It’s a wonderful place to grow up, a farm. Lots of fresh air, open spaces, always a hive of activity and lots of adventures to be had.
It can be wonderful as a mum or dad too if you and/or your other half work so close to home, so you can see lots of your children growing up. But raising kids on the farm can also bring an additional set of parenting challenges, things to learns and discoveries.
Here are 10 of those things you very soon find out.
1. You never need to worry about expensive cars for proms or weddings – farm kids much prefer arriving on a tractor.
2. No awkward “birds and bees” talk is needed – the livestock on the farm explain everything so much better.
3. Any attempt at keeping going-out clothes smart will be foiled at the first hurdle – even leaving getting changed until the last possible moment will be a fruitless effort, as the little helpers are guaranteed to get something on your clothes when you do checks before leaving the farm. And apparently work boots or wellies suit every outfit.
4. Likewise, you may as well order three sets of school uniform at the beginning of the year because you can guarantee that, within 10 minutes of getting off the school bus, there will be some form of cow slobber/mud/poo on them.
5. Farm children are usually keen to relate their way of life to the rest of the school. Cue parents’ evening, when the teacher explains your little one insists on referring to sheep as “old gals” and keeps on about some “make-believe” blue calf.
6. There may be a brief teenage phase when they complain “there’s nothing to do round here”. “I wish I lived in town with the shops and the cinema, so I could see all my friends. It’s so boring here, there’s nothing going on.” That will pass.
7. However worried you are about how tidy the house is when school friends who come from minimalistic, clean houses arrive, you can be sure that, after a few hours of farm freedom, they will never want to leave.
8. Being collected from school in a smelly old pick-up in standalone overalls and the dogs in the back is apparently a badge of honour – not an embarrassment.
9. Presents and parties will always have a farm theme – it certainly keeps things simple.
10. Bedtime is as variable as the weather and the latter usually has a lot to do with it. Excuses are easy, as there is always something to “help with”.