools where we are but then I think how many other great things are on offer and I am sure (hope?) it all balances out

    • I’m with you about education quality, I think that is something we all worry about, but you’re a smart woman so I reckon, like me, you will be doing as much as you can with them at home, which is really what helps them get ahead I reckon. The GC does opportunity but it also has a lot of fakeness and an image that I don’t want my kids to buy in to. In saying that I probably go into Surfers once every 6 months, that part of the GC doesn’t reflect where 70% of us GCter’s live. Happy Humpday πŸ™‚

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