The decision to move to our new town was made in less than ten minutes.
Mr Point Five rang me at work to tell me there was a position vacant; we had to apply within ten minutes or it would be an opportunity lost.
I knew the town by reputation only and said no way in hell are we moving there.
He outlined the benefits, both financial and promotional. It would only be for two years.
I made one phone call to the school and another to the town CRC; despite what I had heard, both were very positive about the town.
We really had no alternative.
Despite a nagging doubt, I rang him back and said go for it.
We moved last November.
Nearly 4 months later and I went to see the town nurse last week.
I skipped my last period and haven’t had a solid bowel movement in a month or so. I am suffering reflux. My stomach is so tightly coiled; I am on edge 24/7.
I am quietly stressed.
I didn’t really think about it until my symptoms got so bad I had to seek medical advice for them.
When I got home, I spoke to Mr Point Five and it all came tumbling out; I am STRESSED.
I am worried ALL.THE.TIME.
Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.
My neck is tense as I write this and my stomach is wound.
I am worried we made the wrong choice for our kids by coming here.
I am worried about their schooling, where their friend selection is severely limited and they are exposed to some horrific behaviour which has sadly become standard. I am worried G Man, who is already suffering in schooling for his dyspraxia, will fall further behind. I have spoken to his new teacher and I am confident she is doing all she can but I am still worried, as she is finding it tough going in town/at school too and will probably only see out a year here. What will we do next year??
I worry that we are not offering them things the city kids get to do; out-of-school activities etc which simply do not exist here. There is no skatepark, no after school sports, no weekend activities, no pool, no beach, no cafes, no grass to kick a footy. I can cope without these things but are we doing a disservice to our kids, who only get one shot at growing up? They seem to be happy enough, they have had some well funny moments such as swimming in the main street after the last summer storm, but there is so much more for them, and it pains me that they are missing out and that their options are so limited. Its not like a few towns ago where the size of the town was comparable, but there were farms to visit and a gentle lifestyle to take part in where the kids mucked about watching the shearing/seeding etc. The other kids their age here roam around town after school, barefoot and getting up to no good, going who knows where and skating on the highway playing chicken with the roadtrains and I will not let my boys participate in this; they come straight home every day and there they stay. Behind our front door there is peace and calm and love; it is our haven and we wallow in it.
I am worried we live in a place where if there are certain events in town, we cannot go to our pub for tea or the servo for takeaway. I HATE the thought that such violence and antisocial behaviour is right outside our front door; literally as our home is on the way from the pub to one of the “busiest” houses in town. Fortunately the boys are usually in bed before it gets loud and Mr Point Five gets called out to work, but then I am edge thinking please don’t let it wake my babies up. The boys and I love to sit out the front and watch the road trains but I am constantly on guard, watching in case I need to usher them quickly inside with the premise of an icypole.
I am not worried for me, the town is actually quite OK for a grown couple, but for our boys; not their security as we have never felt physically threatened, but for the harsh environment we have placed around them.
What have we done??
I mean, I know every remote town needs a police presence, but what of those who have a young family? What do they do? How do they cope, without merely surviving?
We have a two year tenure here which cannot be broken, and I wouldn’t want it to be, for Mr Point Fives sake; this is an important posting for his career and our future, his most important so far. But I am wondering what the cost will be, what we are willing to pay as a family?
At this point relocating the kids and I back to Perth whilst Mr Point Five works up here isn’t an option, the emotional separation would be too much to bear, on all accounts, but it may certainly come up early next year if I am still not confident with the school/social situation here. I am trying not to think that far ahead as my head and stomach my just explode, and I am just taking it one day at a time; doing the school, work, school home thing every day and making big plans for the each school holidays to look forward to. We try to make it all one big adventure; moving here, moving there until the boys are imagining our next house and asking for a dog for when we go. Although it does backfire occasionally as when we are packing for a holiday the boys get nervous we are moving house again!
Gaviscon, Gastro-Stop and Nurofen are my new mates on my bedside table but I would love to hear of your stress remedies??