Sometimes, when I’m home with the kids and giving a bottle to the baby, I start thinking about moving back to Ireland. I mean, it would be MUCH easier now that I know what to expect. Everything moves at a slower pace (except the freaking train schedules), and there’s more time to focus on just family things, not so much work. And we’ve got so many friends and family there who have kids and really enjoy the same things we do (and more babysitters!).
Some drawbacks: I would have to remind myself that there’s no emergency room close by. The emergency care center in Newbridge was closed down a few years ago, so if there is an emergency, families have to travel to Naas, which is a good 40 minutes away on a good weather day. And I don’t know how the schools are. I’m pretty sure my kids would get picked on for being too nice- the boys are pretty tough over there, even at a young age. Uniforms are still used, all public schools are Catholic, and I believe Kildare has a school that is both boys and girls now. My husband, N, went to an all boys school. He is a wonderful person, but I believe that kids need to grow up around both sexes, not just one. It doesn’t seem normal or natural to me to have them separated. And, let’s be honest, fifth and sixth grade for girls are TOUGH. If there weren’t boys in class to make a distraction, I’m not sure what would have happened. I would prefer the kids stay in an environment that promotes both real world experiences and learning.
I would also have to consider the fact that I don’t have an Irish drivers license. I FINALLY passed my permit test (keep in mind, I had my US drivers license for eleven years at the time I took it, but I had NO idea how to answer a few questions about tractors and what to do on a ONE LANE BRIDGE), but I’m pretty sure it’s expired now that we’re not living in Kildare anymore. And me being the control freak that I am, I hate relying on N to take me everywhere. I’m just not that kind of person who can wholeheartedly depend on someone else, not with the kids needing things all the time. Not being able to drive would be tough. Not as tough as the doctor situation, but if you can’t get there, that’s a real problem.
Some amazing advantages: Walking up to town with everyone would be lovely. Grabbing lunch at Kinnitty Castle (http://www.majestic-castles-in-ireland.com/kinnitty-castle-in-offaly.html) on a day we felt like just getting out of the house would be amazing.
And having family at Lullymore Heritage Park (http://www.lullymoreheritagepark.com/) is priceless. Having the woods and Irish bogs to run through and play in would make up for the yard that we would have to sacrifice (not like we have a huge yard now, but still). There are wild birds and sights to see, and their cousin would be close. It would be so nice for the kids to grow up around their Irish family.
Travel through Europe would also be to everyone’s advantage. We flew to London for 45 euro. I’m sure there are other fees involved, but it can be done CHEAP (hello, RyanAir). And the experiences they would get from being well travelled are things I can’t teach them, and they’ll never learn from someone else.
I can smell the green countryside and the fresh air. And I now appreciate how long it takes to drive to a movie theater and get to Dublin. Working in the city is a real experience that I have and will always love looking back on, but I don’t think I could do it now with four kids.
I’ll have to keep thinking about it. No rush now, we’re up to our eyeballs in home renovations. It’s nice to think about what could be though.
3 thoughts on “The Pro’s and Con’s”
It’s worth doing your research. There are four Educate Together (multi denominational / co-educational schools in Kildare. http://www.educatetogether.ie/schools/county/?county=Kildare (in the past while the majority of schools were Roman Catholic there were and are also Church of Ireland -all co-ed and with no uniforms at primary level- schools). There are also Gaelscoileanna which are co-ed Irish language schools.
With new roads, the journey from Newbridge to Naas takes about 15 mins outside of rush hour. I am pretty sure Kdoc the out of hours doctor’s service is still open in Newbridge too.
On the other hand Ryanair prices have gone up a bit recently. 😦
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_to_ireland/ has lots of useful information about moving to Ireland.
Thank you for this insight! My in-laws recently visited and were telling me about the state-of-the-art medical facility being built in town!
And when we went back for our last visit, there was a huge new Tesco in the town that made life so much easier!
When it comes to education though, I really don’t think my kids would have a smooth transition. Things here are really different, and there’s so much focus on huge tests at the end of the school year that (I feel) place too much emphasis on their success.
We are definitely keeping our options open though.
Where are you from…Kildare Town?
At primary school level (4-12 ) there is not the emphasis on end of year tests, that is for the two state exams which are taken mid way and at the end of secondary school. I live in the UK now having lived in Newbridge up to 2008 but I keep in touch and visit regularly. Even more pressured in secondary school in UK I think. Kids are very versatile and mine transitioned quite easily – they were both under 12 when we moved to UK. It would be much more difficult with teens as their friendships are so much more important now.