To move older dc to a rural location after living in the city?(83 Posts)
I'll try to be concise.
We currently live in the suburbs yet where we live means we needs to use car/ public transport for: dc school/ swimming baths/ cinema etc. The only things within 30mins walk are very small library, a handful of shops and a couple of small parks. When dc1 is old enough (currently 9) to travel to his friends, it would be a 15min bike ride.
We long for a more rural location and currently, older dc would love it for all the reasons we would (bigger house, huge garden, countryside on doorstep). My concern is that he will resent this when he's a teenager (several people we've spoke to about it have also mentioned the same issues, especially for when dc is 13-18).
The place we would be moving to is very small with only one shop and a pub, but it is only a ten minute bike ride to the two nearest villages who (though still relatively small) offer a Scouts group/ park but also, a bus that runs every ten minutes into the city centre (the journey itself taking about 20mins, which is the same on from where we live now if we go on public transport).
Is it selfish to move, or should we just go for it? Heard such differing views in rw I thought it would be helpful to get a range of thoughts on here.
Ohhhh, Cardi, I could hug you! That's just what I wanted to hear! Is she not resentful of friends who live closer together?
My family did this and I cannot tell you how much I hated it once I'd grown past the ' Famous Five' age of playing in the woods and fields.
As a teen it was dire and just made me want to get away from the countryside and never come back.
I now live in the suburbs, small town but in walking distance of enough local shops, and nothing could ever convince me to live in the countryside again. I have four teens and they have grown up able to catch the bus, to have a choice of which school to go to for 6th form as a consequence and to have lives which didn't depend on whether I wanted to pick them up at midnight or not! Trust me on a saturday night not being able to have a glass of wine because a child needs picking up from a friends will be a pain :D
Incidentally my Mum has now moved back to a small suburb because as she has become older she realised she didn't want to have to drive miles to get milk, or to a doctor!
I would strongly suggest renting for a while first and REALLY testing to see if the mental picture adds up to the reality.
Cardi- sounds perfect. Does your DD have friends near by? Is she resentful of others who live closer together/ have more access to cinema/ shops etc? I'm assuming that being taxi driver means you need to know exactly where they are/ when they'll be back etc- is she okay with this?
when you say 'older DC' any thoughts about waiting till they've flown the nest?
Medusa... Mmmmm, renting, I'd never thought of that. Would have to talk to dp as would be more expensive (moving stuff twice etc) but I guess a cheaper 'mistake' than buying in the wrong area.
On here, there seems to be a real divide in opinions which is the same as in rw.
Zower- older dc is 9... but we have a dc under a year (and are trying for another in the new year), so by the time dc1 goes, dc 2 (and hopefully 3) will be at a similar age to dc1 now and therefore we'll have the same issues. Plus, considering how expensive it is to get your own place now, he may still be with us in his 20s!
Would this be a solution?
I'm wondering about possiblity of moving there until ds is 13 (ish), that would allow us a good few years and would match with when I'd prob go back to work full-time (dc2 would be back to school full time) so pay rise too. Although it would seem very cruel to shift ds aged 13, there are bigger nearby villages (that we don't like as much) that we could move to that would mean ds could go to the same secondary? But that would only be if he really hated where we lived? Would give us time to test it at least?
Wiggy, obviously it's up to you. The village I teach in is really lovely, despite not having a shop/pub or anything really it has a great community feel etc I know for certain that lots of the children are very happy there but I can't vouch for the teenagers
I'm sorry my post was particularly dire! It's just something that myself and my siblings all felt very strongly about and as a result none of us have settled in the countryside with our kids!
I also feel that Dd has alot more independence here in the city than she would out in the sticks. Here there are pavements, street lights etc so she was able to walk to school from the age of 10 and can now wander into the city with a friend without it being a huge rigmarole on the bus etc.
Having said that we all recently had the most amazing holiday in the Yorkshire dales which was so beautiful and friendly that we said we could imagine ourselves living there.....but probably when dp and I are old!
Gosh, I've never heard of a village with a swimming baths.
I guess we already live in the kind of rural place you would be thinking of moving to - and we are yearning to move to the seaside.
We have similar concerns (DSs are 16 & 12).
All I would say to you is that there are kids everywhere (i.e. your DC will make friends) and that everyone's DCs finds something to do! i.e. We have no cinema within a 10 mile radius, which would be a nightmare for some teens BUT our DCs are not bored.
I would not want to live rurally personally. I like the convenience of having facilities nearby and wouldn't want to have to rely on nearly non existent buses. The countryside is great and important, I love going there but not permanently. I felt the same as a teenager, when I was 6th form age my social life was an important part of my development from nervous geek to reasonably Ok (hopefully) adult. I would not have got that stuck out in a village with nowhere to go. DH grew up in the middle of nowhere, he wants to go back to that and I'm thankful that as yet we can't afford it. Each to their own on where to live, if you like the country that's fine but I can't see it being good for kids who are past playing out and adventuring that's all.
Avoid anywhere where the school is really tiny. I had this and spent years with the only girl of my age constantly in the huff about something. Fun it was not!
I understand how you feel though. We were at my mum's this morning and DD was half way up an apple tree, shaking the branches to make the apples fall.
Saying that, I walk far, far more now I life in the city than I ever did growing up in the country.
just do it - a lot can change between now and then
and I want remote - I lived practically in a major city centre, they grow up so quickly
We moved to a town with a population of 9 thousand when we moved to the UK. We chose somewhere where the kids could walk to town and school, where they could easily go to the cinema and the leisure centre, where they could find afterschool jobs and where they would be close to friends. I am really glad we did this. I think kids need independence when they are teens and being able to get out and about on their own is good for them.
I know you are happy to be the taxi but I have found that teens (especially the boys) are not that great at planning things.
Good transport links are also great for when the kids are in their late teens.
I would suggest, if possible, that if you do move to factor in the cost of buying driving lessons and a cheap car for your kids so that they can be mobile when they are 17/18.
I am sorry I am sounding a bit negative but I thought it might be useful to have the views of someone with older children.
Can you do some research on the village and find out exactly how many kids already live there? There may be quite a few.
My parents did this when I was about 12. We moved from London to the depths of rural Cornwall - a huge culture shock for me. I was at boarding school and found holidays a real struggle as I didn't know any other children in the village at all, so had no social life outside of school time.
I did become more involved in rural life when I was an older teen - Young Farmers was fabulous fun, and I began to ride with a group of locals too. However I did move back to the city as soon as I could for Uni, and then never left again. I am definitely a city girl at heart.
My DH keeps mooting moving out of the city to a more rural (but still commutable) location, but I've halted each of those conversations so far. I love where we are at the moment - a city suburb with easy access to beach and the countryside if needed. I walk the dog everyday in the bush near our home, and that's plenty enough of the countryside for me.
The middle of nowhere is great for teens you know exactly where they are and who they are with, because you took them there.
If they are ever unspeakably badly behaved you have a way better threat than the WiFi password- no taxi service!
I would love to live in the countryside. I lived in Manchester for 3 years and mostly hated it. Too crowded, too much noise and stress.
I grew up on a farm right out in the sticks. Even the local village (1 shop, closest bus stop 15 minutes drive away, no pub) was 4 miles away. I only had any kind of life at all as a teenager because my parents drove me everywhere, to parties, bus stop, even dropping me of and picking me up from a Saturday job every weekend. I also spent a lot of time sleeping over at friends houses at the weekend and I remember feeling quite powerless, always depending on the goodwill of others if I wanted a night out that lasted longer than the last 11 o.clock bus home! I passed my driving test within weeks of hanging the age, left for uni at 18 with a huge sigh of relief, and am now living city centre with Teri chosen and greatly enjoying all the benefits of the location! My folks still live in the sticks and it's lovely for visiting, not too keen to move there though!
Teri chosen = two children, stupid phone.
I think that's a very good point above about teenagers often being quite flexible about arrangements and maybe not knowing until last minute that they want to pop round so and so's house. It's one thing to agree to giving a lift well in advance, but what about when a mate texts and invites them out last minute? Also, when your children are teenagers and of an age when you and your husband will want days out or even a weekend away alone... Very restricting for the teens to be left all day or overnight with no transport, no facilities even within walking distance.
I second the idea that if you do plump for rural living, you plan to fund a small car for your teens when they reach 17... I know it's a lot of money with insurance but I think it's the only way of enabling them some independence
The countryside is beautiful, no one is denying it, but you can have holidays and day trips for your children to experience the joys of it, I just think moving to live there would be a totally different experience. Having teens myself (and even with a ds who is really outdoorsy) I still can't envisage living somewhere really rural. They get a lot more independence where we are than they would in the countryside
I live in a town which is a similar size to youhaveagoodpoint, I really wouldn't want to live anywhere smaller. We live on the edge of town so have open fields to the left but to the right it's a 5 min walk into town with shops/pubs/youth centre/swimming pool etc plus we're on a main intercity train line which means when the dc are older they can easily get into the nearest city and to London in 90 mins.
I have several friends who live in outlying villages and I'd really hate it, all the disadvantages already mentioned here re transport/small village schools etc.
Move to the countryside. The benefits are enormous, too numerous to list here. My children grew up in extremely rural villages and loved it. Yes, you will have to accept the taxi bit during the teen years but this is the only downside I can think of. Friendships do happen and are closer and more personal, villages are so safe. No worries about break-ins, could leave even small children can walk home at night and play out on their bikes. Healthwise, fantastic fresh air, close to nature, freedom from noise, traffic fumes....I could go on forever.
During the teen years I had to taxi the children around or drop them off at the nearest transport. Or take them to the nearest town (30 miles away) at weekends. Was still worth it.
My children are now older and have left home, both live in cities but choose to do that. When they went to University they were far more self-sufficient than many of their peers becuase they'd had the freedom to learn about life, I think they'd have been too constrained to do this in a town or city.
Ps- also remember its not just about how your children's lives will change as they get older; yours will too, in ways which you can't imagine while you're in the throes of small children. Just a couple of years back I couldn't imagine being able to go off all day on a Saturday with DH, having lunch, shopping or visiting our friends or some place of interest. But that stage comes around fast: when your teens won't want to be doing everything with you: they will want to do their own thing. It's possible for us because we can go off knowing our teens can get up (in their own sweet time!) and send us a text that they're off to the shops, or cinema or going round to a friends. Ours aren't quite old enough for us to feel comfortable with overnights away but probably next year we'll try that. None of this would be possible if going off all day meant leaving our teens stranded with only a couple of buses a day, and not even a local shop. I can't tell you how liberating it is - for us, not just them.
Lots to mull over. Maybe go for a compromise and a small town/ big village which at least will give them more to do without being reliant on you?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.