The 12 everyday battles of bringing kids up in the countryside

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  • Having a family in the countryside isn’t easy but we bet you wouldn’t change it for the world.

    There’s no better feeling than being able to let your children play out doors all afternoon without worrying about them, having 101 different pets running wild and knowing exactly where your eggs came from (the back garden, of course).

    Here are the things you only know if you’ve brought up a family out-of-town.

    1. You lose your child, a lot

    But you know it’s ok. They’re probably just playing in the next field, climbing trees in the woods or splashing about in a stream. They’ll be home when they get hungry, and they’ll have had an adventure.

    2. You force your children into wellies too big for them

    Well, they don’t come cheap, and their big brothers/sister’s hand-me-downs are basically good as new, if a little ‘roomy’.

    3. The school run is always interesting

    What’s it going to be today? An overhanging branch cracking the windscreen, a flock of sheep blocking the road, or perhaps a river that’s burst its banks? Good thing you’re basically as qualified as a professional driver by now.

    4. Going to the supermarket is a life event

    You can’t just ‘pop to the shops’ so these outings are planned with military precision but nearly always end in chaos, with a trolley full of tins and cans that would see you through World War 3. Well, you never know when you’ll be able to make it back to town for another shop.

    5. Your children are rarely clean

    Sure you give them baths, they brush their teeth before bed and their hands before tea, but stopping them being constantly covered mud is another matter entirely.

    6. When it rains it pours

    The extremes of the weather are felt so much more strongly in the countryside, without any other buildings to shelter you from the storms and the rain you’ve got pretty used to braving the elements.

    7. The weather, not you, decides if you’re kids are going to school or not

    Being snowed in is a real thing, as is not being able to get over cattle grid when it floods.

    8. The kids all want ponies

    … and you can’t say your garden isn’t big enough so they’ve probably all got one.

    9. You’re not quite sure how many pets you own

    Is that your cat, or did you just start feeding it and it’s stayed ever since? Or did one of your children adopt it without telling you? Who knows, one thing you do know is how much animal food you get through!

    10.You’re constantly watching your child do some pretty dangerous things

    It’s character building, falling off the back of a horse, or out of a tree, or off of the roof of a barn…

    11. Your children don’t want your homegrown goods

    You’ve spent weeks and months nurturing the very best veggies and your kids hate it. They’d much rather be at their friends’ houses eating a sharing-size packet of Doritos.

    12. Chickens ruin EVERYTHING

    You thought it would be nice for the kids to see where their eggs came from, now you’re regretting it. Your lawn is now dust, your flowerbeds are non-existent and there’s chicken poo everywhere. Oh, and your dreams of your own little brood tending to the chickens has died a long time ago – you do all the maintenance here.

    Where to next?

    12 signs your cat is plotting to kill you

     21 incredible Frozen birthday cakes you’ll probably never be able to make

    The mums you see at the school gate The reality of having twins vs what your friends think

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