the huntered housewife

our family life, our way

Our Two Year Anniversary

on July 3, 2014

It’s been two years since we moved.

Yes, we left the beautiful Illawarra on 30 June 2012 and arrived in the equally beautiful Hunter that evening, just after dark.

Integration is the key when you move away. The best way to settle in quickly is to get involved. But where do you start?

My role for the first 6 months was to simply be there for our household as a new routine was found. I loved being the full-time Wife and Mum, that’s all I ever wanted, ever since I was a child. It was lovely to just be, to slow life down after the frantic pace we ran life at previously, when Ray worked days and I worked nights. It was lovely to enjoy the time at home with our youngest child, the last six months before big school. It was therapeutic for me.

So how did I integrate if I withdrew? The same way as I recommend to all Mums. Via the kids. Or through the kids. Schools have always been my starting point as there are heaps of opportunities to get involved and meet other parents. Play the “new girl” card and walk up to another Mum at school pickups – being new and asking questions about the school routine is a surefire way to get a conversation happening, especially if you put a smile on your dial. School is where I met my friends. My school involvement of choice is the canteen, where I love to volunteer. Sport is also a good opportunity to meet people – be it your own sport or one the kids play.

As I emerged from my shell of choice, I started playing social tennis once a week which I loved. I applied for jobs and scored one at a local petrol station, but I had an emotional struggle with that job as it took me away from my family at night. I’d spent the last few years being away from my family by working at night and now cherished the fact that this was a time we could all be together.  I increased the days I was volunteering at the two schools our boys attended and ran the canteen at the primary school. This volunteering led to me being employed at the high school as the canteen supervisor, which allowed me to leave the petrol station job and to get paid to do something I love. I also get to meet many parents and grandparents and learn a lot about the local towns from them. Having come from a town we knew so well and knew so many people, it’s fascinating to learn about our new area from those who have been here so much longer.

So where do the men find friends? My husband is at work during the day, when I have all these opportunities to meet people. The easiest place for the husbands to find friends is at work. Or through hobbies. And let me tell you, a husband who rides a motorbike as a hobby is always going to find friends. And it’s good for the wives and families too, as the men go for a ride and then we often all meet up at a pub for lunch. More local exploring.

I have mentioned on other posts that we are making an effort to attend more local festivities and community events to experience as much as we can of life in the country. A town with a small population needs that population to attend events otherwise it’s not viable to stage them. We are willing to do our bit.

To integrate.

How do you integrate?

Karen.

 

 

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