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