Friday, 18 July 2008

The grass is always greener!!!

We had a visit today by a friend from New Zealand. She’s a English girl who met a kiwi over here (in fact best mates with my husband) but has lived in NZ for the last 9 years. She moved to the area that we were living in shortly before we returned to the UK. The visit was bittersweet. It was, of course, lovely to see her and catch up but also brought back all the memories I have of living in ‘the Bay’. Maia was born in Tauranga and so it holds great memories for me – the birth of our first child and the subsequent journey and adventure of parenting. With no family close by, and no friends to begin with (we moved when I was 6 months pregnant) we became very reliant on each other and once Maia was born the three of us had the most amazing babymoon and her dad was around constantly for the first 4 months of her life. The bond between them was wonderful and still is and if ill, upset or scared she calls equally for her dad as she does for me. However, life wasn’t a bed of roses. I really missed the UK. It was no surprise to me that I would miss my family but I actually missed the country itself and things you can do here (oh and of course some of the shopping!).

Since returning I have, of course, loved seeing family and friends and watching my two little girls get to know their English family. What I haven’t done though is most of the things I found myself missing in NZ! I think this is a combination of the fact that life’s that much busier with 2 and I have changed since becoming a parent. Certain things no longer hold importance for me. The fact is now that the children and their wellbeing is our priority (of course not to the detriment of their mum and dad!). I also realise how much of a Kiwi I had become in my 3 years there – I still can’t get used to the pace of life here or the population! And I miss my friends. Before children I didn’t really have that many girl friends – I found boys/guys much easier to be around and much less complicated. Having a baby changed that for me and I realise what an invaluable support girl friends are, especially ones going through the same life stages as you. Cassia was born over here shortly after returning and we knew no-one but my family, who have older children, in the area. I have never felt so isolated and this was after supposedly returning ‘home’. It didn’t help that we weren’t settled and, for a variety of reasons, moved a lot in those first few months (by the time Cassia was 7 months she had lived in 7 different houses – but that’s a whole different story!). I find myself yearning for those very things that weren’t ‘right’ when we were in NZ. I must be the only Brit capable of moaning about a climate where there’s brilliant sunshine almost year round, winter temperatures rarely drop into single figures and where you don’t have to own a winter coat, gloves or scarf – but I did! I longed for grey skies - well I got my fair share of them this winter and plenty of use out of all the winter clothes – but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought.

Like the title of this says the grass is always greener but I realise now that we need to live fully in the present and owe it to ourselves to find the place/work/lifestyle that’s going to work for our immediate family and work towards getting it.

Maia on the beach in summer - she's the dot in the middle!

Sheep on the beach - the water is literally just several yards to the left!

Collecting shells before we headed back to the UK

1 comment:

Laura said...

My aunt, uncle and cousins emigrated to NZ the September before last and are back to visit at the moment for the first time. They live in Tauranga and we're hoping to visit next year. Having read your blog now i really want to go. It looks beautiful.

Laura/NaturalMummy x