Hello beautiful people,
I have woken up cranky for the last three days. It’s not really like me. I’m on my days off from work and had lots of things planned, things I wanted to achieve. However I’ve spent the better part of the last three days feeling sorry for myself, chasing kids around and tackling never-ending mounds of housework.
The tribe and I live in a teeny weeny pocket-sized town house in the trendy (and ridiculously overpriced!!!) Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The hubby and I are both in government employed jobs, receive average wages with no benefits……. Yep that’s right I said government jobs with NO benefits!! No dental, no medical, no rent or mortgage assistance, nothing!! And yes tax payers dollars pay our wages but we pay tax too, and a lot of it, so technically one could say we are paying ourselves too. If Peoples taxes didn’t pay our wages who would do our jobs? Yes we do our jobs partly for the love of them but we need to survive too!
So I think I’m waking up cranky in our poky little house because I’m exhausted from working so hard for an average wage and not even being able to afford to live somewhere I am happy to be or that actually fits my family. We have three children sharing a bedroom that you couldn’t swing a cat in (no offence to our fury loving friends) let alone make their beds or put their clothes away comfortably. Decision made after much debate about whether or not it was okay to expect teenage daughter to share with younger brother, conclusion no because apparently boys stink!
The area itself is surrounded by beautiful beaches, we are fifteen minutes away from Sydney’s infamous Bondi Beach, and parks designed with great play equipment to keep kids entertained for hours.
Not five minutes up the road from us is a hospital campus with some of the best Children’s, Women’s and Adults Hospitals in Sydney.
We are only a fifteen minute drive from Sydney’s central business district, including the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Hyde Park and Centre Point Tower.
We are spoilt for choice with both public and private, Primary and High Schools and have several excellent Tertiary education facilities around!!!
All these great things within half an hour of where we live!! So why would I wake up cranky?
Most weeks consist of hubby and I having opposite rosters, he works days I work nights, yes the old analogy of ships passing in the night fits us perfectly.
School fees, rent prices (that are through the roof, average 3 bedroom house between $600-$1000 per WEEK, which would pretty much take up one of our whole incomes leaving us the bare minimum to live on) food bills, utilities, soaring petrol prices and just general constant increase in cost of living is making it harder for us to stay living in the area that we grew up in.
To buy a house requires a 10% deposit, average house price in area is $700000-$2million…..hhmmm paying the rent we do with all other expenses I would like someone to please explain to me how we are supposed to save a deposit that is more than our annual income?
Someone said to me just start by saving $10 a week and in my head my really mature subconscious said “derrrrrrr $10 a week would take a bazillion years to save the deposit I need” Yes my subconscious is also good at maths!
I have pondered on how my friends that live in the area have afforded to buy properties here. It occurred to me that several of them have inherited houses. Inherited money for the deposit, had family help with the deposit, had some kind of windfall for the deposit. Or lived with family until they were nearly thirty so they could save, buy and rent the property out to pay it off. All of these options not available to me. Besides I’d rather have family around then lose them to inherit money or a house (not saying anyone was cheering about their lose when they got their inheritance, so don’t get your knickers in a not!! And I was independent when I was a teenager so there was no living with my mum until I was nearly thirty!)
I’ve talked about the beauty and the benefits of the area so it only seems fair to point out some of the pitfalls, other than the ridiculous cost of living here!
For a small area it is grossly over populated on a hot summers day you are hard pressed to get a towel sized patch of beach without awkwardly rubbing against the leg of the stranger next to you who is just trying to catch some rays too. For a largely overpopulated area having grown up here, there is pretty much nothing you can do or say that someone who knows someone will be talking about you the next day. The crime rate is increasing at an alarming rate, believe me!! The property sizes for the price you pay are ridiculous. The peak hour traffic can see you at a stand still in your car for an hour on a journey that should take you no longer than ten minutes!!
Yes people can say why didn’t you save before you had kids to buy a house, well plain and simple I had kids before I was prepared to have them and I grew up in rental properties and wasn’t really taught about the great Australian dream of owning my own home, until the realisation dawned on me that renting is dead money!!
Phewww that’s a lot to think about, no wonder I’ve been waking up cranky. Note to self don’t ponder on what you don’t have before you fall asleep!
So options to overcome this, include put my blinkers on and ignore the desire to own a home, one that actually comfortably fits my whole family or…………….move!!
One small word with so many complications………move………
This effectively means looking at suburbs outside of Sydney, trying to choose one that we like, one that we can afford, one that has all the benefits of the area that we are currently in.
It also means addressing the issue of how far away are we willing to move? What about the grandparents and Aunt that we will be leaving behind, that we love so dearly? What about leaving behind all our friends? What about new schools? What about our jobs? Will we have to find new ones? If we do will the new rosters be worse or any better? Surely they can’t be worse!
People say to me, just move away, have a sea change if you don’t like it you can always come back, ever so casually. It sends my mind into a spin thinking don’t they realise the difficulty surrounding their statement? Don’t they realise that if it was that easy we would have done it by now!
Then there is one of the biggest obstacle of all…………..The teenager!!
Noooooooo you can’t make me move to some small crappy town, I’ll have no friends, I’ll be bored forever, How will I be able to have any kind of life, Why would you do this to me, I wont come??????
And that’s it right there!!! Those three little words that stop all this process in its tracks!!! I wont come….
So, never leave a man behind, no daughter moving with us, means no moving. Yep I am that overly involved in my children’s lives, no I am not yet ready to let any of them go.
I dream of a sea change, where I can wake up relaxed and not cranky and enjoy the view from MY living room!!
I dream of a sea change, a small coastal, partially rural town, with a one man lock up and a little local hospital. A beautiful lush green headland for never-ending picnics above the deep blue ocean lapping at the shore. A little local school that has a great community feel, where all the teachers know the students by name and all the mothers are friends.
I dream of a sea change where the Australian dream is real and a piece of land with a quaint family home on it is a steal……………………..
Have you had a sea change?
Where did you go?
How did it turn out?
Is the grass greener?
Or should I just stay and battle it out with the over crowded streets, over flowing bedrooms and wardrobes, paying nearly all of one wage to live in a house that is too small that we don’t own?
Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxox 🙂